How Can We Tell If A Marketing Campaign is Working?

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The process of planning an advertising campaign begins with setting a clear goal. Research should be engineered to yield concrete directives for the campaign and to define the most direct media channels to deliver your marketing message to the target market. The preliminary budget can be generated to include the media and frequency scheduling plans for all of the different channels and platforms. Further research may be needed to clarify the budgetary constraints and codify the budget. Then production of the various advertising vehicles can begin. 

A Social Media Marketing Plan Does Not Require Monitoring Or Adjustment During Its Implementation, But Post-Production Monitoring is Essential

Post-production, vehicles should be pre-tested and any changes made. The campaign can then begin and will be steadily evaluated to ensure it lives up to planned expectations. Adaptations can be made to improve performance if warranted, as the campaign runs its prescribed duration. After the run time, a post mortem evaluation will take place to determine the campaign’s overall success and be used as a starting point for the next campaign cycle.

Why Is Marketing Return On Investment So Difficult To Measure?

There are many pitfalls around the problem of accurate ROI monitoring. We have found three reasons why marketing campaign monitoring can be complicated. One, it is hard to decide on an appropriate metric or measure of marketing communications. Two, there are complexities to collecting meaningful data. Three, it is difficult to assess the effects of individual factors in determining overall marketing communications successes and failures. Each method, and each measured factor, may exhibit its own strengths and weaknesses. There are no unambiguous factors that can be readily relied upon. No single metric can be counted on to deliver accurate monitoring in every situation.

It is important for decision-makers to ask: what information will inform me as to which ads are increasing sales and which ads are not? Once these are measured, reallocating company resources to fund more successful campaigns (and eliminating losing ones) is a sure-fire way of increasing marketing ROI. Ultimately, defining campaign metrics will depend on how you choose to define marketing success. 

Metrics To Measure Marketing ROI 

Measures of change in categories such as brand recognition, sales levels, and customer loyalty are some of the ways that success can be measured both qualitatively and quantitatively. But, measuring the wrong things will tell you nothing about what is really happening in your campaign; asking the right questions from the start can be just as important as the answers you get back. 

You should be wondering which metrics are best to measure? The National Association of Advertisers (ANA) reports the five metrics most commonly monitored by ANA members: 

  • 1. 66% reported using incremental sales volume. 
  • 2. 57% use changes in brand awareness. 
  • 3. 55% of total sales generated by marketing activities. 
  • 4. 55% changes in purchase intention. 
  • 5. 55% changes in attitude toward the brand. 

Once you decide on which factors, or group of factors, you want to measure when monitoring a new marketing campaign, you should know that these factors need to be assessed, not only now, but 3, 6, even 12 months out from the initiation of the campaign. Regardless of what you decide on as the measure of success, it is important to put the right tools in place to assist you in tracking your efforts.

How Can Big Data Be Used To Yield A Greater Return On Investment On Marketing Efforts?

It is the goal of marketing mix modeling to connect consumer response to the individual pieces of the marketing campaign, be it a TV commercial, a mass mailing, or a new website. An example can be demonstrated explaining the use of period sales data. The most important aspect of effectively utilizing this method is to be found in collecting sales data on a period-by-period basis and having access to the corresponding marketing budget recorded for the same time periods. Put simply; data can be used to correlate the effects from various advertising and promotion elements when paired with sales data for the same (or carry over) periods. It may be necessary to adjust accounting methods to track the marketing campaign as though it were in a separate project, with its own start and end dates.

This same technique can be adapted to measure other marketing metrics such as customer attitudes towards the brand and purchase intentions. Correlating the timing of your campaign for measurable results is important, but it isn’t the final answer. Branding questions are harder to measure in terms of metrics because of the cumulative effects that are part of the branding process. Branding questions may not be resolved until the post mortem analysis of the campaign, and even later assessments may be necessary to measure the full impact of a mar-com campaign on brand attitudes.

In the case of events and event sponsorship, there are two different methods for measuring effects on branding and sales: The measuring of supply-side effects and demand-side effects. The supply-side measure analyzes media exposure by measuring the amount of media time, for example, news footage played on the event. Experts have concluded that one minute of having a company logo on TV is equivalent to 12 to 50 percent the value of a 30 second TV commercial. The problem with this analysis is finding the equivalence of media exposure. A news story leaves a different impression than a 30-second commercial, so drawing the equivalence is somewhat vague and may prove to be more of an art than a science.

The technique for measuring the “demand-side” measures the effect of the event or campaign on target consumers’ brand awareness. The continual coherence of the mar-com is of utmost importance for this to work. Surveys are then used to monitor awareness generated from the event and the effects this has on target market attitudes and the likelihood of their buying the sponsors’ products. It is important to recognize that all of our prospective customers may not think the way we did when writing advertising copy. Every prospective buyer may not be visiting the places where our ads are positioned. When cultivating online marketing media, for instance, we must realize that our buyers may not use the search terms we expect them to, and therefore wouldn’t experience the expected exposure times.

Evaluation

In this final phase, we will determine the success level of the various media and the overall campaign both during execution and post-mortem. The original research you performed to develop the campaign directives should be carried forwards to serve as a benchmark reflecting the original campaign goal. Evaluation should be taking place while the campaign is going to determine if the plan is meeting expectations. An important topic for discussion in devising a plan to manage the marketing mix and media choices is to pre-decide how long to stick with a particular medium, or a particular message gave a specified level of return.

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