Tag Archives: metrics

4 ways to boost your campaign results

Data can tell you what makes your customers respond to your marketing campaigns, whether it’s delivered by email, direct mail, or even telemarketing.
Why do so many people think marketing data analysis only works for online?

New media campaigns may sound cost-effective – sending a million emails or serving a million impressions may cost just a few pounds. But longer-established media like direct mail and telephone campaigns can deliver far higher response rates making the cost equation balance.

AdWords deals in single-digit click-throughs, while there are banner programmes where 0.1% counts as positive. Yet some direct mail campaigns can achieve an 18% response from a list of just 3,000. How are they doing it?

The answer’s not just about the numbers – but about the words, too.

Here are four ways to boost the performance of your marketing campaigns:

1. Be subjective: look at the first line everyone sees
Many campaigns focus on the mailer’s content. But marketing data analysis starts with the prime commercial property above it: the headline. Whether it’s the first line of your letter, the title on the envelope, or the subject line of your email.

There’s no secret as to why. It’s the first – sometimes the only – part of your marketing communication everyone sees. And it’s often critical to their decision whether to read on.

Marketing data analysis isn’t just “by the numbers”. It’s by the words.
So headlines deserve a lot of attention. What criteria can today’s marketing manager use to get a grip on what works?

2. Dig deep into your past campaigns
The first task is to look back at previous campaign reports. Not at what you thought was good, but what actually worked.

Make a list of all the headlines you used. Then rank them by the simplest metric: whether a recipient responded. (Whether that means opening the mailer, or recalling it when you follow up by phone.)

Then apply two more metrics: whether that recipient visited your website (you can put a unique URL in your letter to find out) and whether they went further down the sales funnel, such as providing their profile data at your squeeze page or landing page. Three valuable sets of data. And all came from an offline campaign.

3. Apply numerical metrics to words
Even without mapping the data into a visual chart (a data consultant can help you do this) you’ll see discrepancies between the best and worst headlines.

Some campaigns had low responses… but high recall when you followed up. Counterintuitive? No. It means the headline wasn’t intriguing, but the content was. (Another reason to pay a lot of attention to headlines.)

And then there are high-interest mailings – where everybody opened the envelope, but nobody typed in the URL or dialled your number. Perhaps the promise of the envelope copy wasn’t paid off by the content inside. Or the content gave away too much, rather than interesting your reader in taking action.

And then there are the campaigns with high numbers, but for only for a subset of your audience. If so, think again about segmentation in your marketing data analysis. It’s probably worth targeting that content to different people, even if it’s only a change of title.

4. Cast a critical eye over every sentence
When you’ve got a list of successful opening lines, it’s time to take it to the next level. With your audience in mind, what common traits do those sentences share? Here are some ideas:

  • Nouns. Are they concrete and snappy, creating instant pictures in your reader’s mind?
  • Verbs. Are they active and alive, giving the impression something interesting is happening?
  • Adjectives. Do you have too many? (Answer: yes.)
  • Length. Both sentence length (word count) and character count. Imagine you’re reading email on your phone’s tiny screen – what do you like to see?

Of course, this doesn’t just teach you about your campaign success; it teaches you about your customers. And because so many people concentrate on email these days, thinking again about offline campaigns can give you a huge competitive edge.

So if you want to raise your numbers… try looking at your words.

By DMA guest blogger Julie Knight, Marketing Director, Marketscan

Why performance delivery means so much more in today’s media environment

When I attended a speaker panel at the Media360 event a couple of weeks ago, there was a lot of talk from clients about not being transparent about our remuneration and the need to understand how media agencies are delivering for them.

I strongly believe that we in media agencies are best-placed among our marketing agency counterparts to deliver this. We already have direct attribution for online sales, and increasingly we are developing attribution models to define the offline effect for both on online sales and, where relevant, offline retail sales.

Last week, AdConnection relaunched its positioning as The Performance Agency – leading the way in performance-led delivery. We strongly believe that not only should all campaigns be measured and their performance assessed, but that part of our remuneration should be based on this.

Although this has been done for some time by PPC/SEO teams, both benefiting from the last point in the purchase cycle, benefiting from often millions of pounds spent on TV, outdoor, display digital etc., the challenge is defining it and measuring it for more of the “trigger media” not directly measurable to sales, but very much contributing some or the majority of the effect.

Performance measures
Performance can mean and deliver so much more than the end sales. In a different context, if you go to a performance, whether it is the cinema, theatre, a gig or a football match, you could define a successful performance if the organisers make money and the paying public go home feeling they have got value for money.

But when the audience are really engaged all the way through, go home feeling amazing, creating an emotional response, whether that is laughter, tears or joy, and then tell all their friends how brilliant the performance was and remember it for weeks, months or years after – that is truly a successful performance. That is what we will deliver in media terms for our clients.

So performance is as much the route to get to the end result as the final plan. It is how it is delivered, how it cuts through for the client as competitive activity increases, how the client service and proactivity is delivered, and all the components of a service-level agreement set out between agency and client.

Successful businesses are driven by performance. Getting the most unique and best insights to deliver optimal strategies will deliver the best outcomes. That’s why and how performance matters.

Which media perform?
At the Media360 event and in recent conversations with clients and media owners, there has been a concern that agency models do not fairly attribute all media in the same way. Thinkbox’s Lindsey Clay quite rightly expressed concern in the discussion at Media360 that TV would not get the same share of funds if agencies did not get the same fees from TV that they got from online.

In AdConnection’s performance-based model, only media that deliver along the purchase funnel will get further investments. Although not all media or indeed media formats are equal.

Our sophisticated attribution models increase the effect of a video watched all the way through (where there is an emotional as well as sales message across audio and visual), versus a quick view of a static online banner, which may not have even been viewed following analysis of eye-tracking movements.

These systems and tools are not the result of a huge amount of data being input into a large system with generic, vanilla averages being poured out and used for all campaigns. It is about smart inputting and employing the brightest experts to step back from the data and see what it is really telling us, often differentiating or challenging the norms and averages to deliver cut through solutions for clients.

In this context, the client and indeed media agencies are best placed to objectively determine the relative effect of different creative messages based on both influence and sales ability, beyond a simple click. After all, I cannot remember the last time I clicked on a banner, and the majority of the effect of these ads is to generate a future search once the consumer is in the market to research or buy.

Performance beyond advertising
With attribution and ultimately econometric modelling, media agencies are increasingly looking at factors beyond just the creative and media for contribution, including weather, pricing, brand standout, ability of the product to deliver, and even factors such as quality of the client sales team.

These factors are even more important to identify once we are remunerated partly on performance, and indeed have more need and authority to critique critique a client’s website, creative, product or even campaign timing based on wanting all factors to work.

Performance with passion
Finally, we need to deliver media performance to the client in the most compelling way – both how we present the rationale and solutions of the media plan, as well as nurturing our people to deliver in an intuitive, bold and vibrant way, so our clients enjoy working with us and are compelled and persuaded to buy our creative and standout communication solutions.

The successful media agencies of the future will be those that have a full overview of performance across strategy, content and delivery.

And successful businesses will not be the big media owners, clients or agencies with clout, but those with smart people and a focus on performance with the best optimisation, tools and experts with a passion to think differently and deliver a truly memorable and successful campaign for months and years to come.

By DMA guest blogger Catherine Becker, Chief executive, AdConnection

This is blog first appeared on Campaign and Media Week.

How can social platforms make themselves more marketing friendly?

If you read the marketing trade press just before the Easter break then you’d have probably seen the story about marketers rating Facebook as the “most marketing-friendly” social platform of all.  The attention-grabbing headline came from a new study published by the DMA’s Social Media Council.

The Social media scorecard is the industry’s first ever quantified assessment of the relative merits of the top social sites in terms of their ease-of-use for campaign planning, execution and post-campaign analysis. One clear victor emerged: Facebook.


More than 170 social marketers polled for the study rated it above Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ in almost every department. The only notable exceptions were Twitter’s ranking as the best platform for building brand awareness and LinkedIn for having the most effective user-targeting tools.

While Facebook received the highest ratings across the board, what really surprised me was just how harshly marketers rated each of the platforms. When asked to mark each of the platforms out of 10 in terms of their strengths, Facebook only managed an average score of 4.39; Twitter averaged 4.02 and last-placed Google+ garnered an average rating of 3.05.
If this was a school report card then even Facebook would be scraping a D-.

So why, in the eyes of marketers, are social platforms falling far short of providing an A+ service for their customers? How can the platforms up their game and improve the tools marketers need for campaign planning, execution and post-campaign analysis. Answers on the back of a postcard please…

Read the Social media scorecard infographic

By Tristan Garrick, the DMA’s Head of PR & Content


Measuring sponsorship: From Lewis Carroll to Einstein

It’s with some trepidation that I write a piece on measuring sponsorship. Why?

For many years, finding a true standard measurement for sponsorship has challenged brands and agencies alike. The reality is that it doesn’t exist.

Don’t worry though, it is possible to measure sponsorship and in such a way it can prove its value to the business, but it can sometimes feel complex due to its multi-channel multi-discipline nature, so there is a fundamental need for flexibility. Sponsorship presents a unique opportunity for brands and businesses to connect with stakeholders drive growth and build their brand. Sponsorship provides an activation platform for many other marketing disciplines.

This can present complexity in terms of tracking and measuring success, but it is essential that brands do measure their sponsorship to track the sponsorship effectiveness, benefits to the business and ensure return on investment.

Proving the business value of sponsorship
The European Sponsorship Association (ESA) held its annual Sponsorship Summit last week, and ‘Proving the Business Value of Sponsorship’ was a hotly debated topic.

There was some great debate and I think it also was the death knell for the long over-used and often irrelevant media value metric. In addition, the discussion was nicely bookended with two insightful quotes.

The first quote is a salutary reminder of the need for clear objectives and KPIs:

Rob Mitchell 1

So, the usual rules of marketing apply to sponsorship. It is imperative to set clear objectives and KPIs, otherwise you will almost certainly deviate from your course, in terms of your strategy, activation, measurement and, ultimately, what success looks like.

Sponsorship can’t set one standardised measurement like the advertising world because it’s different. It tends to have a number of objectives and multiple stakeholders and audiences (often each audience will have different objectives set against them), is activated in a number of ways, and as such, one definitive measure does not and cannot exist.

Instead, brands need to focus on their sponsorship objectives and understand how they want to measure success in a way that will be meaningful to the business.

Measuring the wrong things
Quite often we see sponsors measuring too many of the wrong things, wasting time, money and effort. So we get confused. For example, campaigns that say they were successful because they achieved an equivalent advertising spend on the exposure achieved when they actually needed to measure brand awareness is wrong.

Brand exposure and brand awareness are fundamentally different. This mistake crops up in award entries all the time. And how many times have we seen the number of facebook likes and twitter re-tweets cited as a goal? Why? Unless you know the precise value of a ‘like’ to your business it’s meaningless.

Here are a few fundamental considerations:
1. Objectives: are they the right ones and meaningful to the business?
2. Measurement: are you measuring the right things?
3. Value: is your sponsorship adding value to your brand and business? (see 1)
4. Timing: measurement should not be pre- and post-campaign, but needs to monitor and track continually, so that plans can be updated and revised to ensure efficiency and effectiveness

Let’s remember that the purpose of measuring and valuing sponsorship is to help us make better decisions. As such, it’s alarming how little is invested in research and measurement in an overall sponsorship campaign, and yet this is very area that will help you achieve and prove success.

We can measure, track and count lots of different things:

Capturing the commercial results using existing corporate and brand measurement tools for:
• Sales: incremental and comparative sales results
• Event sales: incremental sales driven by created events
• Customer retention & loyalty: net value of customer acquisition and retention
• Promotions: redemption, sales uplift, product impact of promotions
• Value: cost per acquisition, customer value

Brand Health KPIs
Tracking impact and role of sponsorship on brand trust scores using continuous brand tracking surveys.
• Brand & sponsorship awareness, leading to consideration and commitment
• Brand trust
• Brand affinity
• Consumer advocacy
• Employer favourability scores

Exposure and Engagement
Measuring audience engagement and the brand activation programme efficacy:
• Brand exposure & audience analysis: monitor and valuation of brand exposure across media & PR, including reach, audience, equivalent advertising value (see above)
• Onsite & Experience: event attendees and participants; hospitality guests (numbers and stakeholder group); fan park attendees; sampling; number of gifts distributed

• Statistics & Web Analytics: tracking the number of people signing up online; data opt-ins; online traffic, likes, re-tweets, followers, frequency and conversion. [This data must be used for CRM purposes to affect the commercial measures.]

So what is important?
If you strip it all back, we must be more commercially focused. Focus on how many customers you acquire, retention rates, average cost per customer, sales and profit. “The rest is just fluff”, says Matt Rogan, managing director of Two Circles. Quite right! I would also incorporate brand health metrics such as awareness, consideration, advocacy, affinity and trust, but these are only important if you can link these brand metrics to the more commercial metrics above; and if you can’t, they’re just fluff.

So, it’s essential to keep asking the ‘why’ question. But don’t worry, if the flexibility is a concern, and you feel bogged down measuring, monitoring and counting everything. It’s just not necessary. I reckon Albert Einstein had the measure of sponsorship.

Rob Mitchell 2

This is an ongoing debate in the sponsorship industry, so it would be good to hear any thoughts you may have.

By DMA guest blogger Rob Mitchell, Sponsorship and Marketing consultant at RJM Consulting and member of the DMA Brand Activation Council


Data privacy is now a “critical brand differentiator”

Data privacy is now a “critical brand differentiator” for businesses looking to acquire new customers, with consumers’ decision to share information driven by the use of trusted channels and transparency, new DMA research has revealed.

According to the findings of the Customer Acquisition Barometer 2014, 43 per cent of consumers prefer email as their most trusted channels for sharing information, closely followed by 42 per cent who rated brands’ own website as their favoured route. More than four in five (85 per cent) now will only share their information if it’s made clear that it will be used only by the company that collects it; 32 per cent say they expect a clearly worded privacy policy before they share.

The findings follow remarks made by deputy Information Commissioner David Smith, who earlier this month told delegates at the DMA’s annual data summit that brands which make “a feature of [their] privacy approach” and are “getting in tune” with customers are to be admired.

The report also found that only one in two UK consumers (52%) claim to have willingly shared their personal information with a company in the past 12 months, in spite of marketers saying more than half of their budgets (59 per cent) is being dedicated to customer acquisition activities – compared to just 20 per cent on retention.

While email and brands’ website dominate in the trust stakes, social is failing to win consumers’ approval – despite marketers’ commitment to it. Four in five (77 per cent) of marketers said they use it for acquisition purposes, but only 16 per cent rate it as ‘effective’. This is perhaps because 54 per cent of consumers rate it as their least trusted channel for sharing their information.

The report, which was produced by DMA in partnership with McDowall, surveyed 1,509 UK consumers and interviewed 116 senior marketers as the first annual benchmark of current trends in and critical issues brands face in acquiring new customers.

The DMA’s executive director Chris Combemale says that marketers must quickly adapt to the new expectations of consumers:

“Effective customer acquisition relies on trust and transparency which is undermined by some companies, organisations and institutions misusing, abusing and exploiting people’s information against their expectations and wishes.

“The most successful companies are respecting their customer’s attitudes to privacy and making trust a critical brand differentiator.”

The report also reveals that marketers are anticipating a shift in focus on their performance targets. Currently, 41 per cent report cost-per-acquisition as their primary measurement, compared to 37 per cent on quality of leads and 21 per cent on quantity of leads. However, over the next 12 months 35 per cent of marketers expect quantity of leads will rise to become their number one target.

Read the Customer Acquisition Barometer 2014 report

Read the Customer Acquisition Barometer 2014 infographic

By Tristan Garrick, the DMA’s Head of PR & Content

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