The COVID-19 pandemic has forced today’s marketers to adjust everything from timing of product launches to campaign scope, messaging and more. (In a recent issue of The Beat, we addressed the ways in which brands are pivoting to adjust to these new realities).
While many large strategic initiatives may have been put on hold, what about measurement? You may be asking yourself – “should I even be measuring my digital marketing efforts during this time?”
The short answer is yes. You should absolutely continue to invest time and resources into analytics and measurable marketing. However, at a time when every dollar counts, you’ll want to take steps to ensure you’re getting the most value from your digital marketing efforts. Here are six smart strategies to adopt today.
Invest Responsibly in Critical Campaigns and Channels
Smart measurement will help ensure you’re spending your marketing budget wisely. Focus on high-performing digital channels that allow for nimble, “real-time” optimization (like Smart Zones digital advertising). And don’t forget to complete a thorough post-campaign analysis to learn from your results and make necessary adjustments for future campaigns.
Pay Attention to Current Events and Geographic Trends
Media performance may vary widely as the impact of the pandemic evolves both domestically and globally. Stay up-to-date on current developments and consider how these may impact consumer behavior. You’ll also want to evaluate media data by region and adjust accordingly to optimize your investment across target markets.
Avoid Short-Term KPIs
Even if you’ve shifted focus away from some of your long-term business objectives, it’s not wise to replace these with short-term KPIs. The current situation is evolving rapidly. Holding your marketing accountable for reaching near-term goals will only create stress and few meaningful insights. Instead, take this time to learn. Focus on fine-tuning your processes, performing bigger-picture data analysis and improving your campaign optimization efforts.
Track and Optimize Website Performance
Now more than ever, your website is your most critical marketing asset. Incorporate traffic-driving tactics into your channel mix and make sure you’re tracking website performance regularly. If e-commerce is now (or always was) part of your business model, set up reporting views and analytics to track and optimize e-commerce performance across devices.
Analyze the Impact of Major Announcements
A deep look at historical data is typically effective way to predict future trends (i.e. forecasting). But since these aren’t normal circumstances, today’s marketers must find new and creative ways to garner insights. One example is to use a timeline resource like this one to review how key virus-related milestones may have impacted channel performance. While it’s difficult to prove cause and effect, it might help contextualize shifts you are seeing in audience behaviors and/or paid media trends to better predict future behavior.
Invest in Planning and Strategies for 2021 and Beyond
According to consultancy McKinsey, “In a crisis, it’s natural to focus only on the near-term business results and adopt a pure survival strategy. But that could mean winning the battle but losing the war.” Learn from your data, improve your analytical capabilities and invest in a long-term measurable marketing plan. By using this time for strategic thinking and planning, you can set your brand up for success in a post-COVID world.
No matter how much the world and your customers change and evolve, smart measurement and analytics should always remain at the heart of your marketing strategy. Sure, you’ll have to make some adjustments. Things won’t always go as planned. But if you’re paying attention to data, measuring results and learning along the way, you’ll maintain your brand’s competitive edge for years to come.