Last updated: How to measure digital activities: Online, mobile, store performance

How to measure digital activities: Online, mobile, store performance


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Optimization of integrated marketing plans requires knowing which activities are driving value and which aren’t. Understanding how to measure digital activities against online, mobile, and store performance is difficult because, for most brands, no one team is prioritizing how digital marketing is impacting overall business performance. 

The problem isn’t that marketers don’t know this – it’s finding what to prioritize amongst the data collected, then measuring it. Increased investment in digital in 2020 and 2021 means there’s untapped opportunity for brands to clearly measure the impact of digital activities against business objectives.

Cue another marketing truism: this is only possible with streaming data converted into real-time insights across all channels.

How to measure digital activities: Why measurement challenges abound for digital marketers

The majority of companies don’t have online, mobile, and store performance insights built into their technology to be able measure, optimize, and guide an experience that delivers value for the customer and the business.

Recent data from Deloitte suggests that 90% of consumers still buy in-store, usually after researching online – yet there’s a divide. Most companies only measure consumer activity in one place: online. 

Without the data and insights you need on customers, marketing, and business in one place, how can you compare different initiatives in real-time or understand how each contributed to revenue growth?

There are three main problems that make measuring digital marketing channels against business outcomes particularly difficult.

3 problems measuring digital activities against business objectives

When it comes to learning how to measure digital activities – specifically regarding the measurement of digital marketing on business outcomes – historically, it’s been near impossible. Marketers have long strived to understand how marketing campaigns, digital channels, and which segments of customers have driven overall business performance, but three primary issues have stood in the way:

  1. Analyzing cross-channel acquisition activities
  2. Acting quickly on real-time data
  3. Knowing which investments drive maximum returns

Let’s delve into each.

Problem #1: Analyzing cross-channel acquisition activities

The channel explosion of the 2000s made most companies feel they must have a presence across dozens or more. And distinguishing among owned media and paid media to know what’s truly driving acquisition with the lowest cost has always been difficult.

Confidently distributing budget and resources where things are working based on data becomes tough with disparate information sitting in silos.

Problem #2: Acting on data quickly

Due to problem #1, brands have a hard time acting with agility to change what they’re doing and stay ahead of customers. In fact, this usually takes external agencies, data science teams, additional marketing resources and creative teams, user experience teams, and technical teams.

Acting quickly on insights is like turning a massive ship on a dime – not likely. Brands must be able to act and try new things in-the-moment.

Problem #3: Knowing which investments drive maximum return

Given the obstacles, it’s become difficult to decipher what’s working and what isn’t – plus where you should invest resources to get the most ROI.

The rest of this post explores how to solve these pervasive issues with real-time data from a single solution.

To reveal whether you’re able to measure digital vs. “other” in depth, ask: 

  • Are we driving same-store sales at the rate of online sales?
  • Is our mobile app driving net new revenue or moving in-store revenue to another channel?
  • Can we switch between AOV, purchase rate, units per order, and repeat purchase frequency via online, offline, mobile, or combined?
  • What channels are performing best within campaigns?
  • What’s the best marketing channel mix to invest in?
  • How are marketing campaigns performing against business performance?

Without insights on customers, marketing, and business performance in one place, it’s difficult to prioritize resources and ascertain what to invest.

The value of real-time insights

Real-time data gives you speed and agility in decision making so you can measure the impact of personalized campaigns against your store, online, and mobile app performance, improving key business metrics such as purchase frequency and average order value (AOV).

Calculating how well channels like email, in-app, and push are impacting your campaigns across stores and online — or even calculating the number of days customers typically defect — are usually numbers brands don’t get to see in real time (and they often measure with Excel spreadsheets). This simply doesn’t scale. We’ve seen how quickly customers move across different brands and channels. 

If you don’t know how to measure digital activities, and can’t measure customer behavior and campaign performance as it happens, you’re unable to fix what’s not working. These delays negatively impact the entire experience (plus, you’re missing out on growth opportunities). 

As you start to incorporate unified, real-time data into your marketing execution and find specific use cases that help drive repeat purchase and loyalty, your business will quantifiably improve. 

A single “source of truth” for all channels and data allows you to:

  • Have a single picture of everything, from same-store sales to online sales, down to store-level reporting
  • Optimize budget by identifying and investing in 1:1 communications to customers you know will defect
  • Personalize the customer journey across any touchpoint, even from store to store
  • Measure the impact of marketing across online, offline versus mobile campaigns
  • Use your unidentified store-level data to identify more transactions and match them back to a customer

Using an integrated technology platform (not point solutions)

When you manage all engagement channels within the same platform, you can build, view, and leverage business insights to guide your strategy by connecting the interactions from the customer experience you deliver — then connect them to key business metrics. 

Using data from different systems simply doesn’t allow such a holistic view. As marketers we require visibility into all touchpoints, in real time, to quickly act on opportunities. 

These real-time insights can help measure how well campaigns are performing for specific customer segments and how well each channel is performing within that campaign. This helps improve existing channel performance and add new channels to your marketing mix for use in the most efficient way. 

It also gives you room to expand and experiment with different strategies and channels, plus guides the experience you provide to your customers. 

“When we spend on digital, it is our company-wide marketing spend as opposed to just online sales, and when you do get that customer online, that customer can actually be pushed back in stores through email, remarketing, or pushing local inventories. It’s working out how to attribute a store sale from your digital investment.” – Mike Chang, Head of Digital, City Beach

A single platform — with insights on sales, products, customers, business and marketing performance — actually enables a measurable impact on business outcomes. Real-time insights derived from in-the-moment data allows the right decision at the right time to deliver a seamless experience across every touchpoint, ultimately creating more repeat purchases and loyalty. 

Customer experience is not just about personalizing marketing communications. It’s about using customer insights like lifecycle and loyalty status and processing these pieces of information as they’re available at each point on the customer’s journey… all from one source.

Activate your marketing superpowers: Turn real-time insights in action

Brands consolidating all offline and online customer data into real-time product recommendations/predictions across channels are seeing marked increases in key metrics.

“Salling Group used offline purchase data to drive online sales by using product recommendations and automated audiences in omnichannel campaigns. This resulted in 25% revenue growth within 5 weeks.” – Jens Pytlich, Digital Marketing Manager

Skincare, makeup, and fragrance brand Estée Lauder understands and executes on real-time data. They use the rich SMS channel (SMS with a link to a personalized landing page) to drive measurable — and improved — results. 

The brand measures their SMS campaigns with email performance, for example, with the “revenue per customer” metric. Due to their real-time integration, they measured rich SMS as 8x ROI compared to email. They also looked at customers who were interacting solely on mobile channels versus customers exclusively using email, and identified that there was double the revenue on the messaging channel compared to the email channel. 

How it can be done: Post-purchase in-store to online cross-sell

  • One lifecycle marketing tactic that allows you to connect on- and offline data is “in-store to online post-purchase cross sell.” This tactic looks at offline purchase data and uses it to drive repeat sales through digital channels and measure the impact across online, mobile, and stores as part of an integrated omnichannel strategy. The tactic can be run across email, websites, or social media retargeting ads.

What comes after learning how to measure digital activities?
Anything is possible.

Top retailers are measuring their investments in digital to:

  1. Deliver value for customers and their business in real time 
  2. Then measure what’s working and what isn’t from a holistic POV 

Using this knowledge, marketers can better anticipate customer needs across platforms — boosting retention along the way. A single source of marketing truth allows and enables this kind of dynamic data management.

Without it, things remain siloed and separate. With it, anything is possible.

Personalization: It’s not magic.
It’s method.
Find out who does it best HERE

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