Marketing Measurement - What Matters?

At AgencySparks’ last Marketers Breakfast, it became clear that measuring and reporting marketing success is a major challenge for most marketers. What are the KPIs (key performance indicators) that matter? Should everything that could be measured be reported? There are so many “micro-metrics” in addition to big-picture numbers - which are important and which are trivial?

Every marketing tactic has a different set of measures: social shares, Likes, and comments, mobile downloads, video views, user time on page, emails opened, blog views, etc. are all important to those disciplines. Many of these metrics add into the larger KPI for a brand.

According to a 2017 Gartner report, customer experiences are the most pressing mandate for marketers. What used to be a linear customer journey has turned into a non-sequential scatter plot of micro-interactions between brands and customers, where potential customers may interact with brands hundreds of times before actually purchasing. Attributing the real value of these micro interactions to overall business objectives has put marketers between a rock and a hard place.

By themselves, these micro-interactions don’t mean much, but over time, they have a real impact. Marketers have always faced executive pressure to justify their marketing tactics, measuring the efficacy of these micro-interactions and mapping the customer journey is both a huge challenge and a huge necessity.

How the customer journey has changed

The rules of the customer journey are still fundamentally the same, but they have evolved a great deal.

Credit: Tom Fishburne,

Credit: Tom Fishburne,

Between video marketing, traditional advertising mediums, mobile, social, etc. any given customer has almost certainly interacted with a brand across hundreds of touch points, transforming the purchase funnel entirely. If the customer journey has drastically changed… shouldn’t the approach that marketers take to measuring success change as well?

Start at the end.

Starting from the purchase and working backwards, marketers should identify general patterns in the customer journey and customer engagement that lead to a sale, rather than evaluating tactics individually.


Understand how customers use each channel and map KPI’s accordingly.

Giving customers what they want, when they want it can greatly impact the overall success of a campaign. Some customers want to learn more or compare products/services, while others want to move towards a purchase. Metrics should be tracked in a way that corresponds with the overall intent of the customer in interacting with the brand.

Credit: Google

Credit: Google

Create multiple dashboards.

According to Information Dashboard Design, a dashboard is a visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or more objectives; consolidated and arranged on a single screen so the information can be monitored at a glance.

Since the purpose of a dashboard is to simplify the data, creating multiple dashboards for different stakeholders within the company ensures simplistic reporting without sacrificing visibility or depth.

The DOs and DON'Ts of Marketing Measurement


  • Have an executive dashboard, operations dashboard, and a tactical dashboard

  • Start at the primary business goal and work backwards

  • Assign an owner to each given metric - specific to an area, job role, or person

  • Identify the metrics that would provide insight into how many people are consuming content, what they are doing with content, and whether or not they like the brand’s content. Then, looking at the performance of past content, use the data to map out future content.

  • Take into account what stage of growth the company is in.

  • Establish a benchmark so that you can monitor trends in the data over time.

  • The user should be able to click into dashboard metrics to get deeper into data.


  • Track “vanity” metrics.

  • Use a one-size-fits-all marketing dashboard for all stakeholders involved.

  • Track metrics that are irrelevant to company goals.

  • Prioritize quantity over quality when it comes to metrics. More is not better, no matter how tempting it may be to track everything under the sun.

  • Prevent your analytics reporting strategy from evolving with the company.

At the end of the day, tracking metrics helps to quantify current performance, identify trends in data, and keep employees focused on the overarching company goals. As a marketer, what is your best advice for tracking the success of smaller scale marketing tactics?


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