Can You Really Measure Your Marketing Results?

Pooja Agnihotri
5 min readJul 6, 2021


Data-driven marketing

Or data-driven strategy

Or data-driven digital marketing.

You must have heard any of these terms in the past few years. As analytics become an important part of every digital marketing, measuring performance on all these channels becomes an integral part of marketing.

Do you run a social media campaign, followed by checking social media data for that like how many people saw that video ad? Have they liked it? Did they share it? Have they visited your website after seeing that ad? But is that the only purpose of running your social media ad?

Don’t Forget to Measure the Long-term Results of Digital Marketing

Let me share an example to make my point. When my dad was a young teenager, there was a particular type of orange candy that was his favorite. Now, after so many years, when there is a vast sea of candies out there, nothing brings more happiness to him than the same orange candy.

He remembers the ad, he remembers the jingle and he also remembers how it made him feel at that time. Time has changed but the ad of that candy is creating the same magic in his mind. Maybe conscious or maybe subconscious mind, but that’s not important.

I am sure the marketing department of that candy would have calculated a lot of numbers when they launched the ad.

But had they evaluated how many people still don’t want to buy another brand because even though the time has passed but the magic of the product has not dulled in their minds?

‘Nostalgia’ is one of those many factors that makes a consumer buy the same thing. It can be because of anything, Maybe your tagline was so fun and catchy and it matched the right timing in their lives that created that instant attraction. Maybe your ad was so memorable and creative that they can’t forget, even after so many years, how it made them feel. Nostalgia can be created by infinite combinations of your product and your consumer’s life moments. But this is something that increases your sales. Don’t you agree?

What if, when the marketing department for that orange candy, assessed the results of their campaigns at that time and found that the return on investment of that ad campaign is not great? Did that make that ad campaign a failure, something they should not have invested in?

Let’s make this a little simpler and try thinking in numbers right now. The orange candy company ran an ad for $100,000 and it led to sales of $110,000 worth of candies. Let’s assume for a minute there were no other ad or marketing campaigns going on at that time and that entire sale can be credited to one ad campaign. Upon analysis, it seems like a waste of money.

But what if the ad was so memorable that whenever most of the consumers thought of buying candy, they just thought of your brand? Let’s say that the next year there were sales of $50,000 just because it got a share of people’s minds. Next year, there were sales of $40,000. Next year, $30,000. Now, that share of mind has converted to share of hearts. And with that, this category of share of hearts continues buying your brand for the rest of their lives. Not just that they make people around them curious about their obsession for your brand and a percentage of even those new people start buying your product.

How many surveys can you do to learn that people will still remember you after 30 years? How many interviews can you do to figure out that these people will still choose you over other competitors no matter what?

There is so much that defines the success of a digital ad or a digital marketing campaign which is hard to measure. That doesn’t mean we should stop trying. That means that we should not forget that there are some things you won’t be able to calculate but they are still important.

Let’s explore more on this topic.

What are the Two Types of Digital Marketing Results?

From the example above, we can tell that there are two types of results a successful digital marketing campaign produces. These are tangible digital marketing results and intangible digital marketing results.

Tangible Digital Marketing Results
Marketing results can be easily shown in numbers like sales, market share, brand awareness, brand equity, the share of voice, and even online sentiments.

If you’re following the customer-centric digital marketing strategies, then you can easily measure customer acquisition, customer retention, customer lifetime value, and customer equity in numbers.

Intangible Digital Marketing Results
There are a few things that you can’t measure for successful ad campaigns. It can be the share of mind or it can be how much that digital marketing campaign has contributed to your brand-building.

What is ROI in Marketing?

Return on Investment in marketing is measuring the result and performance of your marketing strategy. Just like normal ROI, you measure your investments and you measure your returns, to calculate marketing ROI.

How to Calculate Marketing ROI?

Here’s a simple formula for that:

Marketing ROI = Marketing Investments/ Marketing Returns

In this formula, marketing investments are how much money you have invested in your marketing campaigns, digital ads, market research, and any other marketing activities.

Marketing returns can be the number of sales or market shares. Marketing returns generally follow a sequential process of results. When you run a marketing campaign, customer value, and customer engagement increase. When customer engagement increases, it increases the interest of customers in your brand and your products. This, in turn, strengthens customer retention. Better customer retention means enhanced customer lifetime value and customer equity.

In addition, you can use the same formula to calculate any subset of digital marketing like social media marketing ROI, email marketing ROI, content marketing ROI, or something else.

Key Lessons

Measuring the performance of your marketing campaigns is a must because without this you will never know what is working and what is not. This will lead to an increased gap between your actual results and your expected results.

But the sudden digital marketing culture of just focusing on data shouldn’t mislead you from understanding the importance of creative digital marketing in your brand building.

Here’s the key takeaway for you — ‘what can’t be measured also matters.’
If your digital ad campaigns are winning the share of voice but not share of mind and share of heart, you are doing something wrong.



Pooja Agnihotri

Experienced marketer and a published book author, Pooja Agnihotri, is on a mission to save businesses from themselves.