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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Social media monitoring

Using Brandwatch as a social listening tool enables you to get a qualitative understanding about both your customers and competitors. And using things like Google AdWords to redefine and integrate your SEO is another really good way to determine how quantitatively you are actually performing in the marketplace.

When thinking about social media monitoring, it’s very important to pick the right metrics that you have, to be able to determine what is working for you and what’s not. A useful framework to use is that of reach, act, engage, and conversion. If you use these four key areas and populate them with relevant KPIs, you'll better understand your social media activity.


You may want to understand the number of page likes or retweets or followers that someone has or that you would have per a particular campaign or a page. It’s very important because that gives you a sense of the level of penetration that you have into the marketplace. Perhaps, potentially, the number of people that you’re reaching out to. You know you’re doing a good thing if you’re constantly gaining incrementally new people, either liking your page or retweeting about you.


This is the number of posts being shared or retweeted. This is a stronger level of engagement because it’s not just about passively liking a certain thing that you doing. You’re actually getting customers to want to contribute and re-forward on certain key things that you’ve done. It shows a higher level of engagement.


This involves response rates, average response rates, and things like customers contributing to the content or leaving comments. This represents an even more extended of engagement from a customer perspective to your brand or service.


This monitors the extent to which you can gain commercial value as a consequence of your digital and social activities. You monitor the extent to which your leads are then leading you to get a higher sales rate. This is obviously important from a commercial perspective, but also to reassure you that you’re on the right lines.

What is analytics?

Analytics involves collecting relevant data, deducing significant information and reaping actionable insight in order to implement the strategy that you’re going for. Now there’s a couple of different things to think about when defining your analytics strategy.

You can use analytics to drive growth:

  • Anchor analytics to strategy: Ensure that your analytics are actionable. They need to be anchored to the strategy that you’re trying to drive.
  • Enable better decision-making: You can make decisions in a better, more robust way. So those analytics need to drive some sort of decision-making process.
  • Future-proof development: It also helps to determine future development within your various activities you’re trying to drive. So it’s not just good enough that it’s working well and functioning well, and telling you what you know today. It needs to help further action in the future.
  • Measure impact: The key aspect is measuring the overall impact that your various campaigns are having. Doing this across some sort of holistic scorecard is really advantageous. So you not only understand the commercial benefits, but you’re also understanding the customer and operational side of things, too.

Drivers to influence strategy

There are a number of different drivers that help you to influence the strategy. The key to these drivers is being able to get actionable, measurable analytics from them:

  • Search engine optimization: Adjust keywords based on what the analytics is telling you will help to make improvements to your campaign.
  • Email marketing: Adjust based on split testing. If you do an A/B test, and understand how one creative is performing over the other and one’s incrementally gaining in more value, you know which one to go out to the wider book with.
  • Search marketing (PPC): Adjust the key dimensions of PPC – things like your bid price, for example, and keywords that you’re going to bid for – based on the analytics.
  • Digital display: Adjust based on clickthrough rates. Determine what different display advertising is working better for you across what different channels.
  • Mobile marketing: Adjust based on response rates.
  • Social media marketing: Adjust based on iteration. Aim to get new things on the go.
  • Online PR: Adjust based on reach.
  • Online partnerships: Adjust based on response rates.
  • Interactive advertising: Adjust based on response rates. Develop an understanding of what people are clicking on more, and then do more of that.

All of these things can be actively measured by having actionable analytics. And then on the back of that, iterate your approach, based on what the analytics is telling you.

Monitoring offline marketing

Remember, when thinking about the customer journey, customers both interact with organizations largely on both online and offline means. Combining them together is a really good way to be able to understand the overall success of a campaign.

Ten or fifteen years ago, this was never the case, and as a consequence of that, you had siloed thinking. Remember when you could get a better online offer than you could do in-store. As a result, there was much customer dissatisfaction and it led the channels to move further apart.

Organizations today recognize this and now start to have an omni-channel approach, but it becomes critical to make measurement strategies follow in-line with that approach.

So what are some of the important things to think about from an online and offline perspective?

  • Measuring traffic to a home page address: Measuring traffic to the homepage address is a great way to integrate the two.
  • Using a static campaign-specific URL: Static, campaign-specific URLs mean that you can have a physical type of brochure in-store, but then it directs to a specific campaign URL to track the level of traffic that it’s driven, as a consequence of that particular offline campaign.
  • Redirecting a campaign specific folder URL with Google Analytics tracking codes: You can redirect campaigns, specifically using Google Analytics tracking codes, for example.
  • Redirecting a campaign specific domain name: You can redirect campaigns through a specific domain name which, again, enables you to determine where the customer originated from. For example, suppose the London Underground has a special promotion for you to type in a specific URL which gives you an additional discount. This enables you to track how effective that actual campaign or offer has been on the London Underground.
  • Measuring customer service contact levels pre- and post-campaign: If you have an effective campaign offline, it may generate more traffic for your web portal or web chat, for example. And then being able to determine what the level of activity was before the campaign and after gives you a really good sense of how effective your offline channel strategy has been.
  • Tracking sales pre- and post-campaign: Another way to measure this is actual conversion or sales. Understanding the tracking of the pre- and post-campaign across your channels is another really nice way to determine the level of impact that your offline campaign has actually delivered to you across your online channels.

Marks & Spencer is a very good example of integrating the online and offline. Traditionally, the online sales channel will be very different from that of the retail stores. Now, today, they’ve brought them together, where actually you can attribute a digital sale to someone who has actually started the conversation in-store, and that individual gets rewarded for it, which is great because it basically means everybody wins and you know exactly where that sale has come through.

Vanity metrics

Vanity metrics are those data points that make us feel good if they go up, but they don’t help us make better decisions. So let’s say your visits look healthy on your metrics graph. You know the level of increase in the number of people engaging with a piece of content. So, what do you do about it? Well, in reality, it’s very difficult to ever know what factor actually helped to increase that content, whether it be the type of the content, the type of day, where you actually advertised that content to.

So you need to have a more in-depth understanding before you’re able to truly understand what was happening in that campaign.

Holistic measurement planning

Holistic measurement planning is the requirement to develop a holistic view of your measurement capability and requirements before your campaign goes live.

It involves the concept of 'baked-in measurement'. This is the measurement that is decided upon ahead of any activity, so that at every step, campaigns and activity are built with a measurement in mind. It’s starting with the end goal in mind. And it’s critically important.

And then finally, identifying how you would measure the activity before it goes live allows you to include that process throughout the campaign cycle. That’s another very important thing to do when you’re developing a digital communications plan.

Think about the measurement cycle that aligns to the strategy that you’re trying to test. Use a number of different techniques to determine what is working for you and what isn’t. Digital gives you that unprecedented insight to optimize your approach based on what you learn about your customers in real-time.

Using a hypothesis-led approach is really good way to be able to actively determine whether you can prove or disprove what you believe to be the best course of action for your digital communication activity.

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Richie Mehta

Ritchie Mehta has had an eight-year corporate career with a number of leading organizations such as HSBC, RBS, and Direct Line Group. He then went on setting up a number of businesses.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

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Digital Communications
Richie Mehta
Skills Expert

This module begins by covering the benefits and challenges associated with digital communications and the importance of researching and selecting the most appropriate digital channels to reach and engage with your target audience. It covers the tools and digital PR activities you can use to extend your reach on social media, content management, the factors to consider when creating a budget for a digital campaign, resourcing a digital team, and the importance of aligning digital metrics with customer service metrics to review the performance of a digital campaign.