7 Best Practices for Building your World-Class Campaign Tracking System

Most organizations use spreadsheets or a homegrown system to track the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns. But can it scale?
November 21, 2018
Mikel Chertudi

Chances are high your organization uses spreadsheets or has built a homegrown system to track the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns. Yours might be one of the lucky few that does this quite well, but the odds are higher yours is one that struggles to define a data-driven strategy, use the right methodology, and obtain the tech necessary to capture the full spectrum of campaign data available. In other words, you want to use campaign data to provide personalized experiences to prospects and customers at scale, but can’t maximize the possibilities, because of data limitations.

Here is a summary of the 7 best practices for building your own world-class campaign tracking system. For a more comprehensive guide, download 7 best practices for building your world-class campaign tracking system.

1. Establish governance

You need to set some ground rules and establish governance. Appoint an individual or team, or create a committee to administer and approve the marketing data standards to be used consistently across the organization.

2. Develop consistent standards

The key to accurate data which supports governance is to standardize campaign classifications and metadata nomenclature consistently across your organization.

This includes all campaign classification and metadata and is standardized by using mutually exclusive values for each classification category and values with customized pick lists. When applied to the entire organization, these campaign classification picklists must be built into one repository with touchpoints for all paid, owned, and earned media channels. This ensures that metadata for tracking all internal and external activities are accounted for.

3. Track consistently across teams

All channels and teams—whether paid, owned, or earned—need to be part of a unified strategy, methodology, and system to track all external and internal activities.

4. Unify channel and content classifications and tracking

Channels are always tracked and measured, but what about the message, creative execution, CTA, or product? Content attributes are even more important when looking to deliver phenomenal experiences to your prospects and customers.

How do you deliver the right message at the right time to the right audience? By using metadata to describe attributes across all touchpoints holistically. Evolving to this deeper level of tracking and measurement equips you to invest in areas that are performing well and divest in areas that aren’t doing your marketing any service.

5. Broaden tracking parameters to scale

Expanding to an alpha and/or numeric ID-based system that associates classification metadata and values is ideal. Additionally, to prevent IDs from being overwritten within web analytics as a reporting tool, separate parameters should be used for tracking external versus internal campaigns (due to web analytics system limitations).

6. Standardize data collection

All customer interactions and campaign IDs must be captured in a thoughtful, consistent way across all touchpoints. Cookie and browser expirations should be deliberately set as well, going beyond clicks. Take into consideration the value of a view-through or page view as it contributes or detracts from a purchase. Additionally, ensure that you’re able to capture touchpoints and tracking IDs even if the visitor hasn’t converted or authenticated to a known profile. Store them and then associate them once authentication is achieved.

7. Integrate technologies

There are few systems that can integrate tracking and metadata across all the various technologies and platforms used in a marketing organization. On top of it all, just pulling all the data with inconsistent classifications and metadata values into a data repository after the fact doesn’t cut it—especially when the metadata values should match up across systems, but the critical pre-work of mapping them hasn’t taken place.

Final thoughts

A world-class tracking system for campaigns and experience touchpoint is the foundation for successful marketing programs. Unlock hidden optimizations, ensure data reliability and integrity for ROI analysis via better attribution, and personalize future experiences.

To see how Strala can save you time and do it for you, schedule a demo.