Marketing departments have long had a ill-deserved reputation for being spoofers; making outrageous claims, embellishing a product descriptions and claiming every increase in sales figures in a bid to justify their advertising budgets.

This was often due to the difficulty of accurately measuring how much a particular advertisement has influenced a customer’s decision to purchase, or what kind of changes would be necessary to change customer behaviour.

One of the most useful aspects of digital marketing, compared to this kind of traditional offline marketing, is that it is measurable.

Imagine that a new restaurant has opened in your town.

In a non-digital world, you find out about this restaurant in a review column in a Sunday newspaper, you hear an advertisement on the radio or a friend tells you about their experience there when you meet for coffee.

The interaction is passive, and until you actually visit the restaurant or phone them to make a booking, they have no indication of your levels of interest, or even awareness. Any marketing or PR efforts undertaken by the restaurant in this scenario have to be lumped together as part of a general campaign and tenuously linked to any increase in footfall into the restaurant.

In a digital world, you might come across the restaurant in very different circumstances.

Say for instance, you are searching in an online restaurant guide for a new place to try and come across this same restaurant. The guide has given them a good review so you click on the link to have a look at their website. The sample menu on the website seems to suit your taste so you use their form to make a booking online, signing up for their monthly newsletter as you do so.

In this context, the customer is actively searching for the service being advertised and the restaurant can track and measure their interest and engagement at every point of the online journey:

  • The click-through rate from their profile on the review site.
  • Your journey through their website; which pages you visit and how long you spend there.
  • The number of bookings that come through the website.
  • The number of newsletter signups and from that, customer information which can be used for more targetted special offers and updates.

Digital measurement allows marketing campaigns to be responsive to customer feedback, to change quickly when a campaign is not being received as expected and gives the marketing department hard figures to justify every cent that is spent.

TL;DR Measurement = Proof, not Spoof!

Dilbert.com

Marketers have a reputation for being full of rubbish