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The customer journey: how to measure success at each stage

Posted by: Sam Brewin on 21 June 2019

Want to measure the success of your digital marketing campaigns? There are countless ways of doing so, but with such a wide choice of metrics, picking the right ones can be difficult. Usually, confusion surrounding the measurement of success is due to SEOs trying to pair incorrect metrics with the wrong customer journey stages.

It’s worth mentioning the terminology ‘customer journey’ is regularly overused by marketers, but it can a good indicator when trying to measure your success across different levels of campaign activity. Here’s how to match your metrics with the correct customer journey stages, giving you useful insights into your campaign performance.

The awareness stage

This is where the audience has just become aware of your brand – the point of first contact. It includes brand mentions on sites, exposure to social ads and other broad, top-level types of activity. It’s common to think the audience will convert into customers right away, basing your activity measurement on direct conversions, but this approach won’t yield accurate results.

Why? They’re new to your brand. Their reactions will be as light as their levels of awareness and engagement, and while a select few might jump the gun and start decision-making or converting immediately, the vast majority will simply be happily browsing content – not the job for direct conversions.

Instead, track whether any of this activity has eventually led to a conversion by tracking assisted conversions in Google Analytics, using UTM codes that allow you to see the activity that has driven assisted conversions. This includes situations where users have landed on your site as a result of awareness stage activity, left, then snuck back to convert at a later date.

Assisted conversions are a far more realistic way of tracking the ROI of awareness phase activities, but you can’t measure immediately. If we ran a paid social campaign that created 30,000 hits on our client’s site, we wouldn’t report on its effectiveness until after 60 days, in order to get a clearer picture of assisted conversions.

Channels to watch

Anywhere your audience is online – targeted social, digital PR, influencer marketing and so forth

Metrics to measure

Reach, engagement and assisted conversions

The consideration stage

This stage is all about customers getting the answers to their most burning questions – any and every query potential customers need before they are happy to commit to a purchase decision. Do they have the product I want? Can I trust them to send me my order? How do I even go about ordering? Are the products high-quality? Would I be better just going with a competitor? There are plenty of questions to cover. Customers love lots of information though, so give it them.

Much of this activity will take place within your website, with the remainder occurring on third-party review and comparison sites (if you’re featured). Whether your site is raking in hundreds or millions of hits, you need to think like your customers when devising your content strategy. List everything they might need to know before they purchase, then integrate these smartly within your website, continually asking yourself ‘where would a customer want to see this information most?’. For third party sites, consider how you appear to customers or third party sites and how these perceptions might impact the decisions of your customers.

If your buying cycle is longer than most – say, if your product is particularly expensive or technical – consider retargeting your customers through Facebook or Google ads. That being said, even relatively impulsive purchases can help your brand get in front of customers at the moment they come to a buying decision. Both groups are busy people and may have simply forgotten about you after having initially positive feelings about your brand or products. You can retarget by integrating tracking pixels on your site content; wherever your marketing campaigns are driving traffic to.

Channels to watch

Your site, comparison sites, review sites, social retargeting ads

Metrics to measure

Site traffic, on-site stats, repeat visits, engagement with retargeting, lead forensics data, outbound responses, positive reviews and assisted conversions

The purchase stage

This is where your customer has decided to take a leap and make a purchase. It’s pretty much a home run at this point, but there are aspects of your site that could still turn them away; namely your site architecture and e-commerce setup. If your site is a complicated and tedious experience, customers are liable to become annoyed and head to a competitor they identified during the consideration stage.

The purchase stage requires you to look at page conversions, bounce rates on product pages, and drop-off rates at checkouts. If you’re not performing well, then a contrived checkout process, poor product page layouts and limited delivery or payment options could be to blame.

Channels to watch

Product pages, checkout carts, landing pages designed to convert

Metrics to measure

Direct Conversions/Assisted conversions, drop offs at carts, product page bounce rates, conversion rates

 

At Fox, we already understand your customers (and if we don’t, we have the tools and knowhow to find out). This savvy lets us produce effective strategies that optimise your site and make your customers come flocking. Contact us today to learn more.

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