How to Properly Measure Multichannel Marketing Campaigns

Focus on three different categories of metrics around marketing opportunities.

When it comes to measurement and optimization of multichannel marketing campaigns, marketers struggle to clarify how all the streams of data and multitude of channels and campaigns drive business outcomes. To address blind spots and anchor measurement in what is important for the success of the marketing plan — and the business as a whole — metrics should focus on consumer responses to any given marketing opportunity (i.e., a stimulus designed to elicit a response).

“Calculate success using metrics detailed around the three key types of user responses: Action, engagement and perception,” says Lizzy Foo Kune, principal research analyst, Gartner for Marketers.

A consumer can respond to any given marketing opportunity in three ways:

  1. Engagement behaviors: Measurable actions in response to marketing that indicate interest, but can’t be tied directly to business outcomes.
  2. Action behaviors: Measurable actions in response to marketing that tie directly to business outcomes.
  3. Perception: Not linked to an action or engagement but can be measured indirectly, often through surveys or social listening.

How to measure action

Action metrics are the most straightforward because the link between the action and its business outcome is direct. Clicks on a search link leading to purchase or clicks in an email leading to a scheduled appointment are action metrics.

How to measure engagement

Engagement is a signal of interest in a brand, product or particular ad, and an action that can’t be directly tied to a business outcome. This indirect link inspires questions around how engagement relates to business value and a desire to understand the relative value of different engagement actions. No standard method or widely used tool is used to compare engagement platforms, and not all engagements are equal.

Value engagement according to where people spend their time — it’s where they allocate their attention.

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These “attention metrics” can be quantified or estimated to compare campaigns, channels, tactics and creative, and improve your methods over time. Focus on attention to establish a baseline that determines the value of engagement, especially in the absence of a sophisticated causal study of a particular brand’s users.

When and where possible, quantify the time and attention aspects of engagement actions such as video completion percentage and in-banner engagement time. Weight your engagement actions by time along a scale (a 50%-complete video view is worth a weight of 0.5 and a complete video view is worth 1.0). Then compare weighted average engagement metrics over time and across campaigns, channels, tactics and creative.

How to measure perception

Perception metrics measure the impact of exposure to a marketing message or other brand content. Perception is measured using indirect methods such as surveys, branded searches and social listening tools because it does not necessarily result in an action. Surveys are often run as part of a campaign and compare user perceptions of a brand with that of a group of similar people who were not exposed to the campaign. Branded searches or social media mentions count instances of searches, postings or comments that include either the brand name or phrases related to the campaign.

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