Robin Leonard
Jan 13, 2015

Five steps to standardize digital metrics across countries

Tracking digital marketing performance can be bewildering, with so many channels and reporting tools to choose from, even more so when there are multiple geographies, companies and teams to consider. Robin Leonard of AllFamous Digital takes some of the mystery out of the process.

Robin Leonard
Robin Leonard

Companies large and small face the common problem of tracking their digital marketing performance when there are so many channels and reporting tools to choose from. What more of a multinational corporation that has to track metrics across multiple companies and teams.

Here is a quick five-step guide for MNCs to define their digital marketing metrics:

1. Set global digital marketing objectives and metrics

A typical customer journey usually starts with brand awareness, and ends with the customer leaving you. Only very rarely would there be any global or local difference, assuming you have a consistent customer experience country to country.

There are many ways to map out your objectives, but I prefer to do so in the context of a customer journey as below. We have taken the pleasure of suggesting typical objectives and metrics that we believe are important to track:

 

2. How exactly do I track metrics?

This is the hard part. There are a lot of metrics and data sources required to track your success in digital marketing.

We strongly suggest you centralize all metrics into one place (e.g. a shared Google Doc spreadsheet), then track them on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Only then can you understand the trends in the data and how each country ranks.


Fortunately, there are very few metrics that need to be localized, as most do not change with language, geography or culture. Example metrics that fall into this category are Impressions, website traffic, conversions, This allows global brands to run their own reporting from the top down.

3. Reporting tools required for tracking digital metrics

The major challenge most marketers face is the fragmentation of data sources for these metrics. They can be tracked using mostly free tools, however some do require payment. Below is the list of tools commonly used to achieve the above.

Free tools:

  • Native Social Media (e.g. Facebook Insights)
  • Google Adwords
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Webmaster Tools
  • Content Management System (e.g. Wordpress)

Paid tools:

  • Social Media Reporting (e.g. Sprout Social, Social Studio)
  • Social Listening Tool (e.g. Radian6, Sysomos)
  • Email Platform (e.g. Mailchimp, ExactTarget)
  • Customer Service Tool (e.g. Salesforce Service Cloud, Zendesk)

4. Listen locally, measure globally

The only area that requires serious localization is social listening. This is because in each country you would need to listen for specific keywords and analyze social media mentions around your brand, that could be in a local language, or relate to a part of your product/service that has been localized (e.g. McDonald Twister Fries are only available in the Philippines).

The best approach is to create a standard set of “Global Topics” for the brand and suggested “Global Keywords”. Then each country/city should localize following your guidelines as required but follow the same general keyword groups.

For example, Shell (the Energy Company) would listen for:

Global topics Global keywords Malaysian keywords Vietnamese keywords
Fuel Price Shell + Price Shell + Harga Shell + giá
Shell + Expensive Shell + Mahal Shell + đắt
Shell + Cheap Shell + Murah Shell + rẻ
Product Feedback Shell + Card Shell + Kesetiaan + Kad Shell + thẻ khách hàng
Shell + Helix Shell + Helix Shell + Helix
VPower Nitro VPower Nitro VPower Nitro
Shell + FuelSave Shell + FuelSave Shell + FuelSave
Gas-Up Experience Shell + Rude Shell + Kurang Ajar Shell + thô sơ
Shell + Waiting Shell + Menunggu Shell + đợi
Shell + Attendant Shell + Kakitangan Shell + nhân viên
Shell + Service Shell + Perkhidmatan + Pelanggan Shell + dịch vụ

(Google Translate was used here)

Assuming you set the above listening keywords correctly for each local country, you will be able to compare and rank country by country by metric (e.g. share of voice) or topic (positive sentiment on fuel price). To achieve this, an enterprise Social Listening platform like Radian6 is necessary.

Detailed analysis of what people are saying in each country should be analyzed by the local company, as only they are likely to understand local language or cultural nuances.

To ensure each company follows a consistent reporting method, they should all be given clear instructions, standardized reporting templates, appropriate training and a quality management process.

5. How do I define global and local KPIs or targets

The best way to define a KPI or a target for a metric is to first track and baseline the numbers for two to three months. Then simply add a column to your tracking spreadsheet for the target for each period you track.

Example: If you are tracking website traffic on a weekly basis, after eight weeks you see you consistently get 1,000 visitors per week, set a target of 1,100 visitors per week going forward. Once you have this target in place, you can then indicate in future reports whether the target has been missed, achieved or exceeded, typically by color coding it red, amber or green.

We suggest you run metrics on a per local company basis, but also have aggregated metrics and targets for all companies within the global organization.

Metrics don’t need to be mysterious

A lot of marketers feel digital marketing metrics are mystical or subjective. This is incorrect. The truth is that they have become very standardized and now more than ever can be used to efficiently keep an eye on one global company, and many local companies at the same time. At my company we have a saying: “What gets measured, gets managed”. Awareness is really the first step.

Robin Leonard is the CEO of AllFamous Digital

 

APPENDICES:

As I wrote this article I created some simple tables to help me structure my logic. I include them here in case they are useful.

APPENDIX A: Customer journey objectives and metrics

A typical customer journey Objective Metrics
1. Sees brand on social media or in search Brand Awareness Social Impressions
Search Impressions
Cost Per Impression (CPM)
2. Likes or follows brand on social media Brand Awareness New Fans/Followers
3. Reads Blog Brand Awareness Blog visitors
Blog shares
4. Signs up for newsletter or eBook Generate Leads New Leads
Cost Per Lead (CPL)
5. Continues to see brand everywhere Brand Awareness Volume of Mentions
Impressions
6. Wants to purchase and thinks of brand Brand Awareness Share of Voice
Positive Sentiment
Negative Sentiment
7. Searches for purchase options Generate Leads Organic Traffic
Cost Per Click (CPC)
8. Asks social media for opinions Brand Awareness Positive Sentiment
Negative Sentiment
9. Finds your website or visits store Generate Leads Traffic by source
Bounce rate
10. Makes purchase Generate Sales Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
Sales by source
11. Uses product/service Gain Feedback Volume of Mentions
Positive Sentiment
Negative Sentiment
12. Needs help Create Loyal Customers Average response time
Average turnaround time

 

APPENDIX B: Metric definitions and data sources

Objective

Metric

Definition

Data Source

Brand Awareness

Social Impressions

# of times your brand message was displayed to a user on social media.

Native OR Social Media Analytics Tool (e.g. Salesforce Social Studio)

Search Impressions

# of times your website came up in search results.

Google Webmaster Tools

Cost Per Impression

$ cost per 1,000 impressions with Display Ads

Google Adwords

New Fans/Followers

# of new fans/followers do you have on social media.

Native OR Social Media Analytics Tool (e.g. Salesforce Social Studio)

Blog visitors

# of visitors to your blog

Google Analytics

Blog shares

# of times your blogs were shared on social media

Content Management System (e.g. Wordpress)

Volume of Mentions

# of times your brand was mentioned on web and social

Social Listening Tool (e.g. Radian6)

Share of Voice

# of times your brand was mentioned compared to your competitor’s

Social Listening Tool (e.g. Radian6)

Generate Leads

New Leads

# of people that gave you their email addresses

Google Analytics

New Leads by Source

# of people that gave you their email broken down by source e.g. Search, Social, Referral etc

Google Analytics

Cost Per Click (CPC)

$ cost per click with Search Ads

Google Adwords

Cost Per Lead (CPL)

The average $ cost to acquire a new lead in your database. Cost divided by # of New Leads.

Google Analytics + Manual Calculation

CPL by Source

The average $ cost to acquire a new lead broken down by Source (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Organic, Referral etc.)

Google Analytics + Manual Calculation

Bounce rate

The % of website visitors that navigate away from the website as soon as they arrive.

Google Analytics

Generate Sales

Sales by Source

The total $ sales achieved broken down by each source.

Google Analytics

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

The average $ cost to acquire a new customer. Cost divided by # of New Customers.

Google Analytics + Manual Calculation

Email open rate

The % of email subscribers that open the emails they receive from you.

Email Platform (e.g. Mailchimp)

Email click through rate

The % of email subscribers that click a link in the emails they receive from you.

Email Platform (e.g. Mailchimp)

Gain Feedback

Volume of Mentions

# of times your brand was mentioned on web and social

Social Listening Tool (e.g. Radian6)

Positive Sentiment

# of times your brand was mentioned in a positive way on web and social

Social Listening Tool (e.g. Radian6)

Negative Sentiment

# of times your brand was mentioned in a negative way on web and social

Social Listening Tool (e.g. Radian6)

Create Loyal Customers

Share of Voice

# of times your brand was mentioned compared to your competitor’s

Social Listening Tool (e.g. Radian6)

Positive Sentiment

# of times your brand was mentioned in a positive way on web and social

Social Listening Tool (e.g. Radian6)

Negative Sentiment

# of times your brand was mentioned in a negative way on web and social

Social Listening Tool (e.g. Radian6)

Average Response Time

# of minutes it takes for you to respond to queries on your social pages

Customer Service Tool (e.g. Zendesk or Salesforce Service Cloud)

Average Turnaround Time

# of minutes it takes for you close tickets once they are open

Customer Service Tool (e.g. Zendesk or Salesforce Service Cloud)

 

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