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A 7-step Guide for Measuring Cross-Channel Performance

Chelsea Dougherty

Sr. Product Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

As a marketer, you know a thing or two about change. With new platforms, tools, and strategies popping up all the time, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s working, what’s not, and what to do next. Sometimes, things like measuring analytics or tracking your marketing campaigns are pushed to the back of your to-do list, especially when it requires logging into multiple platforms.

However, tracking your marketing performance is the key to knowing what’s working (or not) by finding out how visitors are interacting with different brand touch points. From there, you can determine how to better allocate marketing resources to priority channels, as well as optimize campaigns.

Chances are, you’re already using multiple channels to promote your products and run different campaigns, like Facebook, Instagram, and email marketing. Here’s your 7-step guide on how to track those channels effectively.

Step 1: Set Your Goals

Any successful business endeavor starts with establishing your goals. When you set your goals, remember to follow a SMART framework: 

  • Specific: Identify details like the reason for the goal, the deadline, the objectives, and the assigned resource persons. 

  • Measurable: Make sure to measure the goal's success using concrete metrics and backed up by key performance indicators. 

  • Achievable: Dream big, but remember to stay grounded with your realistic goals. 

  • Relevant: Always look at the big picture for your business and connect your goals to other existing objectives to avoid redundancy. 

  • Time-bound: Define and follow a clear timeline for accomplishing the goal. 

Measuring your multichannel marketing strategy also means tracking the return on investment (ROI) of each campaign and channel. For example, if you have an ongoing search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, you need to project and then track the ROI of your SEO campaign. If you run ads, check out your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Step 2: Identify Your Channels

Take the chance to audit all your channels. Which social platforms do you use? Are there any old pages or accounts floating around that used to belong to the business? What about old ad campaigns?

  • Social media: Many customers use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and LinkedIn to discover businesses. And these customers rarely log out and spend an average of 144 minutes every day on social media. Within an overall social media campaign, you might be spending on a combination of paid and organic posts, influencers, and ads to promote your posts.  

  • Paid promotions: Through pay-per-click (PPC) channels, advertisers pay platforms and publishers to post their ads in the form of images, entire websites, top search results, posts on social media, or email newsletters. For example, a real estate agent may use PPC and SEO results to drive customers to their website and get more calls booked for their business. 

  • Email marketing: Email is still one of the most effective ways to get in touch with your users and customers, and email marketing services have built-in analytics software to track your campaigns, including metrics like open rates and click rates. 

  • Public relations campaigns: You might already have or are planning to conduct a PR campaign, including getting featured on multiple websites or doing outreach to forge partnerships with other businesses. 

  • Blogs, podcasts, YouTube, etc.: Include current content marketing efforts you currently have. Do you have a blog that publishes new valuable posts daily? Or are you promoting a podcast for your brand?

Step 3: Use a Multi-touch Attribution Model

Tracking individual channels can be not only time-consuming (as you have to learn and juggle multiple analytics dashboards) but also inaccurate. If you were to visit the analytics dashboard of each individual platform and tally up all your conversions, it would be significantly higher than your actual sales or conversions. Reporting tools from individual channels tend to focus on their own contribution to conversions and ignore the contribution from other channels. For your multi-channel marketing strategy, you need to use multi-touch attribution to measure your performance.

In a nutshell, multi-touch marketing attribution identifies and evaluates the touch points that may have led customers to make a purchase or finally convert. Since you have several marketing channels, attribution helps you measure which channels have the highest conversion rates. 

Marketers use attribution to measure a customer's entire engagement with the product as well as optimize campaigns and spending on advertisements to improve ROI. For example, an e-commerce company can use marketing attribution to check where a bulk of their product page viewers are coming from. Did they end up purchasing after getting an email for a discount code? Did they purchase through a “Deals” page for an ongoing sale?

Step 4: Determine Important Data and Metrics

When you run a small business and track your campaign performances, it can be overwhelming to see all the different metrics and KPIs that you could be looking at. Here are some of the most essential measurable KPIs you should pay attention to: 

  • Conversion rate: You can get your average conversion rate per campaign by taking the number of visitors on your business website who finished a purchase then dividing it by the total number of visitors on a given timeline. Use this to track the number of users who, for example, registered for an account, downloaded resources, signed up for a newsletter, or purchased from a recent email blast. 

  • Cart abandonment rate: If you run an online store, an important metric to track is your abandoned cart rate. This refers to the number of visitors who leave behind items in their cart during checkout compared to the number of visitors who actually complete a purchase. Measuring this rate can help you implement effective retargeting campaigns to recover those carts. 

  • Customer retention rate: This tells you the percentage of customers retained by your business throughout a specific period.

Step 5: Leverage a Cross-channel Performance Measuring Tool

The great thing about measuring multi-channel marketing strategies is being able to use powerful tools that will help you track and monitor the performance of said channels. Google Analytics, for example, is a great tool with lots of data. It is free to use for business owners. You can use it to track attribution, clicks, and measure things like traffic and conversion goals on your website. 

If you’re looking for a dedicated cross-channel performance tracking and attribution tool, AdRoll’s Cross-channel Performance Dashboard is the solution for a consolidated view of all your digital marketing efforts — web, social, email, and more — and how they impact conversions and other KPIs.

Screenshot of the AdRoll cross-performance dashboard.

Because the Cross-Channel Performance Dashboard uses UTMs, it identifies and deduplicates data from each channel — in other words, you can track website traffic from its origin and the paths customers may take. Layering in attribution deduplicates the conversions across all the activities and helps you properly assign credit across them according to the attribution model you choose. 

The AdRoll UTM Builder makes it easy to create tracking links.

AdRoll’s Cross-Channel Performance Dashboard: Features 

Click the image above to download this feature sheet for future use!

Step 6: Synthesize Your Data Into Insights

As you track your campaigns, you'll be able to extract a lot of data about each one's performance. The most important step isn't merely tracking your data; it's about turning that data into actionable insights that will guide and inform your next business decisions. 

Google has shared a framework for marketers who want to turn their data into valuable insights, including knowing what to pay attention to and how to make sense of the numbers and graphs you'll be seeing as you measure your channels.

The AdRoll Insight Tiles allow you to review data at a glance by platform.

Step 7: Turn Insights Into Powerful Campaigns

We said to turn data into insights; the final step is to turn those insights into actions. Armed with rich insights about your customers and campaigns, you’ll be able to adjust your future marketing efforts more effectively. 

Use the insights you gleaned from top-performing and even low-performing posts and campaigns to help you accomplish a number of business goals, like generating demand for products and services, increasing your website traffic, or getting more click-throughs on your emails. 

As a brand, note that this skill may take some time to develop — but you’ll get better the more you do it. This is where constant experimentation comes in. The best way to experiment is to experiment with the right data. 

Launch Powerful Campaigns With AdRoll

You don’t need a huge team to be able to implement data-driven marketing campaigns. Learn more about how you can create and report on campaigns that return using AdRoll. 

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