Smart digital marketers love measurement.
We measure anything that can be measured—page views, bounce rate, email clickthrough, average order value, twitter mentions, and just about anything else that can help us gauge the effectiveness of a marketing campaign.
After all, if you can’t measure it – then how are you going to improve it?
So isn’t it a little surprising that we don’t have a data-driven way to measure —arguably—the most critical piece of any marketing campaign?
I’m talking about measuring the effectiveness of your creative assets.
‘Effectiveness’ can mean a lot of things, but in this context, I’m using it to reference whether featuring a specific creative asset leads to increased conversions.
The heart and soul of any marketing campaign really comes down to the choice of imagery. The visuals need to resonate with your audience if you want to encourage a conversion.
Developing new creative assets is no small investment either. From planning to photoshoots to editing; a lot of time and energy goes into every design that features in a marketing campaign.
Marketers might spend days, if not weeks, obsessing over these assets before releasing it into the wild to see whether it moves the needle. They might see review after review before finally being sent off to be included in an email blast or a social media campaign.
Of course, we can see whether a marketing campaign has been successful after we send it. You can compare two campaigns against each other and decide which was most effective. But that doesn’t provide us with much insight into how effective one creative asset was over another. And that’s because different visuals will resonate with different audiences.
The type of imagery that leads one person to convert might lead another to hit the unsubscribe button.
That’s not a failure on the part of the creative asset, but with who it's targeting. Marketers need to account for this when measuring the effectiveness of a creative asset.
At a high level, you want to know which creatives perform well across your entire audience, which assets are only effective for a smaller percentage of the audience, and which assets you should stop investing in.
That means there are three buckets your creative assets can fall into:
Creative asset that performs well across all segments of your audience
Creative asset that performs well for specific segments of your audience
Creative asset that does not perform well for any segments of your audience
If you can figure out which bucket each of your creative assets falls into, then you can begin to identify the trends and patterns that make the design effective at driving conversions for a given subset of customers.
Without knowing which bucket each piece of creative falls into, you’re flying blind.
It sounds simple, but when you manage multiple marketing campaigns and creative assets across various events—things get complicated fast.
In the email channel, you can gather a vast amount of data around your creative assets' performance.. There is open, click, and conversion data that can be used to inform the effectiveness of each creative asset that gets deployed.
To understand how effective a piece of creative is, there are two things that need to be tracked:
How effective is this piece of creative at leading customers to a conversion?
How much of my audience reacts positively to this piece of creative?
Along with overall effectiveness, it is also important to understand which percentage of your audience a creative asset is effective for. This allows you to identify niche creative assets and opportunities to produce more content for underserved segments.
For example, you might be interested in understanding which creative assets are best at increasing engagement and conversions among your customers who spend the least with you annually.
These insights into which creative assets are most effective will lead you to produce more relevant content and serve it to those most likely to react to it positively. You also get to avoid the problem of sending the wrong content to your audience, leading to unsubscribes and less enthusiasm about opening your emails.
Relevance is one of the most important words in the world of marketing for a reason. The right creative asset can make the difference between a customer hitting the unsubscribe button or clicking through from your email.
In the email channel, it’s so important to be relevant. Consumers are bombarded with email today and in order to stick out and stay in the inbox, being relevant to your audience is essential.
For more information about measuring marketing effectiveness, A/B testing, and looking at digital analytics and results, please visit:
James Glover is President and CEO of Coherent Path, where he helps retailers transform their email program into a modern data-driven channel focused on revenue. Prior to Coherent Path, James was VP of Sales at Desktone where he was responsible for accelerating customer adoption and revenue growth from zero to over 100 customers to whom he sold through world-class partners like Dell and Time Warner Cable. Before that, James held executive positions at Memento (acquired by Fidelity Information Services) and Watchfire (acquired by IBM). He earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto.