Customer Engagement

Measuring Marketing Performance 101

Mary Kearl By Mary Kearl Jan 18, 2022

The instant gratification of marketing can pack a powerful emotional jolt. You launch an email marketing campaign or deploy a text campaign, and you immediately get to see how things are going—that is, if you have access to analytics that help you with the task of measuring marketing performance. And if you have an understanding of what marketing KPIs you need to be paying attention to.

While that’s a reality for some brands, many others are still working out how to tell whether their customer engagement efforts are bearing fruit and what implications their results have for the future of their business. And that’s okay: At some point, every brand is at the beginning stages, just getting into the basics of marketing measurement. If that's the case for your team, here's how to get started. In our experience, when adopting any new marketing approach it helps to crawl, then walk, and finally run. Ready?

Crawl: Gather the Marketing Metrics You Need

This is where most brands begin. And the task at this step is to bring together whatever data and metrics you have, from systems like your email service provider (ESP)/customer engagement platform, your analytics software, your customer data platform (CDP), and other technologies you might leverage, and then decide which metrics matter for your business. That includes any email and mobile marketing channel metrics you might have access to, such email bounces and unsubscribes and these other common KPIs for email and push notifications below.

What you'll learn from these metrics: These metrics—and other similar ones for channels like in-app messages and SMS—make it possible for brands to begin exploring what factors influence higher (or lower) engagement rates at the campaign level (such as messaging send time, and more). That’s meaningful, but it’s just the first step in understanding how your marketing efforts are performing. After all, you won't necessarily be able to uncover what's driving individual differences and may have other information you need to get a full picture of your customer engagement program and its strengths and weaknesses.

Walk: Move Beyond Top-Level Metrics to Down-the-Funnel KPIs

Once you have your top-of-the-funnel marketing metrics like email and push notification opens figured out, the next step is to take a look at deeper, more meaningful marketing KPIs, like the below which can give a sense of the overall health of your brand:=

  • Historical revenue

  • Total number of orders

  • Conversion rates

  • User counts (e.g. website visitors, email subscribers, app downloads)

While these KPIs will likely give you a fuller picture of the impact of your customer engagement program, they can also be harder to get your hands on. For one thing, the information that makes it possible to calculate these metrics can sometimes be caught up in data silos, complicating efforts to gather, process, and report on these KPIs for brands that haven’t yet achieved true data agility. For that reason, it’s important to be clear-eyed about the silos that exist in your organization and to take steps to mitigate them as you evolve your customer engagement measurement efforts; otherwise, you may find that the data you need for a more complete picture of your engagement efforts is out of your reach.

Run: Advance Beyond Campaign-Level Performance to Measuring Customer Engagement

Though everyone loves to see marketing growth, keeping track of—and reporting about—vanity metrics like a jump in subscribers or a spike in web traffic isn't likely to help drive long-term gains for your brand, unless these numbers are sustained over time and tied to concrete KPIs connected with your brand’s business results.

And that's why to advance to the next level in marketing measurement, you'll need to begin keeping track of metrics like customer acquisition costs (CAC) and customer lifetime value (CLV) over time—after all, when costs are greater than CLV over the long haul, businesses fail. To gain a deeper understanding of how to approach this successfully, check out our guide “Understanding Customer Engagement and Benchmarks.”

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl is a writer and digital strategist, who has led email, social media, and content marketing for several brands. She has helped launch six mobile apps and one niche social network and is always up for a good Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime binge recommendation or travel tip

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