When Numbers Talk: What Defines Success in a Marketing Campaign Report?

Another little boy in math class overwhelmed by the math formula.

Not everyone is into numbers—and that’s fair. For some people, the math can be annoying because it’s hard to understand, confusing as hell, and I often wondered if I’d ever use it in my life again (which is why I hated it so much in school). But much like my own math teachers and Shakira’s hips, the numbers don’t lie. As a matter of fact, they can tell us plenty of stories about how well your online campaign is doing; the hardest part is actually listening and paying attention to what they have to say.

Combining Metrics

Here’s the deal: Numbers don’t function on their own. Single out just one number in a huge spreadsheet, and it won’t mean much to a client. Combine it with another column to the left and you might see things (excuse the upcoming pun) add up. However, you’ll still need more than that if you want the full picture of your client’s campaign performance.

After working with metrics on a daily basis, you start learning how to listen to numbers and put them together to make some sense out of them. That’s why isolating one single metric is not always a good idea to understand what is going on.

More Than Just Leads

We often get asked what our top performing ads or campaigns are. The answer might sound simple and straightforward, but it’s not that easy when you’re dealing with a plethora of statistics. What is considered “good performance? Of course, having tons of leads is a good indicator, but when we work with non-e-commerce websites, not everything is black and white. There are more shades of gray in an online marketing campaign report than in that horribly-written best-selling book.

A decrease in clicks, for instance, can be worrying—we always want to increase website traffic, right? But if it comes tied to a higher Click-Through-Rate, this could mean that ads are reaching users highly interested in the product we advertise. If a decrease in bounce rate occurs at the same time, it’s safe to assume that user engagement increases and clients are now closer than ever to converting it into a lead—that’s money well-spent on a click.

This is what happens when we look at all the numbers: we have a better idea of the campaign’s performance than if we just stick to one or two metrics. Let me give you an example:

Facebook ad performance table

This is an ad we ran a few months ago on Facebook. It was shown to 34,307 people with 1,848 total clicks on the ad and it resulted in 5 online leads. If we divide the total cost of the ad by the number of the leads, we have a Cost Per Result of ($170) The results seem great, but not very impressive at first glance. We still need more context.

Now let’s expand the table a bit more.

Facebook ad performance table with user engagement

This is where things get interesting. Now that we added Facebook post metrics, we can see that the post received high amounts of engagement through comments, shares, and Facebook reactions. When you put together the Click-Through Rate, post reactions, comments and shares on top of the previous data, we get a whole new perspective of the account’s performance.

Leads vs. Engagement? Why Not Both!

Can we say the ad did not perform well because of the low number of leads? No, because that is not what the engagement metrics are telling us. In the eyes of the public, this was one hell of an ad. We got people talking and sharing our content, and sometimes, this is as precious as a form submission.

Are leads important? No doubt! But there’s more to performance reports than meets the eye. A good relationship between Marketing Managers/Analysts and clients is crucial to understand expectations, needs and what the numbers are really telling us — something that, at Strathcom, we pride ourselves in achieving.

The little boy finally conquered his fear over math. Good for him.

So if the account’s performance report you get from your agency is just a random collection of numbers and figures that don’t seem to make sense, give us a call. It’s about time you let those numbers have their say, instead of burning all your high school math notes like I did!

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