Customer journey is no longer a straight path. With hundreds of touchpoints spanning across dozens of channels, the journey from awareness to conversion is very much circular. Consumers interact with brands across 20 channels on average before they complete the purchase.
How can marketers measure and visualize multi-channel attribution when buyer journeys are becoming more complex than ever? Reviewing thousands of metrics from hundreds of marketing channels is overwhelming, and it’s not always clear how they ultimately tie back to new customers and revenue.
This is why you need marketing automation and dashboard tools.
Automation tools like marketing attribution dashboards can cut down the noise by compiling, contextualizing, and presenting data from various data sources on a single interface.
When you have all your cross-channel data in one place, it’s much easier to map out the sales cycle, and see which marketing efforts on which channel led to new customers.
In this guide, we compile the 12 KPIs every marketer needs to know on your marketing attribution dashboard and automation for multi-channel success.
No matter which attribution model you use–multi-touch attribution, first touch, last touch attribution or time decay, you’ll first need to extract all the data from each of your customer touchpoints, clean it up, unify it, and build an account-based data model containing a timeline of every touch of every account, says Steffen Hedebrandt, Co-founder of Dreamdata, a B2B attribution software.
Through pre-built API integrations, a marketing attribution dashboard pull your marketing data from:
Once you’ve set up this data, you can start applying an attribution model to highlight the parts you’re interested in.
Here’s how your metrics visualization can look like:
Yes, automation can be an incredible time-saver. But it won’t help optimize your return on ad spend unless you have a firm grip on which performance indicators to pay attention to and why.
Key performance indicators are quantifiable measurements that signal the success of your marketing campaigns. Although KPIs vary across industries, we list 12 of the most fundamental metrics that you should measure for your paid ad campaigns.
Revenue refers to the total amount of money that a specific marketing activity generates. It’s the most rudimentary metric you can track on your marketing dashboard, but it helps you understand which campaigns or channels are bringing in money and which are draining your wallet.
On the flip side of revenue is advertising spend: the total amount that you’re spending on digital, mobile, print, broadcast, and outdoor advertising. Tracking ad spend is crucial because if you go over the limit, you risk putting your entire marketing budget at stake.
When you pit revenue against ad spend, you get return on ad spend. ROAS measures the amount of revenue you earn for every $1 you spend on advertising. The industry standard for ROAS for paid search ads is 2.87:1. This means you can typically make $2.87 for every $1 spent.
Impressions are the total number of times any of your webpages or your ads appear in search engine results and are viewed by users. For instance, if a user searches for “cafes in Atlanta” and your ad or your website pops up on Google, this counts as an impression.
Impressions alone can’t tell you much about engagements or conversions, but they’re crucial to boosting brand awareness and understanding the total cost of an ad campaign.
Click-through rates measure the number of clicks you receive on an advertisement—per the number of impressions. For instance, if out of 100 people that saw your ad, 5 clicked on it, the CTR is (5 / 100) x 100% = 5%.
Generally, high CTRs mean that your ads were successful in attracting the attention of your target audience. High CTRs can also lead to lower advertising costs on advertising platforms like Google Ads.
When someone clicks on your ad, you’ll need to pay for that click. This is known as cost-per-click (CPC).
Different social media platforms, search engines, and programmatic publishers set different CPCs. They can range anywhere from $0.4 (Twitter Ads) to $6 (LinkedIn Ads).
Cost-per-view is the amount that you’ll need to pay an ad platform whenever someone watches your video ad for a specific duration (e.g. 30 seconds).
Tracking CPVs is helpful in figuring out which ad creative and channel users interacted with more, and attributing this back to conversions.
Conversions occur further down the marketing funnel after a person visits your website and takes a desired action, such as purchasing a product, downloading a whitepaper, or signing up for a newsletter.
Conversion rates (CVR) measure how many people took this desired action out of the total number of website visitors. For instance, if 1000 people visited your website and 20 bought your product, the conversion rate is (20 / 1000) x 100% = 2%.
Everything comes with a cost, even conversions. Cost-per-conversion pits the total revenue gained from an ad campaign against the total cost of that campaign.
There are many different costs involved with a specific digital ad, such as impression costs, total CPC, and total CPV. It’s important to track CPCV so you know not only how much you’re earning from an ad, but also if you’re earning enough to cover costs.
Most companies track customer lifetime value: the total worth of a customer over the entire period of their relationship. In contrast, ACV tells you how much revenue a customer brings into your business within a set timeframe.
ACV is most useful in measuring the immediate impact that a specific marketing funnel has on conversions.
Though not directly related to costs or revenue, the returning visitors KPI can help you better understand the circular customer journey. Rarely does a customer visit your website once and immediately purchase your offer. Rather, they’ll interact with your website multiple times before they’re ready to make a decision.
Tracking tools like Google Analytics and marketing dashboards show you the percentage of “Return visitors” vs. “New visitors”. You want to see a balance between the two numbers.
Link clicks are the total number of times the links in your ad copy, call-to-action, or images have been clicked. These links can lead to destinations within or outside of the platform where you’ve launched your ad, such as your landing page, social media profile, or a blog post. This is also a common metric for SEO optimization.
Think of these KPIs as a funnel. Start by looking at the broader measurements of marketing performance at the top, like revenue and ad spend.
Then, try to understand the more granular KPIs that contribute to each of the broader ones. For example, to understand revenue figures, you’d need to look at conversion rates of each channel. Likewise, to understand ad spend, you’d need to analyze CPC, CPV, and CPCV.
The criteria for evaluating performance may vary with your campaign goals.
For example, a campaign started with the goal of increasing brand awareness would benefit from a measure of the number of people reached with your ads. On the other hand, you can understand a conversion campaign’s performance by looking at the conversion rate and cost-per-conversion.
For a video campaign, you can set up a pivot table to view metrics related to video views or engagement time instead of ad clicks or conversion performance.
On Adriel’s marketing dashboard, you can see both the general KPIs and super granular data, even down to the ad creative level.
You can also visualize KPIs in a variety of ways and segmentation methods depending on your goal. You can choose to look at the overall marketing performance across every media channel, or narrow it down to a single ad creative. You can also visualize trends by comparing KPIs between time periods or channels in multiple graph types—scatter plot, bar graph, pie chart, you name it.
However, although you can measure everything, don’t get too caught up in the painful tasks of manual data entry. Leave that to the expert—your marketing automation tool.
A few other mistakes marketers make include picking too many metrics instead of focusing on the few that move the needle, and copying what other teams are measuring, without evaluating if these make sense for your team or business goals.
Here’s what you can also focus on instead of metrics:
In this article, we’ve explored what marketing attribution dashboards are, which KPIs you should track, and how to analyze them for marketing success.
Although attribution is not as straightforward as looking at numbers, marketing dashboards can make your life easier by consolidating all your disparate data in one place.