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If It Can Be Measured, It Can Be Improved: Analytics are Key to Optimizing Marketing

Imagine this. You’re a marketer in the 80s working on an ad campaign to promote your firm’s latest product. It’s an important launch, and you’ve taken a multi-channel approach. A newspaper ad, a 30-second TV spot, and a jingle that will play on the radio all week long. You’ve spent weeks perfecting the words and the script — because once the ads are out, there’s no changing them. You’ve planned the execution perfectly — and it goes perfectly. But did it work? Well, you’ll only be able to find out a few days or weeks later by triangulating your firm’s sales data with TV viewing reports, radio listenership forecasts, and perhaps a few surveys to see how your newspaper ad did. But did it work? Even after studying the performance, you can’t really say.

Cut back to 2021. You just launched a Facebook ad campaign using lookalike audiences and ran A/B tests on the ad and the landing pages they lead to. Halfway through, you realized that ad unit ‘A’ had a better CTR, and the landing page ‘B’ was performing better. You quickly made this combination the de-facto one. You were able to do this on the fly because you were getting all this data, not in a week’s time, but in real time. Because you could measure the performance of your ad, you could improve it. And you just saved the firm valuable ad-spend. (Congratulations on the promotion!)

Undoubtedly, the most marked change that the digital marketing revolution ushered in was in the realm of measurement. It eliminated the need for sophisticated forecasting and measurement models and made  reporting instant, accurate, and specific. It elevated marketing from being both art and science to being more art through more science.

Today, marketing analytics can provide you with an objective lens to evaluate your marketing efforts so you can optimize every cent of your spend. To the extent possible, analytics can minimize the need for judgement, and thereby minimize the fallacies inherent in human judgement.

Shifting from a cost center to a profit center

The debate about marketing being a cost or profit center is one as old as time. But with analytics, the verdict is rapidly shifting. With analytics, a company’s marketing department can improve their ROI at a compounding rate. Running iterative experiments over a period of time can yield invaluable insights that can strengthen subsequent campaigns.

This constant sharpening of campaigns can yield significant cost reductions for the organization as a whole by reducing inefficiencies. For example, by conducting a retrospective study on your MQL-generating campaigns, you can recognize the campaigns — and the ad copy, channel, segment — that generated the most qualified leads. Using this data, you can run hyper-targeted campaigns that are bound to replicate the results. As a result, your sales team spends time selling to only highly qualified leads who have the highest likelihood of converting, thereby massively reducing your sales cycle and reducing your CPLs.

Moving beyond vanity metrics

When it comes to measuring the performance of your marketing channels, text messaging can be an elusive one to measure. Though recent innovations in texting technology have elevated it from being a one-way spammy blast tool to being a truly conversational platform, the technology to measure its effectiveness still remains nascent.

Current solutions in the market can report performance metrics — CTR, open rate, response rate, and deliverability, to name a few. But these aren’t KPIs that you care about. Put simply, these metrics fail to answer a simple, and perhaps central question — is SMS driving more revenue for you? Vanity metrics can be misleading and paint a rosy picture of how and whether SMS is working for you — causing you to allocate more of your budget to it than warranted, when the actual solution might be something else.

Voxie’s analytics dashboard solves this problem. It focuses on the KPI that matters — revenue, by placing what drives it – orders, at the center.

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Accurate Attribution

Multi-channel campaigns are now the norm. But when customers interact with multiple channels before making a purchase, it is hard to measure which channel is the most effective. Multiple models for measuring multi-channel attribution exist, but when your channels are being powered by a 3rd party — they’re naturally incentivized to claim the biggest piece of the pie. To see this in action, you only need to add up all the ‘attributed’ revenue from multiple channels. What you will see is a revenue figure 1.5-2x higher than the actual revenue — that is, multiple channels claiming the same sale.

Voxie’s analytics dashboard keeps attribution simple by focusing on actual orders placed by subscribers. By integrating with leading ecommerce and point-of-sale platforms, Voxie matches the phone number associated with an order to a list of your subscribers who were texted in the past. The attribution window, which is the number of days between the purchase and the last text sent, can be adjusted based on your preferences, so you only get the most accurate results. The orders data reveals the amount of the sale, and also the campaign that the subscriber was last sent to augment the data. On your dashboard, you get a real-time feed of all attributed orders, and other order-related metrics like total orders, largest order, average order size, and the average days to order following a text campaign.

SMS analytics can inform your larger business strategy

How your customers respond to your text messages can reveal larger patterns about their shopping behavior. Put simply, because SMS reaches customers quickly and directly, and is read 98 out of 100 times, it has a more pronounced impact on consumer behavior. Hence data gleaned through SMS can be revelatory of the actual preferences and behaviors of your audience.

Take the example of a cosmetics company that uses Voxie as a two-way communication channel with customers. Voxie’s analytics dashboard allowed the company to analyze the performance of each of their campaigns in terms of attributable dollars — the metric they cared about. By using time-based filters, they were able to see campaign performance over the course of two years at a glance.

They observed that campaigns sent on the 15th of every month drove 8% more revenue on average. Further scrutiny revealed that these campaigns also had a 5% higher CTR. The data was compelling enough to warrant a deep dive.

By looking at order data, the company reached out to individuals who’d placed orders on the 15th, and offered them free products in return for interviews. After only a few interviews, it was revealed that for a majority of the company’s customers — early-career female professionals in largely urban areas — the 15th day of the month was payday. And while money wasn’t a real issue in buying their products, a payday was an invitation for them to ‘treat themselves.’ So shortly after receiving emails about their bank accounts being credited, when they received a text message about a sale, they were much more likely to make a purchase.

This insight went on to inform their entire communications strategy. Instead of running ads and sending messages and emails spread out arbitrarily through the month, they concentrated their efforts around the 15th and 30th day of every month. This strategy allowed them to cut down massively on their marketing budgets, while increasing the ROI of their campaigns.

If it can be measured, it can be improved

Accurate and timely reporting can do wonders not just for your SMS program, but also for your business as a whole. Analytics can go a long way in highlighting strengths and weaknesses which can empower your entire business. With Voxie, you not only get a cutting-edge analytics dashboard, but you also get a team of marketing experts who can contextualize your data and enhance your strategy going forward.

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