Executive Summary 

The digital marketing world, like our actual world, is in constant change. Digital marketing is everywhere and can be overwhelming and confusing. When faced with the challenge of initiating a digital marketing plan, organizations often have many questions. How do we keep up? Where do we begin? Is there a set of guidelines or steps we should follow? And once the steps are in place, how do we determine if our efforts are working? 

These are some of the questions Red Carrot helps our clients address every day. Based on marketing industry standards and best practices, we use our expertise to establish the foundations for effective digital—and some traditional—marketing campaigns, which can provide optimum returns on investment. We help support our clients’ marketing campaigns by helping them set goals, refine their target audiences, and define the key digital performance indicators that will be the best indicators of success for their campaigns—regardless of size, scope, budget. In addition, we include real world, real-time examples of platforms used to monitor, measure performance, adjust, and easily track appropriate data. 

As these best practices have been established, we detail the basic elements of the customer journey. This includes specific details on digital marketing metrics data terms and how they assist in the overall customer journey. 

We don’t expect to answer every possible question or predict every possible outcome. But we are providing clear guidance for building an effective, efficient digital marketing campaign for your organization. 

Introduction 

Digital marketing and an online presence have never been as important as they are now. Staying ahead of or least on top of the always-changing digital landscape can be daunting. Trends are constantly updated and the importance of digital marketing to your organization is ever-present. But your digital marketing doesn’t have to be that way. 

Launching digital marketing campaigns is quick, inexpensive, and effective if done correctly. Optimizing these campaigns and maximizing desirable results requires regular monitoring and evaluation. This creates measurable ways to capture an increased ROI. 

Our goal is to give any Federal Government or civilian organization the basic tenets of measuring a successful digital marketing campaign using established marketing industry practices and customer journey metrics. 

Tenets of Measuring a Digital Marketing Campaign 

Establishing Clear Overall Campaign Objectives

Establishing Clear Overall Campaign Objectives: Digital marketing campaign objectives should always be S.M.A.R.T., specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. They should also be established before the campaign begins. Defined overall digital campaign objectives will inform campaign design, guide campaign execution, enable performance measurement, and inform decisions to make mid-campaign adjustments. One key to any digital marketing campaign success is to get the appropriate stakeholders within the organization involved in setting overall campaign goals and objectives. The set organizational objectives are the broadest of parameters and will likely require deeper thinking and brainstorming but they will also set the template for future success. 

Setting Clear Targets for Each Established Objectives

Now that the overall campaign objectives are established, the focus is on setting clear, specific goals for these objectives for each division or branch within the organization. This should involve a critical thinking process that includes leaders, members, and marketers supporting and executing the digital marketing campaign for each division or branch. 

Defining Target Segments of the Digital Marketing Strategy

Once the clear, solid targets for the digital marketing campaign have been established, it is necessary to identify the target segments. The target segments can be people from a specific demographic or organization. Who are they? What do they do? Where are they located? What are their motivations? What is being marketed or communicated to each target segment? 

Establishing the KPIs to Measure Campaign Success

Objectives guide the overall digital marketing strategy, the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measure the overall digital marketing campaign performance. The specific metrics within the KPIs help monitor and identify the campaign performance against the objectives and targets set in the goals. 

Identifying the Targets for Each of the KPIs

With the specific KPIs in place, specify targets for each of the established KPIs. Targets are numerical values and measuring performance against these values can help measure success in quantifiable terms. 

Choosing the Right Analytics Platform

Ideally, only one platform should be implemented for all monitoring and of the campaign metrics, branch goals, and overall campaign performance. Here are 2 examples of current Federal agency digital single-point dashboards: 

Center for Disease Control and Prevention: a model metrics dashboard, summarizes page views, popular topics, and satisfaction scores, including Top Search Keywords, most popular pages, and mobile. 

National Archives Metrics Dashboard: features selected comments from customer surveys, customer satisfaction scores, most popular search terms, website visitors, and more. Another possible option is to create a detailed digital strategy document to easily track the progress if the specific reporting and analytics cannot be done via the appropriate analytics platform. 

Applying Real-Time Solutions to Improve Performance

With good and substantial analytics and measurable data available, adjustments and changes to the digital marketing campaign can be made to cater to the insights provided by the monitoring information that has been collected. These insights can trigger immediate action to adjust the campaign focus and/or processes, either executed immediately or over a longer-term, depending on associated risks, costs, and benefits to the campaign. 

Customer Journey Metrics 

Once the key practices are established, the customer journey and corresponding metrics are just as important. The customer journey includes: 

As mentioned previously, KPIs are the overall digital campaign performance metric. Some of the common initial baseline metrics in the customer journey include: 

  • Total Visits: an interaction by an individual viewing one or more pages on your website.
  • Total Page Views: number of times a page was viewed during the designated time (e.g., monthly).
  • Unique Visitors: one person (or a computer/IP address) who visits your website at least once during a designated time (e.g., monthly).
  • Page Views per Visit: The number of page views in a reporting period divided by the number of visits in the same reporting period.
  • Average Visit Duration: Length of time in a session (activity on a website during a specified time).
  • Time on Page: Time visitors spend on individual pages.
  • Bounce Rate: Percentage of visitors who looked at only one page and immediately left the site.
  • New vs. Returned Visitor: Ratio between first-ever site visitors to returning visitors, a User that Visited the site prior to the reporting period.
  • Visits per Visitor for a given timeframe: Number of times a visitor visited your website during the designated time (e.g., monthly).
  • Total Number of On-Site Search Queries: Total number of times site search was used. 

These are just a few of the initial baseline metrics to start the customer’s journey and the measurement of success. There is a myriad of additional detailed metrics, like how to collect and analyze the data, customer satisfaction, search (being the largest driver of traffic to government content), user experience, mobile, social media, and traditional media. In addition, this was just one possible scenario. The individual divisions or branches within any agency or organization will likely want a specific, individual marketing campaign with its own goals and a separate set of metrics. 

Conclusion 

Digital marketing campaigns are generally quick and cost-effective if done correctly. The primary key to optimizing any digital marketing campaign and achieving desirable outcomes is regular monitoring and evaluation to maximize results. As outlined, there are several preparatory and ongoing steps and best practices to take at the start of and throughout the life of any digital marketing campaign and customer’s journey. These best practices should help inform and clarify the importance of the process of any digital marketing campaign. The processes will ensure your Federal Government Agency or organization is maintaining and even staying ahead of the ever-changing marketing landscape. 

About Red Carrot 

Red Carrot, an 8(a) and woman-owned business, is distinguished by our proven federal experience and performance-driven processes. Our team is fueled by passion, backed by intelligence, and built on expertise.   

Red Carrot believes that there is always a better way. We solve our clients’ biggest Strategic Communications, Customer Experience, Management Consulting, and Human Capital challenges. 

Red Carrot approaches challenges through our vetted processes, based on industry best practices and proprietary data. We continuously explore innovative and often untapped perspectives. This constantly enhances the quality of our work. From our inception, we have stayed research-centric, data-informed, and customer-oriented while expanding our range of highly skilled capabilities. The Red Carrot team supports projects across multiple industries and government agencies. Our accolades include the On the Rise Government Contractor of the Year, Telly Awards, and Hermes Creative Awards.