Anduro Marketing

Marketing Channel or Marketing Campaign: What's the Difference?

A few years ago I spent a few days in Amsterdam when flying between Rome, Italy and Calgary, Canada. I had been to Amsterdam before and I loved it - the art, the canals and the people. It is a wonderful place to visit. Don't miss it if you are ever traveling to Europe.

Amsterdam has many ways for getting around including cars, walking, bicycles, trolleys, and boats. Not every city uses boats as a mode of transportation but Amsterdam has lots of canals and water channels. I took the picture above on a boat tour down one of the many canals. As you can see, the water comes right up to the doors of the houses. In Amsterdam this is called "convenience". In Calgary, we call this a "flood" - as we had in June 2013.

This brings me to the topic of differentiating between a marketing channel and a marketing campaign. Most likely the idea of comparing a channel from a campaign is elementary for most marketers. However, not everyone is familiar with all the terms that we sling around in marketing meetings. So I thought I would elaborate....

A marketing channel is a method or path that a marketer chooses to reach a target audience. In Amsterdam, a person can choose to bike, ride the trolley or take a boat. Each mode of transportation uses a different channel to get from A to B. Similarly, a marketing campaign is the vehicle that contains the message - similar to a boat that goes down the canal or channel of water. Another way of looking at this is that a channel continually flows; it keeps on moving whether or not you are using the channel. A campaign, on the other hand, has a start and a finish. A marketer may plan campaigns in the Spring and in the Summer but the channels they choose may be different or the same each time. 

Marketers often talk about using different types of channels to deliver a campaign for a specific message. Broadly, there are two groups of channels: traditional and digital. Traditional marketing channels include print, radio, TV, out-of-home (billboards), and trade shows. Examples of digital channels are listed in the image below. Google Analytics typically shows eight digital marketing channels, assuming all are used in a given time frame.

A "campaign" often involves the creative side of marketing and advertising. The objective of a campaign is to develop an attractive, engaging message that captures the attention and participation of the target audience.

Since we are a digital marketing agency, many of our clients engage our services to run campaigns on a variety of channels. We may do a product promotion on AdWords (Paid Search). Or use search engine optimization techniques to increase the profile of a company on Organic Search. Or we may increase the awareness of an event or improve customer engagement by using various campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (Social).

5 Essential Do's and Don'ts for Business

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has been around since 1944 in some version or another. They have a long history of helping small and medium-sized companies become the most competitive in the world. (See recent news release by CEO, Paul Buron.) Our company has not worked directly with the BDC but a few of our clients have, successfully.

A few years ago I signed up to receive a monthly email. The content and information is always excellent. If you are interested you can subscribe here.

Recently, I received a newsletter with a link to a very good video on YouTube that they had produced. For your reference, the Do's and Don'ts are listed below.

 The 5 Do's are:

  1. Innovate - Deliver more new products and adopt new technologies faster
  2. Seek Outside Advice - Often in the form of an advisory board
  3. Plan & Measure - You need a road map for growth and multiple performance metrics (KPIs)
  4. Hire & Keep the Best - For additional perspective on this topic look at:
    LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman on the biggest lie employers tell employees
    Do Goals Improve Employee Involvement? by Phillip Uglow
  5. Build Supplier Relationships - Develop a win-win relationship

The Don'ts are:

  1. Relying on Too Few Customers - You may lose that big client; watch out
  2. Neglecting Financial Management - Understand your financial statements
  3. Delaying Contingency Planning - Know where you might be vulnerable
  4. Ignoring Market Trends - 10% of companies fail because of new competition
  5. Waiting Before Getting Help - You can't do everything yourself

Have a look at the video. Then review it in detail. The suggestions are excellent.

Using Filters in Google Analytics

Have you noticed a jump in sessions recently?

A few of our clients and one of our websites are getting a bunch of spam from a website with the URL of "floating-share-buttons.com" or some version of that. A little bit of spam leaking through is not a big deal but this site seems to really bump up the sessions with no value - very annoying.

In Google Analytics under the Acquisition section on the vertical menu (All Traffic \ Channels \ Source as Referral) you will see something similar to this: 

Notice that there are quite a few sub domains - all are spam traffic. 

When you click on the link for this "referral" you are redirected to sharebutton.to and a page that looks like this:

There has been quite a bit written on what these sessions are, how they work and why companies are spamming sites. See Carlos Escalera's post: www.ohow.co/stop-floating-share-buttons-com-referral-spam-google-analytics/

The problem is that the traffic from these sites is useless from the point of view of gaining prospects and sales leads. The solution is to filter out sites like this. I'll outline the steps for you:

1. Log into Google Analytics for your website and choose the appropriate profile.

2. Click on the Admin link in the top horizontal menu.

3. Click on Filters under View section

4. Click on the red button for New Filter

5. Enter a name such as Referral Spam

6. Select Custom as the Filter Type

7. Remain on Exclude and choose Referral under Filter Field

8. Under Filter Pattern copy and paste the following: 
    floating-share-buttons.com|free-social-buttons.com

9. Click on Verify this filter to check to be sure you that you get some results in the last 7 days.

10. Save and you should have the following:

Now that you know how to create a filter in Google Analytics you can filter out other traffic that is not valuable - for example visits from company employees. All you have to do is create another filter and exclude the IP address of people in your company. 

17 Essential Marketing Metrics for Customer Acquisition

One of the difficulties when developing a customer acquisition strategy is the overwhelming number and often confusing definitions of marketing metrics that can be used to measure success.

In this post, I will review a list of 17 measures and metrics that are essential for tracking the success of any marketing campaign focusing on the acquisition of new customers. As a reminder from a previous post, our definition of a "measure" is a number that is derived from taking a measurement and a "metric" is a calculation between two measures. 

In the marketing metrics model that Joanne O'Connell and I developed, we differentiate between "acquisition" and "retention". Acquisition involves marketing and advertising activities that find new customers. Retention, in contrast, involves marketing activities that keep existing customers. It is our experience that many companies and most marketers know this difference but often they don't separate marketing metrics into these two categories. We think the distinction is important. Of course, with most marketing campaigns there is overlap but for simplicity we will ignore this aspect.

In this post, we will focus on the Customer Acquisition Funnel. A simple image search on Google gives hundreds of results for "marketing funnel". All of them have value and are trying to make a point. But for the measures and the metrics that we were looking to develop we couldn't find a funnel that illustrated the concepts that we wanted to capture. So we made our own marketing funnel. Obviously, this funnel will need to be modified to suit the specifics of your company.

You can read about our Acquisition Funnel in more detail in this post. Our funnel is a combination of a marketing funnel (Impressions and Visits) and a sales funnel (Prospects, Offers and Outcomes).

This funnel gives us our first 5 measures. The number of Impressions, Visits, Prospects, Offers and Outcomes. If you recall from a previous post, our definition of an Outcome is: "The desired behavior of the members of the target market influenced by the marketing investment and effort."  

The first 4 metrics (calculations from measures) are related to the conversions from one level of the funnel to the next. Each of the conversions is explained below. 

Visit Rate
This is the number of visitors that come to a location, website or social media property from one of the marketing channels. Using language made popular by Google AdWords this would be the Click Through Rate (CTR). The calculation is the ratio of Visits to Impressions. In other words, if there was 100,000 impressions and 1,000 people clicked through to a website, then the Visit Rate or CTR is 1%. 

Prospect Rate
The Prospect (or Lead) Rate is the number of Prospects that are developed as a result of the Visits to the website (or event or physical location). For example, if 100 people expressed an interested in a product from the 1,000 visits, then the Lead Rate is 10%. Note that in some situations like an ecommerce website where there may not be any Prospects. Our requirement for a Prospect is that we need to have enough information from them to be able to communicate with them. We need an email address, Twitter handle, LinkedIn connection or a phone number. If a company doesn't have any Prospects, then the solution is drop this level of the funnel and just use 4 levels in the Customer Acquisition Funnel.

Offer Rate
If we divide the number of Offers by the number of Prospects we have the Offer Rate. In our example, of 100 Prospects, we might persuade 30 to accept an Offer. In this case, the Offer Rate is 30%. As mentioned earlier, an Offer has to include a price. A web page with a price can be an "Offer". There are some unique situations where an Offer can be made without a true Prospect. An advertisement to a consumer target market that includes a price would be an example. In this case, there is not a Prospect as per our definition.

One unique version of an Offer is a Test Drive. This is actually a “Bonus Metric” and not part of the essential 17 metrics because not all companies can offer a “test drive”. There are a variety of things that can be considered for a "test drive" including test driving a car, downloading software as a trial, tasting a sample of food or liquor, or getting a tiny bottle of new shampoo in your mailbox. To calculate this metric you need to know the number of "test drives" or samples given and the number of Prospects. If we have 100 Prospects and 40 take a Test Drive, then the Test Drive rate is 40%. We can also calculate a second bonus metric by calculating the Test Drive Conversion rate. If 30 of the 40 drivers actually buy the product as a result of the experience then the conversion rate is 75%.

Take Rate
Take Rate is the number of Sales as a ratio of the number of Offers. This is often called “The Conversion Rate” but we are avoiding this nomenclature because of the confusion in many different systems, most notably Google AdWords.

An example of the Take Rate would be if we made 30 Offers and 15 were accepted then the Take Rate is 50%. For some companies this would be exceptional, yet for other companies this rate would be dismal and a note for concern.

The next series of metrics are the average cost for each level of the Customer Acquisition Funnel. But in order to calculate these metrics we need to add a sixth Measure: the cost of marketing, or what we like to call Marketing Investment. This is specifically the investment made in marketing over the time period that we are reviewing (day, week, month, quarter or year). Although marketing and advertising show up on an income statement as an "expense", marketing and advertising can be considered an "investment" because shareholders and managers expected that there will be a "return" as a result of the expenditure.

If we know the cost (i.e. the Investment) related to marketing, then we can calculate the average cost for each level of the Funnel.

For each of these metrics the calculation is to divide the cost by the number of Impressions, Visits... or Sales. In theory, these ratios are easy to calculate. However, in our experience, the difficulty is in getting accurate measures (data) out of the various systems and databases in a company.

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At this point we have 6 measures and 9 metrics for a total of 15; 2 more to go.

The ultimate marketing metric that we are aiming for is Return On Marketing Investment (ROMI). See my previous post on ROI vs ROMI for more detail. However, in order to calculate ROMI we need one final measure, Revenue. Once we have that we can calculate ROMI as (Revenue - Marketing Investment) / Marketing Investment. 

In total we now have 7 measures and 10 metrics for a total of 17 essential marketing measures and metrics for customer acquisition. We can illustrate these as a diagram:

or as a table:

The key to collecting the 17 Essential Marketing Metrics for Customer Acquisition is to have a system in place. As outlined at the beginning of this post, part of the system will be based on the structure of your Customer Acquisition Funnel. Once you have defined the levels of your funnel you can start collecting the measures for each level. If you are using all 5 levels of the funnel, you will have the first 5 measures. Calculating the first 4 metrics for conversions should be easy.

Next you will be able to calculate the 5 metrics related to the average cost for each level of your customer acquisition funnel. But these calculations require you to know how much you invested in marketing. Once you have that these metrics should be simple.

The final measure, revenue, is required to calculate ROMI. Most companies know this measure but you may have to segment new incremental revenue from total revenue to determine the true return on marketing investment for newly acquired customers.

The 17 essential marketing metrics for customer acquisition as presented will give managers an idea of ROMI. An alternative approach is to segment the measures and metrics by marketing channel. Obviously, this adds a level of complexity but the value is tremendous. Give it a try or give us a call and we will help you out.

Two Great LinkedIn Hacks You Should Know

1. Figure Out How Many Connections Someone Has
a) Search for a person in the top search bar
b) Look at the results and click on the "500+"

c) Look at the number of results in the top left corner

2. Export Details from All Your Connections
a) Hover over Connections and click on "Keep In Touch"
b) Click on the gear icon in the top right corne

C.) Click on Export LinkedIn Connections