Is Digital Marketing Measurable & the Importance of Marketing Metrics in Digital Marketing

For a large part of the last four decades, mass mediums like television, print, outdoor, and radio attracted maximum marketing dollars, with digital slowly gaining a share of the marketer’s wallet in the last decade or so. The reason marketers bet on digital was because of its ability to provide a return on investment. The pandemic further accelerated digital budgets, which could largely be attributed to the advancements in ad technology. It was the only marketing medium to witness growth despite the pandemic.

The term ad technology started to gain prominence as it provided marketers with a sense of freedom and control over their campaigns like they had never experienced before. Prominent Ad tech giants like Google and Facebook created self-serve platforms that allowed the marketing ecosystem to start, pause or stop campaigns at the click of a button while providing real-time data to gauge campaign effectiveness and the option to run multiple creatives to understand what worked best for the brand.



Digital mediums effectively started to challenge the famous quote by David Ogilvy that said, “Half the Money I Spend on Advertising is Wasted, and the Trouble is I Don’t Know Which Half.” While this quote was pretty accurate for traditional mediums which rely on a “spray and pray” approach, advancements in measurement tech over the last decade have ensured that the saying is no longer relevant for a modern marketer. Measurement solutions like Click trackers, web/ mobile analytics, and brand lift studies help marketers determine campaign efficacy across the funnel.

Today we can safely say that 80-85% of campaign spending is measurable, whereas there can be a 10-15% discrepancy due to fraudulent use of bots to propagate ad fraud by unethical publishers. In short, there aren’t any marketing mediums as measurable as digital!

Speaking about metrics, digital marketing platforms provide the ability to track more than 200 metrics; however, not all of them are relevant to a business. It’s very easy for a marketer to get lost in this maze of metrics. Since some metrics are like a mirage, they may appear to be working towards your business KPI’s, but there is a high chance they are not! Therefore, it is critical to choose metrics that serve your business goals. In digital marketing circles, it is very common to see marketers track the wrong metrics, which are also referred to as vanity metrics. Here are some statements that build a case for monitoring the right metrics:

  • A click is a vanity metric if you want people to spend time on your site
  • An app install is a vanity metric if the user hasn’t opened the app for usage
  • An impression becomes a vanity metric if it’s served in a non-viewable area on a site.

It is very easy for marketers to get carried away by the quantum of metrics and promote gaudy numbers as evidence of growth that do well for a great PR exercise.

Here are some other ways that build a case for choosing the right metrics:

  • While metrics provide necessary information about campaign success, they also highlight detrimental areas to the business. In short, they can serve as a warning system when campaigns aren’t performing as expected and help marketers take suitable correction measures on time.
  • Metrics are a necessary aspect of evaluating the performance of a campaign and understanding user interaction with your brand’s creative assets like websites, videos, and blogs. An organized metric dashboard helps make critical data-driven decisions and set benchmarks for future campaigns.

For anyone beginning their journey in digital marketing, here are some important metrics that you can keep a close eye on:

  • Time spent on site
  • Traffic sources
  • Entry & Exit Pages on the website
  • Returning Visitors
  • Customer Lifetime Value
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Email open rate
  • Social Reach
  • Social Engagement
  • Bounce Rate

Choosing the right metrics is often linked to separating the wheat from the chaff. More often than not, a grave mistake marketers make when it comes to viewing metrics is to look at them at the end of the campaign. This is what creates massive inefficiencies as your spent budgets haven’t worked towards your business KPIs. I sincerely hope this article urges you to look at metrics as the starting point of your digital marketing initiatives and not the other way around.

~ Soham Bhagnari, Digital Marketing Practitioner

PPC ad spending is slated to reach over $258 billion in 2022 as predicted by eMarketer. In this global, dynamic market, data-driven marketing strategies are the need of the hour. Upskill yourself in this domain and learn the latest in SEO, PPC, and analytics. Enrol in a digital marketing course from top universities such as ISB, IIM Kozhikode and Northwestern University Kellogg and be at the forefront of change. 

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