How to Keep Your Web Marketing Campaigns from Crashing and Burning

You may never experience an epic failure like Coke did with its “New Coke” marketing campaign back in 1985, but if you are a business owner, freelancer or marketing manager you will eventually fail.

That’s not such a bad thing. It’s really what you do after that failure that counts.

At the very least, failing at a web marketing campaign means you’re trying. The secret is to figure out how not to make those mistakes in the first place.

The best way I’ve discovered to improve each of my web marketing campaigns is to focus on three measurements:

  1. Contextual influence of sales
  2. Market share
  3. Advertising awareness of the brand

Let’s explore each.

1. Calculate Contextual Influence of Sales

I’m sure you’re saying to yourself, “what the hell does that mean?” Well…let me start off with an example.

For my Quick Sprout Pro Traffic System product I decided to create a simple video as a product promotion. The investment on my end was low and it was relatively easy to make. I figured it was a good idea to test to see how well it would work. Here’s the video:

One of the things I wanted to know was how many people who bought the Pro Traffic System actually watched to the video and who didn’t watch it.

It’s possible that other means besides the video drove them to buy the Pro Traffic System. However, if I just looked at the straight sales numbers, I couldn’t assume it worked. I needed a way to isolate the sales.

The way to do that is to look inside your web analytics account…look at how each feature of your web marketing campaign performed or was influenced by other features.

This is called “contextual influence.”

With our Crazy Egg’s confetti heat map you can do just this:

crazy egg confetti screenshot 2012

The analysis I did with my own site and web marketing campaign proved that the video was in fact having positive results on the outcome.

Luckily, creating the video was a minimal investment that paid off.

And in comparing the heat map data with sales numbers and the leading referrers I discovered that sales actually fell when I did not use the video.

The beautiful thing about looking at this type of data is that you can isolate the features that work so you can put your resources in the right area and avoid losing money unnecessarily (which can lead to failure as the mistakes compound).

2. Calculate Market Share

This is not an easy one…but we need to try and work through it because we all need to try to expand our market share at some point.

But how do you even calculate market share? Simply calculate the number of products or services sold vs. market size.

But it’s not as easy to say that the number of items sold is how many products you moved off the shelf. For example, you need to ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you going to calculate in dollars or units sold?
  • Do you count orders that have to be delivered or appointments booked…when actual service or money has never exchanged hands?
  • Do you include sales from affiliates?
  • Do you include taxes? This is a part of doing business, so my suggestion is, yes, include taxes.
  • Do you include the service/maintenance component of your product or service? Add-ons? If any of these externals were included in the original offer, then yes, you need to.

Next, you have to figure out market size. That information isn’t the easiest to capture, but here’s an approach I like to use:

  • Collect annual reports and company information about the total revenue in a particular market. This approach works best when there are few players in the market. The airplane industry, for example, has relatively few players, so market share is easily obtained.

You can also determine market share by looking at similar markets:

  • Find a market that is similar to yours in the way it behaves or its size. For example, if I couldn’t get this data from the web analytics industry for my company, I might look at similar industry…like the offline analytics industry, which has been around for a while.

It’s from this determination that you can figure out what your market size is…and then calculate your penetration into that market.

Let’s Use My Business As An Example

Personally, I might view my market as the web consulting industry. Now do I include everything from all the small businesses receiving consulting help to large brands like Viacom? For this example I’m just going to focus on large, established brands.

Next, I add up all of the consulting agencies out there who are working in this market. I try to figure out how much business they have, and then compare that to how much business I have.

Let’s say I have 7% of the market share of the big, established brands in the web consultancy business. My goal could be to gain 3% by the end of the year, raising my share to 10%.

I would then create my marketing campaign around that objective and benchmark. By having a focused goal for the year, it makes it much easier to reverse engineer my marketing strategy to obtain my objective.

If you are interested in more marketing research information, check out these companies:

3. Personal Brand Awareness

If your marketing campaign is designed to build awareness of you as your brand, you need to measure awareness before the launch of the campaign, during the campaign and then after. But how do you measure this one?

There are four tools you can use to figure that out.

Klout is a measure of your influence in the social web. It actually measures 35 different variables across three specific segments:

True Reach – This is a measure of the size of your engaged audience.

klout audience engagement

Amplification – This is a score of the likelihood that your audience will actually do something with the content you share. Will they retweet? Like? Comment?

Network – This score is all about who is in your audience. Do you have a small audience of large influencers? Or do you have a large audience of non-influencers?

Your overall Klout score is combined to create a score between 1-100. The higher the Klout score, the better of an influencer you are.

PeerIndex is a lot like Klout, but it also creates three subsets of scores called Authority, Audience and Activity…and then delivers an overall score.

Where the other two tools looked at data over all of your social media sites, Twitalyzer focuses on Twitter only and pulls the hard data in the form of Engagement, Impact, Reach, Velocity and a few other metrics that show you how you use Twitter.

Available are benchmarks like most influential people on Twitter:

twitalyzer screenshot 2012

Like Twitalyzer, Crowdbooster also focuses on Twitter, but adds some interesting metrics like the growth of your followers, who your top retweeters are and the most influential followers you have. What’s really sweet is the scatter plot graph that lets you see which tweets got the most engagement.

You can track your follower and fan growth:

crowdbooster fan growth

In addition, this tool will give you recommendations for the best time to tweet based on the times your most influential followers are active.

Put all this information together to create a benchmark before you start your marketing campaign. Then set landmarks that allow you to judge whether your efforts are increasing or decreasing your personal brand awareness. And learn from the results so you can optimize constantly.


Marketing is a lot like a science. There are so many measurements you can use to track your results and improve your campaigns…so much data and facts to help you make wise decisions. And as you get really good at it, the accuracy of your predictions about how your campaigns will perform should get better.

Think about it: when you test the right things like contextual influence, know the size of market you are operating in, and set both industry and personal benchmarks, your knowledge and experience will grow.

So, what measurements do you think people fail to look at when they are running their marketing campaigns?