Every morning I spend about an hour catching up on news and events. Most of this effort is business related, and there are always a few “nuggets” I can use. Recently I found one… I read an article about the downgrading for a company’s stock, partially due to their digital marketing.
“We see a recent slowdown in both Google trend search and Instagram engagement over the holiday quarter — most notably in December — as somewhat concerning for a stock that currently relies heavily on momentum and robust growth to keep their premium valuation justified.”
Let that sink in a minute. In January Canada Goose was downgraded by analysts because of their digital marketing analytics from the preceding month. Wells Fargo lowered Goose’s price target from $80 to $68; that’s 15%, and they took an immediate hit in the market of over 10%. That translates to a loss in market capitalization of hundreds of millions of dollars. Partially over their digital marketing results.
Maybe I’m overreacting to this news, but the only time I’ve had a similar revelation was in 1985.
Digression—But Relevant Digression
My wife and I were both working for Warner Communications and involved in the launch of QUBE. A number of things spun out from QUBE including MTV, Nickelodeon, home shopping channels, travel channels, and Pay-Per-View television. At that time there was still a little bit of uncertainty about how these entities would fare, until one day when we were sitting in the car and heard “Money for Nothing” the first time. That was the moment we both knew MTV was going to be bigger than we had ever imagined.
I had the same realization this morning reading the article about Canada Goose. Maybe this has been going on a while, and I’m just ignorant of that fact, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in black and white. A company’s net worth diminished because of digital marketing analytics.
So bring this down to Earth… “so what and who cares, how does this affect me?”
Digital marketing is an essential part of any company’s revenue generation efforts: it matters, and we should all be paying attention. We’re in the business, so we do, but what do we measure and why.
Essential Digital Marketing Metrics Every CEO Should Care About
It’s easy to get caught up in likes, followers, and visitors, but in our opinion forward movement every month is more critical, so here is what we measure for ourselves and our clients, month-over-month.
Visitors: When we track this number we remove “bounces” and only focus on traffic in the geographic areas in which we are interested. The resulting metric will give you a real picture of the visits that matter to your strategic growth.
Pages Per Visit: The average number of pages visited by each visitor in each session. By working on your content strategy, you should be able to increase this metric over time. It reflects how relevant your content is to visitors.
Length of Session: A simple metric showing how long visitors spend on your site for the average visit. Again this can be used to measure the effectiveness of content and how relevant it is to the audience you are attracting.
Conversion Rate: Whether it’s sales, getting people to register for an event or fill out a contact form, track this number. Once you have established a baseline, work on improving it through different “Calls to Action,” improved copy or page layouts.
Traffic Sources: There are a lot of possibilities here, but for executive summaries, we focus on four key areas, or channels: Organic Search, Direct, Referral, and Social.
First, not every organization should be on every platform. Choose the best platforms for your organization and use each one differently, but all in a coordinated effort. We focus on overall growth and engagement.
Growth is pretty obvious, how much is your audience increasing over time.
Engagement this is the most critical factor for us. It directly measures how well your messaging is resonating with the audience. Engagement includes a number of factors, and they are a little different on each platform, but essentially it measures how well you are hitting the mark.