Make sure your measurements match your goals.
The young marketing team for a high-end home brand was reviewing the analytics for the company’s latest digital ad campaign. The campaign looked great, and as best they could tell, the ad units were generating a decent level of click-throughs to the campaign landing page.
If the campaign performed well, more dollars were going to be invested in an expanded, second phase. The stakes were high, and as such, the CMO was determined to build a solid business case for the increased spend.
But there was just one problem: the click-throughs were coming from consumers who were dramatically younger than the brand’s core customer. As a result, the CMO’s young marketing team was misreading the tea leaves. He later told me that the team members were absolutely convinced that the brand should double-down and invest heavily in targeting the 18-24 year-old segment, based purely on the click data.
What the CMO knew that his team didn’t know was this: his clickers were dramatically different from his converters. When he dove deeper into the data, he saw that the 18-24 segment was indeed indexing nearly twice as high for click-throughs as his core 35-44 customer. But when he looked at the conversion rate (among those who saw, but did not click the unit, yet later visited the site), he saw a reverse correlation, where his core customer indexed nearly twice as much as the younger “clickers.”
He saw it as a great teachable moment for his young team – to demonstrate how a single metric, much like a single piece of a puzzle, can lead to bad decisions without seeing the bigger picture. I happen to think that it’s a great lesson for all of us, too, not just a young team.
Quantcast published a study that demonstrated very similar results as the high-end home brand, using an online retailer and an insurance company to chart the demographic differences between clickers and converters.
In each of these cases, had the brands optimized their campaigns based solely on click-through rates, they would have been migrating their media buy away from their most likely purchasers.
With a little coaching from the home brand CMO, the marketing team set their performance goals based on the metrics that ultimately drove the success of the campaign – which in their case was leads, referrals and conversions – and then used the right measurements to continually refine their approach.