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Measuring your marketing impact

With the proliferation of tools for both measuring and automating your marketing efforts, start ups and SMEs aren't exactly craving real-time marketing data.
But while spreadsheets and dashboards are nice, actually being able to prove your marketing works is far more useful.

Here are some key ways to measure marketing impact including direct marketing such as SMS, advertising, POS and public relations.


High-quality content has so many benefits in marketing, it's important to track all its different uses. For example, with an SMS marketing campaign on our gateway, a user who sends a store card holder an SMS about a special offer, e.g. 50% off shoes this weekend, knows how much they have spent marketing to that person as you can directly track if they purchased a pair of shoes using their store card. This allows you to accurately measure your ROI.

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Acquisition channels

Track every single channel through which your users register. This includes SMS and the use of keywords sent to a short code, blog posts, organic search, paid ads, partnerships, etc.

Once you have this information use it! Review the data to identify which channels convert the highest, generate the most loyal users and more. This data signals which channels to invest in and those to retire.

Iterative testing and strategising

End planning sessions with different scenarios to test and measure. Lean, agile marketing should be the essence of your department, with a focus on the goals of each action, and the variations to be tested. One example is within SMS, alter the message and the call to action to see what returns you achieve.

Cost per acquisition

Marketing dashboards can bury you in numbers. The real king of marketing metrics is the cost per acquisition (CPA). If you don't know how much each new customer costs, you're throwing money down the drain.

Customer engagement

Data informs almost every decision we make, and it allows us to communicate with customers in a thoughtful and impactful way. SMS is the perfect tool for an engagement campaign as we always have our phone on us. Analyse the successes and failures of campaigns to create content that improves user experience while helping achieve marketing goals.

Customer lifetime value

Customer lifetime value (LTV) is a great way to reveal the quality of customer segments. Segment customers by referral source (SMS campaign, ad campaign, social network, etc.) and look at their LTV. Just because an ad is converting, it doesn't mean it will bring in high-LTV customers.

Word of mouth and SMS referrals lead to customer LTVs for some of our clients that are worth several times more than those that come from some ad campaigns, which is apparent when you look at the churn rate for customer segments. Conversion rates can easily become a vanity metric, but focusing on LTV and churn are how you build a long-term business.

Audience opinion

SMS especially is a personal communication, so collect information and suggestions directly from customers. You want to go straight to the source to get quality feedback, and the customer using your product/service will have the best insight. Social media is also an indicator that can identify which topics seem to be sparking a conversation in your customer community.

About Charles Stretch

Charles Stretch, is the managing director of SMSPortal. Established in 2002, it has grown to be a large bulk SMS provider sending 100 million SMS a month. Contact him on .