The Most Important Metric in Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is filled with so many different metrics that it can be difficult for a small business to understand what constitutes success.
Items such as CPM (cost per 1000 views), impression and click-through rates are often the biggest metrics that are showcased and are used to measure success.
However, the true metric businesses need to understand to judge the success of their campaign is far simpler to understand and far more difficult to quantify.
The McNamara Fallacy
To understand the importance of what we cannot easily measure, we need to explore the McNamara fallacy, which highlights how only focusing on quantified measurements can lead to disaster.
Robert McNamara, US Secretary of Defence during the Vietnam War, chose to only focus on numbers, particularly the number of soldiers in the military as opposed to their innate abilities and willingness to serve.
He also believed that one could numerically and objectively measure how a war was progressing. This proved disastrous and is now a case study in the importance of measuring intangibles that would be used from the corridors of power to recruitment and clinical trials.
In the context of digital marketing, the main metrics that matter do not involve the success of a particular advert but its overall effect on a business, and marketing that is effective is also holistic.
Conversions are the primary metric to follow. Look for people who visit your website and landing page via an advert and whether they followed a call to action.
Success is ultimately the best metric to look at, as it shows the real value of your ad spend.
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