With the advent of digital marketing, measuring the key performance indicators of your marketing campaigns has not only become possible, but much easier than the guesswork and trend analysis used in the days of purely traditional advertising. There are many different methods of measurement available. Google Analytics makes measuring site performance (and dare we say ROI?) a much easier task than it was even 10 years ago. Advertising platforms such as Google AdWords and Bing provide information on paid search campaign performance. And tools such as Salesforce or Eulerian allow for even greater detail into both your offline and online marketing and sales efforts.

But how much should we measure?

But while measurement is now easier than ever before, we also have a greater influx of data than ever before. So how can you effectively measure performance and prove return on investment for your campaigns, while not getting lost in the data?

The key to measurement is understanding what you want to measure, when you want to measure, and why it’s important. What are your goals and objectives? What are the key performance indicators that help you understand whether or not you’ve met those objectives? What is the target that you’re setting for the goals and objectives (e.g. +10% in product sales, an ROI of 2)? And have the campaigns or marketing efforts been going on long enough to see results?

Strategy is a must.

Most these questions can be answered with the creation of a digital measurement plan (learn more about a digital measurement plan here). In addition to answering the questions above, this plan will also ensure you have all stakeholders on board regarding the data that will be presented and when the data will be presented. Taking a structured approach to your measurement will allow you to shift through the numbers and find the data that’s most important to you.

Another equally important element to mastering measurement is understanding what you will be able to measure. Once you’ve identified what you want to measure, you need to see whether you will actually be able to measure it. The digital measurement plan also identifies and addresses any technical issues that might mean you are unable to get the data you need. You may want to, for example, measure the number of contact form completions on your site, but then realize that you are unable to track the completions via your platform. The sooner you identify any  possible limitations to your tracking, the sooner you can fix the issues or find another solution.

Successful measurement requires a thoughtful strategy and a comprehensive plan. We are fortunate to have the ability to measure almost all aspects of a marketing campaign.