When it comes to strategic planning in digital marketing, we often put a lot of effort into things like “viral content” and “engagement.” Though this corporate industry can be tempting, to focus on, the truth is that these elements of digital marketing don’t really tell the whole story.
Tracking is one of the most important aspects of marketing. Did a social media ad deliver more click-through to your website? Did a direct mail piece result in product conversions? All of these resources are measurable and while you may equate them with ROI (return on investment), some benchmarks are tracked as KPIs (key performance indicators). What is the difference you ask? Tracking ROI and KPI are associated with different marketing initiatives, as noted in the chart above.
Eventually, asking a few questions will help you determine if you’ll use ROI or KPI’s for measurement.
1. Can you follow the conversions process from lead through ultimate conversion? If so, you’ll likely use ROI.
2. Are the specific strategy or channel knowledge-based and you plan to drive response to your homepage? If so, you’ll likely use KPI’s.
3. Are you using tracking components like dedicated communication extensions or landing pages with forms? If so, you should potentially review ROI.
ROI estimates the cost-efficiency of an initiative by scrutinizing the monetary profit or loss generated by an initiative relative to the amount of money invested. Some advertising strategy tracked using this procedure, including paid search ads (the ads cost vs revenue generated from people converting on these ads) and direct mail (the campaign cost vs revenue was generated from individuals converting on the direct mail offer).
Conversely, KPI is used to assess the success of an initiative. Success is generally measured by guidelines based on where a marketing tactic and what is the ultimate goals. KPI’s might focus on gross performance or focus on the success of particular departments. Social media is the best example of a trackable KPI channel. According to in-depth studies, social media is a conversation & process to interact with your audience online. It plays a big role in terms of a business being successful but how you define social media success is up to you. Perhaps it’s all about how to raise the number of followers, clicks, likes, shares, and comments or taking steps for improving your posts’ reach.
No matter how you’ll be evaluating and tracking your various marketing initiatives, one thing is consistent for both — identify how success looks like and then set goals and standards of your progress. Is there a monetary aim you hope to achieve? What loss would be destructive? How many Facebook followers you aim to target by the end of the year? As time passes, you’ll become more determined in tracking the performance & monitoring it consistently and you may need to make modifications based on your findings and insights. Tracking all of your marketing approaches may seem tedious, but in the end, you’ll be able to make more data-driven decisions.