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Marketing mistake 6: Not knowing the important digital marketing KPIs

Hi, welcome back to another edition of common mistakes that first time entrepreneurs make in their marketing. Believe me, I have made them too. In today's blog, I am going to talk about digital marketing KPIs i.e. which metrics to track to see whether your marketing is working or not.

The important digital marketing KPIs

But before I tell you which metrics to track, I'm going to talk about which metrics NOT to track. These are called vanity metrics. Simply put, vanity metrics are any metrics that the public can see. Because of that reason, we focus on improving those metrics rather than the ones that really matter for our business.

Some examples of vanity metrics could be followers on any of your social media platform, likes and comments on your posts and reviews / ratings. Not that these metrics are not important - they definitely are because these metrics actually act as social proof. When somebody comes to your social media profile or to your website and sees the number of people who are recommending you or who are saying good things about you, of course they'll want to do business with you. But as a business, this is not what your focus should be. These metrics are actually an outcome of what you are doing in your marketing. If you market your business well, and if you provide a great service or a great product to your customers, then you'll automatically get these great reviews.

As I said, for marketing to be successful, you really have to focus on the correct metrics, and these metrics are defined by your objective.

Let's say, the objective of your campaign is ‘brand awareness’. Then the first metric that you should be measuring for that campaign is the reach, which is how many people have seen your campaign. Bear in mind that your campaign can be digital or it can be print. What is important is how many people have seen that campaign because that's what you want to achieve. You want to increase your brand awareness. Another way to measure your brand awareness is by looking at the views. The views could be of a webpage, or could be of the social media post. If your marketing campaign for brand awareness is actually an offline campaign - maybe you've put up a stall in an exhibition - then the number of visits to your stall would be a brand awareness metric.

The next objective, which requires a little bit more engagement from your customer, is the ‘interest objective’. This is where you want your customers to start engaging with you personally. Any marketing campaign that focuses on interest should be measured for those metrics. Common metrics for interest are leads, signups, subscribes, downloads, and so on. Anything that requires a potential customer to take an action and give you their details, counts as an interest objective.

The third important objective is ‘conversion'. This is where you want your customers to actually do business with you. Of course, if you're selling a product, then sales is a conversion objective, or any person that converts into a client will be counted in the conversion metric.

Breaking down the KPIs

The common mistakes that entrepreneurs make here are looking at vanity metrics (as I mentioned before) and not looking at your entire funnel.

All of these objectives that I spoke about are actually your macro objectives. These are your larger objectives that you want your business to achieve. But each of these objectives is defined by smaller actions that a customer would take to achieve that objective. So when you are looking at your macro objective, also make sure that you're looking at the smaller metrics. These smaller metrics will help you identify the weak link in your marketing campaign and then you can improve it.

Let me explain with an example. For an e-commerce site, if you are looking at conversion metrics, then you're obviously counting the number of sales on that side. But what happens if you are not getting any sales? How do you optimize the marketing campaign so that it results in sales? This is where your smaller metrics come in. One way to break this down into smaller metrics is to look at how many people came to your website. Obviously, if not enough people are coming to your website, then you won't have enough to convert. You can check out my previous blog to know how to benchmark the conversions for any campaign.

  • To get X number of sales, you would need to back calculate and say how many people you need to bring to your website. So the budget becomes an opportunity for improvement.

  • The second thing you could look at is how many people came to your website, but then left the website after looking at only one page. Looking at this data will tell you which pages perform poorly. Maybe there are certain pages that people visit and then they leave because they don't understand what you're trying to get them to do. Maybe there are some pages that perform very well and people go to the next page and maybe head towards a sale from that page onward. You can look at your data and decide which of the pages that are better performing. And if you know that you can get the better performing pages in front of the people who are coming to your site.

  • The third one you can look at is how many people added a product to their cart, but left. If you look at this data, maybe you're able to identify a pattern. Perhaps people are adding one product more than the others and they are abandoning the cart after adding that product. You have to do some research to find out why that is happening or you may find that visitors from a particular source. It could be from a Facebook ad, where they come and add a product to their card, but they don't check out. This could signal that people from your Facebook ads are not really ready to buy or they are not the right audience.

So you can really break down your bigger metrics into smaller metrics. As I showed from this example, there are a lot of opportunities for you to improve your large metric by focusing on the smaller metrics that contribute towards it.

Do let me know if this blog helped you to look at your objectives and metrics much more clearly than before. And I'll be back next week with another marketing mistake that I made.


If you liked this post and would like more tips on other tools, then read more articles like this here or you can listen to the podcast.

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