So your campaign didn’t deliver the right result? Not enough sales, leads or engagement (or whatever the magic success metric was)? Poor ROI perhaps? I’m not surprised!

The reason is that, in general, we use really simple measures and record binary outcomes; ‘hit/miss’, ‘sale/no sale’ or ‘open/did not open’ metrics.

Typically we use one or maybe two such metrics per campaign. This simple methodology is the default across the industry but in reality it is now a hindrance to really optimising campaigns.

Consider this campaign that generated 100 visits to a website, and two people bought. At least that is what our tracking tells us, it’s not a great result but at least some sales were made.

On this basis the campaign would be declared a failure and not repeated. 

However consider some other factors:

1. 35 people spent more than two minutes engaged with the proposition being promoted. An unbelievable result, fantastic news but your binary tracking system regards this as failure as no conversion was tracked.

Is this time wasted or will these people come back and buy at a later time? The data tells you that some will and this research activity is great news for future sales. 

2. Four people abandoned their shopping carts. This is also great news! Sounds mad? Well in reality many abandoned baskets are not lost sales they are simply deferred to another time so it is likely that another two sales will come from this group.

3. 15 of the campaign respondents were existing customers, they came back to simply have a look around.

A great result, you have reconnected with people who have spent money with you in the past, but your binary tracking system regards this as failure as no conversion was tracked.

4. 11 people liked what they saw and decided to register for your email programme. Again a great result but your binary tracking system regards this as failure as no conversion was tracked.

Would you run this campaign again, if you *knew* that these other outcomes all drove future sales? Of course you would!

All of the outcomes described above show that the campaign had a big impact but the tracking system missed it. The simplicity of the systems we use means we do not see all the value we create, and if we cannot see the full value, how can we know the impact of our campaigns?

If you are still employing binary tracking it is time you looked again because a poor measurement strategy will lead you towards the wrong decisions. It’s time to start tracking properly.