As a marketing professional, people ask me questions like, “How many unique visitors do you think you get me in a month,” or “How many sales will you be able to generate?” Being the truthful person that I am, these types of requests put me at a loss for words because reliable figures take time to generate.
My last post was about the challenging issue of predicting ROI and conversions. Again, these types of metrics can be viewed as a way to assess the performance of what has already been done. This is obviously different from wanting to know what will happen during the course of your campaign.
Reporting and analysis during the beginning stages should be focused on collecting solid baseline data. Baselines are used in science research. They can be thought of as snapshots which tell you about the average level of performance for a specific part of your campaign. For example, you would have a baseline for Twitter and a different one for Facebook.
Wordnetweb.princeton.edu describes the concept of baseline as, “an imaginary line or standard by which things are measured or compared.”
Getting reliable “snapshot” data requires that you collect information on numerous instances. More is better. For example, if you are trying to determine the average number of Facebook fans acquired per month, it’s better if you had data for 18 months as opposed to 2.
So if your campaign did exceptionally well during the first two weeks, it’s silly to use these numbers to gauge your success for the next two months. I’m sure this sounds really obvious. But a lot of people do this. Looking at large spans of time will only serve to help you in the long run.
Once you establish solid baseline figures, you can measure the performance of any new advancements or additional components to your campaign.
Because my original background is in science, it’s natural for me to see how basic practices in research design would have a fitting role in marketing. I was thrilled when I found this article which outlines a very practical method for measuring your ROI.
This is definitely a post to not only bookmark, but to use as well.