Digital marketing is penetrating deep within the territories of global business ecosystem, and it is showing no sign of slowing down. Startups and organizations alike are embedding social media campaigns in tandem with their growth strategies to increase their brand awareness, reputation, traffic, and eventual ROI. This being said, digital marketing requires systematic planning, execution, and tracking without which campaigns can derail from their desired results.
The complete timeline of marketing campaigns can be divided into five segments—planning, tracking, validating, monitoring, and evaluating. To achieve desired results from your marketing campaign, it is imperative to understand and master these bedrock aspects.
No strategy or campaign can start without planning. Go to whiteboard and jot down all the objectives, resources, cost, market, and other relevant factors that would fuel the digital campaign going forward. Plan how the data would be used and ask yourself these questions.
- What is the purpose of this campaign?
- What parameters do you want to track?
- Which channel/tool would be suitable?
- Is there offline data that you would like to link?
Tracking will help you keep tabs on your visitors and learn their behaviour on the website. Use a tool that would give you valuable insights and relevant analytics to identify your target market and core customers. Also implement a standard naming convention approved by a governance team. It is also quite important to avoid duplications in parameters which building links. (For example, mywebsite.com?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Facebook&utm_term=Product1)
Instead of using Facebook in both source and campaign, have unique parameters that would help in identifying the campaign. This also saves valuable space for other important values you might want to pass. You can put a tool in place to reduce the URL length, but ensure each campaign has its own unique link. Finally, maintain a spreadsheet to store each campaign data such as links, parameters, and duration.
Use the spreadsheet created and check if same values are passed when the campaign links are clicked. Confirm if the data is being captured as expected. Rectify the tags if you notice inconsistency or any errors. In cases where the campaign must go live without a testing phase, ensure that the links are accurate.
Look out for duplicate tags, untagged campaigns, spelling errors or deviations from the decided naming convention.
Once the validation is done, continue to monitor the campaign. This step could alert you if there are breaks in the tracking system or any inconsistencies that may have been missed during the validation stage.
Set up automated reports or dashboards to monitor the data during regular intervals. You can also use analytics tool based alerts to know if something breaks down as soon as such an event happens.
Evaluate the quality of the tracking data after the campaign has ended. This step is important as it helps in answering questions such as :
- Could we have tracked the campaign in a better manner?
- How can we minimize the errors caused during the current campaign?
- Is there a better naming convention that could be followed? And, most importantly,
- How can we improve the tracking for the future campaigns?
Vendor Specific Tips and Tricks:
You can use the Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder, to help you add parameters to URLs you use in custom web-based or email ad campaigns.
Campaign tracking in Adobe Analytics is different from Google Analytics and uses Campaign tracking IDs. Generally, s.campaign parameter is set to capture the campaign data. You can further use Saint Classifications or marketing channel processing rules to categorize this data.