What to measure: outbound marketing

Tracking mass media and online advertising results

Depending on the type of campaign running, what the big picture goal is, and how often it will be measured, there are different ways to measure results, and different metrics that check the campaign from all angles. The weight of the various results will be contingent on the goal of the campaign. Here is an overview of popular metrics to use in outbound marketing campaigns, and the tools available to measure them.


Mass Media Advertising

Mass media advertising includes print, TV, radio, outdoor and transit advertising.  The standard measurements for traditional media are reach, frequency, and rating points. These give the estimated number of people the campaign will reach when the advertising runs. Different services allow advertisers to gather more information about the estimated and actual audience, including demographics, psychographics and behavior of the targeted group.

It is virtually impossible to determine whether someone reacts specifically to a TV commercial, but if trackable calls to action are built into the spot, such as iTV or unique phone numbers, engagement can be measured by phone calls, inquiries, or booked appointments.

Online Advertising

Online advertising makes it easier to track ROI than traditional advertising because it provides a full report at the end of each campaign that illustrates how the ads performed. Online ads track impressions, clicks, the click through rate (CTR, percentage of clicks per impression), cost per click, post-click activity (how many actions someone takes on the site after clicking on an ad), post-impression activity (how many actions someone takes on the site after seeing an ad, doesn’t click on it, but then goes to the site on their own), and the conversion rate.

Also, similar to mass media advertising, online advertising has tools to estimate audience size and demographics based on campaign settings.

Healthy marketing and analytics

Measurement is a necessary step at the beginning and end of each healthcare marketing campaign to plan strategically and justify campaign costs. Every type of marketing is measurable, from advertising, to social media, to email newsletters. Each type has its own tools to track successes and failures. What it all boils down to is setting reasonable, measurable goals and identifying the relevant metrics that will be used to determine campaign success or failure at the beginning of the process. This is the only way to truly know what your marketing ROI is and how you can continue to improve upon it.

However, be careful to not over measure. Just because the metric exists doesn’t mean it applies to the goals or tactics set out in the beginning of the campaign. It’s best to pick one or two metrics that will represent the campaign goals, and analyze those for insights.

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