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Drowning in campaign metrics? Determine which KPIs are most important to your business with an Impact Matrix

Andreas

There are loads of campaign metrics and marketing KPIs you can delve into and study in detail when you run online advertising campaigns. These metrics can be overwhelming when you launch your advertising strategy. At times, it may even feel like the KPIs you have chosen are working against each other. What types of data are the most important indicators of success? Which ones should you be paying attention to? If you are just starting out with online advertising, it’s a good idea to start simple and expand from there. The most critical question to ask yourself is: which campaign metrics and marketing KPIs really reflect your business’ bottom line?  

Online marketing offers us an endless stream of data points and numbers. We can measure just about everything! But don’t let the limitless possibilities of campaign analytics distract you from what is key to your business’ success. To put things in perspective, we will use the Impact Matrix to help understand how measurement can contribute to good decision-making and success. 

First and foremost: chose campaign metrics based on their potential positive impact to your business’ results and profit, in the near and long-term. It’s easy to be seduced by colourful graphs and charts, easy to access metrics like ad impressions or clicks, but the significance of these as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will change depending on where a client is in their buyer lifecycle in relation to your website. A good starting point is to refer to the Impact Matrixdeveloped by Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evanglist at Google. Kaushik’s blog contains a link where you can download an excel template of the Impact Matrix and fill it out for your business. By classifying classify your metrics, you’ll achieve a clearer vision of how each one relates to the purchase and consumer journey.  

Impact Matrix example


Impact Matrix example: a simple classification of metrics over time and by approach (strategy) or action (tactics). Source: Think with Google.

 

Your business objectives should be what guide your choice of primary marketing KPIsThe world is full of campaign and web metrics. What defines a KPI is that it is a metric that is a key indicator of success for your business. For this reason, not all metrics are created equal, and businesses will need to choose the KPIs that best reflect potential success (or failure). In other words, we should avoid turning a metric into a primary KPI just because it is sexy, or easy to measure or impresses the boss. We must select KPIs based on how well they reflect the achievement of specific business objectives.  

For example, a performance marketing campaign will benefit from tracking KPIs such as customer retention rate or their lifetime value, whereas a campaign that is aimed at raising brand awareness will likely have marketing KPIs such as impression share or site engagement (time on page) for new visitors. Depending on the type of ad campaign you are running, the campaign metrics that should be your main KPIs will vary.  

Finally, your KPIs exist to help you to make decisions: make sure you are applying them to the right decision-making momentsMany businesses report on dozens if not a hundred metrics, treating many of them as KPIs, and then feed this information to the rest of their organization. This can be a mistake. Likely, not everyone in your organization needs to see every campaign or website metric and so much reporting can get overwhelming and create confusion on what actions need to be taken. Once you have classified your metrics for a given campaign, the Impact Matrix’s y-axis will help determine who needs to take action. For example, metrics that are at the bottom or tactical end of the scale are very helpful for making quick and daily decisions to improve performance. At the same time, metrics at the top of the matrix are more strategic, and the further they appear to the right, the more long-term they are. These will require management input, thoughtful discussion and team work to achieve improvement over time. 

If you are struggling to determine which campaign metrics should be the KPIs that guide your actions and decision making, the Impact Matrix can help you to bring order to your digital ecosystem and make sound marketing decisions. At All Around Digital, we are experts in the intersection between campaign metrics, KPI selection and business objectives. Feel free to contact us if you are ready to improve your marketing campaigns’ performance.