How to Track Marketing Campaign Effectiveness

measuring marketing campaigns

Whether it’s a product launch or infographic, event announcement or weird social media experiment, we marketers put campaigns together with the goal of driving the best brand awareness and engagement we can. Yet defining our marketing campaigns, setting goals for them, and measuring them is easier said than done. In fact, in a recent survey we conducted, “Measuring campaign effectiveness” was the number one challenge life science marketers face.

In this post, we will walk through exactly how to set definitions and goals for your campaigns and measure their effectiveness. 


The Modern-Day Marketing Campaign

If you mention marketing campaigns to a non-marketer they may conjure up Mad-Men-esque imagery of classic ad campaigns like Volkswagen’s “Think Small” campaign, or the Slinky, climbing its way down the steps. Back then, marketing campaigns were much more tangible – usually focused on press and traditional advertising outlets such as print, radio, or TV. But today’s marketing campaigns are much more difficult to define. Today a campaign could be defined as small, such as a single social media post, or as large, such as a multipronged attack on the market that spans social media, advertising (traditional and modern), web content, and more. There aren’t specific rules to what components make up a marketing campaign, so make sure you define it for yourself.


Define the Details of Your Campaign

Before we get started on measuring the effectiveness of your campaign, we want to clearly define it. For this reason, when you are planning a new campaign, outline exactly what pieces are going into it.

As an example, one campaign might look like this:

  • 6 tweets
  • 2 LinkedIn shares
  • 1 blog post
  • 1 press release
  • A mention and hyperlink in email signatures
  • 1 email blast


Set Goals

In the a recent survey we conducted, we found that “Measuring campaign effectiveness” was the number one challenge life science marketers face.

Now that you’ve clearly defined your campaign it should be easier to set goals for it. This is your chance to get serious about what the campaign is trying to accomplish. My best advice is to stay away from things that hard to measure such as “generating awareness“. Aim for specific quantifiable measures like website traffic, leads, or sales pipeline.

Aiming for one single number is best but sometimes that doesn’t provide the level of detail your team wants to see. 

For this reason, consider breaking down goals in two ways:

  1. Quantity versus quality
  2. Primary versus secondary

In a quantity versus quality breakdown, you will want to back your primary metric (quantity) with one that measures the quality. As an example, back social media impressions with engagement rates and back lead generation numbers with opportunity rates or with actual qualitative feedback from a sales team.

A primary versus secondary goal breakdown should be used when a single number does not fully capture what is achieved by your marketing campaign. As an example, your primary goal may be lead generation while secondary goals are traffic and social media impressions. Your primary goal keeps your sights on what you are actually trying to accomplish - supporting sales - while your secondary goals give you credit for the overall impact of the campaign. 


Reporting Infrastructure

Now that you have your goals set, make sure you have the tools in place to measure everything and you can attribute each component of the campaign to the goal.

If the goal is to generate leads, set up your reporting infrastructure so that you could attribute leads generated from

  • press release A
  • press release B
  • social media post A
  • social media post B

and so on.

Collecting these metrics can be difficult. So here are some tools that can help:



UTMs (Urchin Tracking Modules) are tags you can put on the end of a URL that will be collected by reporting tools such as Google Analytics or HubSpot. The UTM tag looks like this:


In the above example, the UTM is stating that the traffic source is twitter, the medium is social, and the campaign name is “example”. If you were to put this UTM on a URL and someone clicks it, Google Analytics, HubSpot, or another web analytics tool would recognize the UTM parameters and automatically categorize the traffic accordingly. If 10 people clicked on your link which included this UTM, three became leads, and one became a sale, you could track all of this activity back to its source and campaign.

If you are unsure how to use UTMs, I recommend you dive deeper into content about them such as this detailed guide.


Sales and Marketing Tools

Because tracking campaign effectiveness is a very common challenge for marketers, most sales and marketing tools have built in features to help with campaign tracking. Our favorite examples are HubSpot and Salesforce. HubSpot allows you to tag items including social media posts, blog posts, landing pages, calls-to-action and more with specific campaign information. With those tags captured, you can easily create reports about campaigns that measure traffic, leads, or other metrics. 


Track and Share

You’ve defined and set your campaign goals. And you’ve even set up your reporting infrastructure. Now all that’s left to do is carry out the campaign and track your progress.

Because you’ve gone through the trouble to set up your campaign-specific reporting, don’t keep it to yourself! Sharing the wealth of date you’ve collected is key!!  Keep your team and other interested parties up-to-date on the progress of the campaign and get credit for your hard work.

If you have specific questions about reporting infrastructure or marketing strategy I would be happy to discuss it with you personally. To chat with me, simply click here to book a time for a free 30-minute consultation.

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