What’s Measuring What?

Posted by: in Analytics, Integrated Marketing, Marketing Insights, Social Media Insights & Trends on September 19, 2014

Welcome to the first of a series of posts on Digital Measurement Strategy. In this series we’ll discuss high-level strategies and techniques for organizing digital marketing campaigns with measurement.

One of the most common digital strategy challenges my clients face is answering the question:

What’s measuring what?

A big part of this problem is the complexity associated with digital marketing environments. One helpful tool for addressing this challenge is the notion of a Directed Graph, or as my clients know it, a User Journey Diagram.


Let’s take an example client, Paul’s Pet Em-paw-rium. Paul’s is running a campaign with:

  • TV ads
  • Paid Search
  • Social Ads
  • Banner Ads on Partner Websites

Paul’s has a Call Center, a Website, and an E-commerce backend that manages product purchases. Let’s visualize this by drawing a User Journey Diagram:

User Journey 1

Each of the ovals represents a starting or destination point. The arrows represent potential paths to or from those points. Making sense so far?

Next, we number each of the arrows. No particular order is necessary but feel free to get creative. 10 and 12 here could also be 10a and 10b.

User Journey 2

Finally, we list each of the numbers in a table with their “From” and “To” values and ask “What’s measuring this?” for each. It might look something like this:

User Journey 3

Now we get to ask the question for each arrow, trusting that we’re not missing a path anywhere. If the environment changes, all we have to do is update the graph and table.

Here a custom 800 number might track TV Ads to the Call Center, URL tracking parameters might track Banner Ads to the Website. TV Ads to Paid Search may be harder to measure, but at least it’s accounted for, and we can always ask “How can we measure this?” Maybe we suggest a certain keyword phrase in the TV Ad, or measure Paid Search traffic during air time and subtract normal paid search traffic.

While fundamental and, in some cases, complex, building these tools at the start will improve accountability for your digital campaigns and make meetings more productive. I hope you found this helpful! Please comment below with any questions.

~ Alan

P.S. If you get the sense this graph might be useful for other aspects of your campaign, you’re right. You can ask other questions here too, like “What is the number of users following arrow x?” (see table below). This lends itself to a Total Probability Model, but more on that in my next post!

User Journey 4

By: Alan Garcia

Alan comes to WCG with 10+ years in Digital Strategy, Web Development, and Search Marketing. He works with WCG clients developing search marketing strategies and recommends success measurement frameworks that align with their goals.

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