How to Measure Campaign Performance Like a Pro Marketer

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Guerrilla Marketing" by Jay Conrad Levinson. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Want to know how to measure campaign performance for your brand? Which method is used by marketing experts?

Jay Conrad Levinson is a marketing expert whose book, Guerrilla Marketing, has taught many readers how to advertise more effectively while spending less money. According to him, measuring the performance of an ad campaign goes further than simply assessing the amount of customer interest you create.

Read on to learn Levinson’s step-by-step method for measuring campaign performance.

Levinson on Measuring Campaign Performance

Many businesses determine the effectiveness of marketing methods by measuring how much customer interest they generate. Levinson claims that this approach to measuring campaign performance creates misleading results because increased customer interest doesn’t automatically translate to increased profits. Therefore, he argues that the only way to determine the effectiveness of different marketing methods is to measure how much profit they generate.

(Shortform note: Research clarifies why increased customer interest doesn’t guarantee increased sales and profits: People prefer to keep their options open instead of completing transactions. Browsing for products online or window shopping involves anticipating what it would be like to have all of these different things in your life. This process releases dopamine (the hormone that makes you feel good) into your bloodstream and increases your desire to seek out even more things that make you feel good. However, this dopamine hit stops the moment you stop imagining multiple possibilities and commit to one possibility. In other words, it feels more pleasurable to think about buying things than to actually buy them.)

The Step-by-Step Method

How can you measure the performance of different marketing campaign methods? Levinson suggests that you insert unique tracking codes into your marketing materials. Each time a customer interacts with your business, you’ll be able to identify what led them to your business and if it resulted in a sale. 

Levinson suggests that you use the following process to measure your campaign’s performance:

1) Create a marketing calendar:  Include all relevant details to help you plan and track your marketing activities, such as the timeline, budget, and costs for each marketing method.

(Shortform note: Marketing studies reveal the benefits of using marketing calendars to measure campaign performance both during and after the testing phase: They increase your success rate by 313%. The reason for this is simple—filling out a marketing calendar requires you to set specific goals, plan exactly how you’ll achieve them, and organize your time accordingly. This planning process inevitably improves your ability to implement all of your different marketing methods. If you’re not sure how to set up a marketing calendar, there are several free templates you can use.)

2) Define what you want this marketing method to achieve: What specific action do you want customers to take in response to this method? For example, you email a newsletter with a discount code because you want customers to click on that link and complete a purchase.

(Shortform note: Marketing experts suggest that you should consider your objective before defining the action you want customers to take. They explain that all marketing methods are an attempt to achieve one of eight objectives: Increase brand awareness, generate leads, acquire new customers, increase website traffic, establish industry authority, increase customer value, boost brand engagement, or increase revenue. Therefore, defining your objective will help you pin down what specific action you want customers to take.)

3) Direct customers to take this specific action: Incorporate a simple instruction that tells customers exactly what you want them to do. For example, “Call this number,” or “Respond to this email.”

(Shortform note: Marketing experts refer to this type of instruction as a call to action (CTA). According to them, an effective CTA starts with a command verb, uses words that provoke an emotional response, and provides a compelling reason to take the action. For example, “Sign up today and get 50% off your dream vacation.”)

4) Integrate a tracking code into this instruction: This will help you identify how customers respond to this particular method so you can better measure your campaign’s performance. Use different URLs, toll-free numbers, or coupon codes to track each of your methods.

(Shortform note: Experienced marketers expand on Levinson’s advice to integrate tracking codes into marketing materials. First, take advantage of digital tools to create trackable URLs, hashtags, and QR codes that integrate into both your online and offline campaigns. Then, use Google Analytics to analyze the specific online journey customers take in response to your method. The following is an example of the type of in-depth report you’ll receive: “Customer X landed on your website via the QR code from brochure #1. She Googled your company and clicked search result #3. Then, she visited blog article #7 and subscribed to your newsletter. She received newsletter #1, clicked on the link, and completed a transaction for product #17.)   

5) Measure your profits: Determining how much revenue your campaign earned is the key to measuring its performance. First, total your marketing expenses for this method. Then, total the sales value that this particular method generated. Finally, deduct your marketing expenses total from your sales value. For example, your marketing expenses for this method were $500. This method generated $1,500 in sales, resulting in $1,000 profit ($1,500 – $500 = $1,000).

(Shortform note: Marketing experts argue that Levinson’s process for measuring profits doesn’t provide accurate results. They explain that customers move through different psychological stages as they get to know your business and what you offer. Ideally, each time they’re exposed to one of your marketing methods, they feel more confident about your offer and move closer to completing a transaction. This means that even if a specific marketing method doesn’t directly contribute to increased sales, it does contribute to customer confidence and the likelihood of future sales. However, measuring the financial performance of individual marketing campaigns ignores the cumulative effect that multiple marketing campaigns create—thus providing inaccurate results.)

How to Measure Campaign Performance Like a Pro Marketer

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  • Why you don't need expensive mass-media marketing campaigns
  • How to create a profitable marketing message and strategy
  • How to define your target market and keep costs low

Emily Kitazawa

Emily found her love of reading and writing at a young age, learning to enjoy these activities thanks to being taught them by her mom—Goodnight Moon will forever be a favorite. As a young adult, Emily graduated with her English degree, specializing in Creative Writing and TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), from the University of Central Florida. She later earned her master’s degree in Higher Education from Pennsylvania State University. Emily loves reading fiction, especially modern Japanese, historical, crime, and philosophical fiction. Her personal writing is inspired by observations of people and nature.

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