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What are the most important marketing metrics you need to track in 2022? Read our latest post to find out.
You’ve already heard the old Peter Drucker adage - what gets measured, gets managed.
In 2022, however, you have to take a step back and ask: Are you measuring the right metrics?
While the broad range of metrics and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) remains largely unchanged, the pandemic has shuffled their importance. Metrics you might have never worried about before took center stage in the wake of the pandemic.
With this in mind, I’ll do a deep dive into some key marketing metrics and why you should prioritize them in 2022.
- Why you need to change what you measure
- The importance of tracking speed and geolocation
- How to tackle the crucial question of brand safety
Why your marketing metrics need to change
Lately, you might have noticed some resistance from clients about the reports you send in and the bills you charge for them.
Something seems amiss. The old metrics you’ve used for years somehow don’t capture the true impact of your work.
And your clients are worried.
The truth is that the marketing agency landscape has changed a lot in the last two years. Competition has become truly global - for you as well as your clients. Engagement and conversion aren’t good enough - clients now want to see the exact returns on their marketing investments.
We also live in a precarious time for brands. A single off-color tweet can unravel a carefully built reputation. The “publish first, edit later” approach doesn’t really work anymore.
And to top it all off, everything is more geographically distributed. Your clients can be in another country (or even several countries). Their audience might be spread across the country instead of being localized in a handful of big cities. Even your own team might be working from multiple time zones.
All of these mean that your old metrics simply aren’t enough to capture the reality of your marketing efforts.
Four Crucial Marketing Metrics for 2022
You need to add the following to your marketing reports if you want to truly demonstrate your agency’s value:
1. Brand Safety
“Brand Safety” is the idea that brands should not share the same space as products, ideas, or services that might contradict the brand’s core values.
Think of a gambling ad right next to a brand ad - that’s not something any brand manager would ever want to see.
Over time, brand safety has evolved into “brand suitability”. This essentially means:
- Associating the brand with content that aligns with the brand’s values
- Avoiding content that is inappropriate for the brand’s audience or misaligned with its values
In the last few years, navigating the line between “appropriate” and “inappropriate” has become harder than ever. Norms, especially on social media, change fast. A previously “safe” content source might be deemed off-bounds because of a stray tweet or article.
The pandemic also meant brands had to adopt a more nuanced stand on issues related to health and safety. Brands could easily be guilty of being overly paranoid - or the obverse, not caring enough.
This confusion has its costs. According to IAB, 62% of consumers will stop using a brand altogether if it appears alongside objectionable or low-quality content. And data shows that most modern marketing approaches - programmatic advertising or social media marketing - are highly likely to expose brands to safety issues.
As we head into a near future of increasingly automated, digital-first campaigns, you’re going to have to realign your focus on brand safety. Marketers tend to ignore it since it's hard to track, but in the current environment, ignoring it can be devastating to any brand.
Whatever else you do, make brand safety a key metric to track in 2022.
2. Return on Ad Spend (RoAS)
Return on Ad Spend has always been an important metric. In the aftermath of the pandemic, however, it has assumed a critical role in agency-client relationships.
Smaller businesses, struggling with demand (or the opposite - supply) have started looking at their agency partnerships more closely. And often, anything that doesn’t justify the spending gets culled.
This is why in 2022, you need to refocus on demonstrating value by showing clients exactly what their ad spend earned them.
Return on Ad Spend is nothing but the ratio of the value of each conversion event and the cost incurred in achieving it.
Marketers are used to CPA (Cost Per Action) as their key performance metric. CPA, however, is a top-of-the-funnel metric that enables marketers to remove any responsibility for what happens post-activation. You can simply deliver an engagement and walk away without worrying whether that engagement actually delivered any lasting value.
At a time when clients demand more from their agency partners, this CPA-focused can’t work. Your clients want, nay, deserve more. You have to go beyond the top of the funnel and see how every engagement delivers value.
And the best way to measure that is through Return on Ad Spend. This metric enables you to go down the funnel and measure customer lifetime value against the cost of acquisition.
Besides showing value to clients, it also gives you an opportunity to capture opportunities that might exist in the bottom half of the funnel. Maybe there’s a service or product that can help clients improve their conversion value. Or maybe there are holes in their funnel you can plug.
Think of it as a way to strengthen and expand client relationships - a critical step to thrive in 2022.
3. Geo Metrics
This doesn’t refer to any specific metric. Rather, “geo metrics” refers to the idea that in the post-pandemic age, location metrics are a) more diverse, and b) more important than ever.
One of the fundamental changes unleashed by the pandemic is the “widening” of the world. Countless businesses have gone remote-only. Consequently, employees have moved out of previous geo hotspots (i.e. big cities) into smaller towns.
Considering that a substantial portion of the working population is likely to remain remote-only, it’s safe to say that your geo-focused marketing campaigns have to be completely retooled as well.
Most companies are open to making remote work a permanent fixture post-pandemic (Image source)
For instance, your marketing mix might include local billboards and radio spots. This could have worked when your customers were primarily concentrated in a handful of cities. But as big cities have lost a large number of residents (see the chart below), this strategy now yields poor returns.
Large cities have lost a large number of residents to smaller towns (Image source)
Even social campaigns that might have focused on narrow geo-focused audience segments have to be reshaped.
In light of this change, it’s important for any agency to track geo metrics more closely. You need to know:
- Where your customers were located previously, where they’re located now, and if the change is permanent.
- The ROI of your geo-focused campaigns before and after the pandemic.
- Conversion rate, cost of acquisition, and customer lifetime value of customers based on their location. Has this changed since the pandemic?
Geo metrics used to be an often ignored part of most analytics tools. But in 2022, you need to start digging into these numbers more closely. Where your customers live has changed; your marketing needs to change to keep pace with them.
4. Speed Metrics
Speed metrics (such as page load time, page size, app load speed, etc.) have always been important. But, like geo metrics, they’ve assumed an even more important role in 2022 thanks to the pandemic.
As I mentioned above, your users are now widely distributed. They’ve not just moved away from big cities, in some cases, they’ve even changed countries. And not all of these locations have the same internet speed or reliability.
Then there’s the fact that the shift to remote work has simply increased traffic online drastically. Now everyone is online, and often at the same time. As Fastly’s data shows, traffic has exploded, but speeds are down.
This makes a fast-loading website or app more important than ever before. Your customers now have uneven internet speeds, and whatever speeds they do have are being overwhelmed with traffic. A slow website in this situation is a massive liability.
Little wonder that Google has radically ramped up its penalties for slow sites over the past year.
This is why you need to make speed metrics a crucial element of your marketing metrics mix in 2022. Don’t just measure this once in a quarter and forget about it. Rather, make it a regular part of every report. You need to track:
- The average size of your page
- How quickly your site loads from different locations and connections
- Site accessibility on low speed connections
- App performance on different devices and connection-types (3G, 4G, 5G, WiFi)
As we’ve said before, a slow loading site is the easiest way to destroy conversion rates and your SEO rankings. In 2022, you have to focus on these metrics even more if you want to retain the attention of your increasingly distributed remote audience.
Over to You
The marketing landscape has changed dramatically over the last two years. And if you want to keep up, you have to change the metrics you use to measure marketing performance. Clients today demand more value from their agency partners. They also worry about reaching a customer base that’s deeply fragmented.
All the while, they’re also confused about ensuring the safety of their brand, especially in the wild west of social media marketing.
Agencies that focus on these metrics in 2022 will find their client relationships thriving.
One way to strengthen client relationships - and your agency - is to use better agency management software. Tools like Workamajig are designed from the ground up to deliver a client-focused experience.
See how Workamajig can help your agency - tap the button below for a free demo!