How do you really measure integrated marketing? It’s an incredibly challenging aspect of integrated marketing for many different reasons. While multi-channel marketing campaigns typically measure the performance of each channel toward the end goals, integrated marketing requires that you measure how well the different channels or components are working together. Synergy between the different channels can create some powerful boosts to results, but it’s a bit of a murky area when it comes to measuring the integration efforts themselves.
Before we get into how to measure integrated marketing, let’s review some basic components of an integrated marketing campaign. Remember that a truly integrated campaign has:
Measurable quantitative and qualitative objectives.
Linked tactics, in other words tactics that are combined and measured as combinations either within specific channels or across different channels.
To measure integrated marketing efforts, you not only have to measure against objectives, you have to measure iteratively as the campaign progresses. This helps you adjust and refine linked tactics, making them more powerful as you move forward. Once again, the strategies never change – that’s what keeps you focused on the end goal.
Here are six ways to measure integrated marketing efforts throughout the course of your next project that you should incorporate into your weekly routine:
Landing Page Performance – Integrated marketing requires that no matter the task, you always have a destination above and beyond just a website. A landing page in our lexicon means whatever online destination you may be targeting. That can be anything from an actual landing page for a promotion, for example, to the LinkedIn profile of a CEO. Whatever it is, you need to measure not only the conversions to that page, but the overall traffic on that page. Integration is a bit like boats rising with the tide. You’re not always sure where the boost is coming from, so you want to continually look at the performance of the destination site. And by continually, I mean at least weekly and sometimes daily. For really intense campaigns, like event promotion for example, I might look on an hourly basis. Whatever you do, you want to build a correlation between your linked tactics and the activity on your destination.
Referral Traffic – You need to do a deep dive into the referral traffic on your target website using Google Analytics. This is where you can learn a lot about how well your linked tactics are working. I was able to identify some incredibly strong gains from – surprisingly – using Pinterest for my B2B clients because I kept an eye on referral traffic. You can look at the landing page, but also look at the overall referral traffic for your site. You may find that referrals increase from a particular channel or social media network after you’ve increased activity from other channels. This is not uncommon, and it’s a very good sign that you’re achieving integration.
Unplanned Messages – I look for unplanned messages on a regular basis throughout all the social media networks I’m working in. Unplanned messages are those messages that reiterate your key messages, but are not placed specifically by your campaign components. Gary Vaynerchuk coined the phrase “Crush It” in his popular book. Every time you hear someone say they’re “crushing it” they’re repeating an unplanned message from Vaynerchuk’s work. Strong integration results in familiarity across channels. Familiarity leads to adoption, and unplanned messages are a sign that you’re succeeding.
Email Engagement – Email is still a core component, if not the backbone, of most integrated marketing campaigns. Your email click through rates (CTR’s) and other measurements should be rising steadily as you build integration within your campaigns. Even if the emails are not specifically related to your campaign, ask to see those stats anyway. Once again, if you’re doing things well then people should become more familiar with your brand, product or service overall. And that means they should be paying more attention to your emails.
Keyword/Phrase Performance – If you don’t know how to measure the performance of particular keywords, learn. You want your content, whether it’s a press release, blog posts, or some kind of native advertising, to be performing well and steadily improving. If you don’t know the keywords or phrases you’re optimizing for, go back to the drawing board as this is a key component of an integrated marketing campaign.
Social Media Insights – Your social media insights should be rising steadily in most areas. This means engagement, fans/follower counts, CTR’s and the like. Some of these will depend on your brand or product, but you’ll find when integration is going well, these statistics continue to rise no matter what the environment or season.
For the most part, there isn’t a great integrated marketing dashboard that combines all of these things in one. Hubspot and Marketo are the closest that I’ve seen, but to measure integrated marketing correctly still requires some manual work. But if you budget the time each week, and create a strong process for pulling the data, even if it’s just a spreadsheet, it should really help. Remember, you want to combine linked tactics and continually work in that arena to see how you can impact these measurements. The characteristics of your brand will determine how much of an impact is created from the combinations of different tactics across different channels.