One of the biggest criticisms and challenges of digital marketing is understanding the impact these activities are having on a small business’s bottom line. More specifically, small businesses want to know what the return on investment (ROI) is for the time and money they spend on promoting their business online.
There are a variety of marketing analytics available to gauge the impact of digital marketing, but the “best” or more relevant types of analytics are widely disputed. While “clicks” are the traditional measure, many are turning to more complex, harder to monitor analytics that identify customer intent, such as searching for directions on a map.
New technologies and tracking tools, specifically smartphones, are allowing marketers to see if those exposed to a digital ad actually ended up making a store visit. As tracking and performance analytics become more sophisticated, businesses big and small will begin to better understand how digital marketing is impacting their bottom line.
Until then, each channel (email, websites, social media, etc.) has a unique set of analytics associated with them, and each should be monitored in order to continuously improve and optimize the efforts on these channels.
- Monitor your core digital activities (website visits, social media followers and engagement, email open rate, etc.)
- When executing a new marketing initiative or channel, make note of date and monitor sales/leads closely
- Many marketing actives take time to have an impact, so give it 1-3 months before expecting any uptick in your analytics