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Your Complete How-To Guide: Marketing Measurement

Marketers are increasingly digital and data-driven, yet many struggle to communicate marketing’s business impact — more than any other corporate function.

That’s why we recommend utilizing marketing measurement tactics to track performance and gauge whether your goals are being met.

One sure-fire way to marketing measurement success? Follow our four-level framework to stay focused on your goals, keep marketing efforts organized by channel, ensure your team stays collaborative, and consistently analyze and monitor your efforts to prove Marketing’s value.

Let’s dive in.

Article contents:

What is marketing measurement?

These days, there are many ways to market and advertise products and services and increase brand awareness. You’re likely already using several channels to achieve this, like long-form SEO, social media, advertising, and public relations, as part of your marketing plan.

Marketing measurement quantifies the impact or effectiveness of your overall marketing efforts over a period of time. Marketing teams and professionals can measure the performance of plans, channels, campaigns, and platforms. Using metrics, marketing teams can track, record, and analyze data to ensure they hit key performance indicators (KPIs).

Why is marketing measurement important?

Marketing measurement is critical for success. Without it, you will not be able to execute a marketing plan or campaign. Without key metrics, marketing teams will not be able to measure performance. Here are a few reasons why marketing measurement is so important:

Informed decision-making

Measuring marketing effectiveness provides marketers with the ability to make informed decisions. By looking at and analyzing data, marketers can make decisions based on the performance of campaigns or channels.


Measuring marketing can determine which channel, campaign, or platform yields the best marketing return on investment (MROI). Marketers should be tracking marketing return on investment and reporting on it to accurately measure success.

Budget allocation

In terms of dollars, Marketers can justify how to allocate their marketing budget. By measuring your marketing efforts, you can better prove the budget spent on marketing to your CFOs or finance teams.

Future marketing planning

Tracking and measuring data from past campaigns and plans can help marketers develop future plans. Marketing metrics evaluate past performance to help create an informed marketing plan to move forward with.

Provide Business Value

Measuring marketing effectiveness proves the value in terms of business impact. Marketers should use metrics to illustrate the impact on business revenue to better communicate with C-level figures and executives. This can be particularly useful when presenting marketing reports to your CEO or board members.

4 Levels of marketing measurement

Measuring marketing performance is important for businesses to understand the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and make informed decisions about where to allocate their resources.

There are four levels of marketing measurement:

  1. Plan
  2. Campaign
  3. Channel
  4. Tactic

By understanding the different levels of marketing measurement, businesses can better track their marketing performance and make informed decisions about where to allocate their resources.

Let’s look at each of these areas in greater detail:



The four levels of a successful marketing measurement campaign.


1. Plan

The plan level of marketing measurement is the broadest and most strategic level of marketing measurement. It involves evaluating the overall marketing plan’s effectiveness in achieving organizational goals.

These could range from increasing brand awareness and customer retention to generating leads and driving sales. The metrics at this level are often business-oriented and less specific to marketing. They could include measures like return on marketing investment (ROMI), customer acquisition costs (CAC), and customer lifetime value (CLTV).

At this level, marketers can communicate the strategic impact of their efforts on the business to non-marketing colleagues effectively.

2. Campaign

The campaign level refers to thematic campaigns that encompass your marketing channels. At this level, the focus is on understanding the overall success of a specific marketing campaign.

Metrics may include campaign-specific lead generation, conversion rates, and overall engagement. These metrics allow marketers to adjust and optimize their campaign strategies to maximize effectiveness.

Keep in mind that campaign-level metrics are typically measured over a shorter period of time, for example, a month or a quarter.

3. Channel

The channel level of marketing measurement assesses the effectiveness of a specific marketing channel. It focuses on specific marketing channels used in a campaign.

These channels might include email marketing, social media, PPC advertising, and content marketing, among others. The goal here is to understand the effectiveness of each channel in contributing to the campaign’s overall success.

Channel-level metrics can include click-through rates, bounce rates, open rates, and others, depending on the specific channel. These metrics are typically measured over a short period of time, such as a week or a month.

4. Tactic

The tactic level is the most granular level of marketing measurement. It involves assessing the performance of individual marketing tactics within a channel.

For instance, if email marketing is a channel, different email types (promotional, transactional, newsletter, etc.) would be the tactics.

Metrics at this level are highly specialized and may include things like click-through rate (CTR), cost per lead (CPL), white-paper download count, intra-channel content optimization, and even Cost per Click (CPC).

Marketing Measurement Chart

When you need to prove marketing ROI, you’re likely answering a lot of questions from leadership.

And, let’s be honest, sometimes your CEO doesn’t understand the language of marketing.

So, we’ve built this helpful Marketing Measurement Chart for you to see examples of questions that are best answered by different levels of marketing measurement. The optimal level for each question is highlighted in green.


Marketing Measurement Questions Plan Campaign Channel Tactic Example Metric
Did we achieve our strategic marketing goals? % of goal achievement
Did we generate a compelling plan ROI? return on investment
Did we generate marketing metrics efficiently? cost per outcome
Did we select the right target audience? MQL, bookings, revenue
Did we select the right message for our target audience? outcome by segment
What are our least / most effective campaigns? outcome by message
Which campaigns deliver the best return? return on investment
Do we have the right marketing mix? metric achievement, ROI
Do we have optimal performance within a single channel? metric achievement, CPO
Do we have the right sub-channel mix? metric achievement, CPO
Which email sequence generated the highest CTR? count of clicks
Which white paper generated the most downloads? count of downloads


A yellow highlight signifies a potential issue when trying to answer a question at a suboptimal level.

For example, when trying to measure the success of a message directed at a target audience using the channel as the measurement level, the results would only be applicable to that specific channel. It’s crucial to measure the overarching success of the campaign across all channels for a complete view of performance.

A red highlight indicates a risk in attempting to answer a question by measuring at a certain level.

For instance, trying to work out the independent contributions of each channel in a multi-channel campaign could lead to an incomplete view.

Measuring results in aggregate at the campaign level provides a more accurate answer to whether a specific goal was achieved.

It’s important to note that a channel-first approach can be suboptimal for several common questions. This is because many organizations have a channel-first structure, which can inadvertently lead to attempting to answer a broad range of questions with channel-level measurement.

3 Common challenges with marketing measurement

While marketers constantly rely on data and analytics tools to get effective results, there are some challenges that professionals can run into. Here are some common challenges that marketers may experience when measuring performance.

1. Data attribution

Any effective marketing plan involves several channels working together to reach your goals. Multi-channel marketing adds a level of complexity to measuring your marketing efforts. Marketers can use several attribution models to measure multi-channel marketing efforts and get comprehensive insights.

Choosing a multi-channel attribution model  can help align how success is determined across multiple channels.

2. Misleading data

When deciding which marketing metrics are key for tracking and measuring impact, it’s important to focus on KPIs that accurately reflect the success. By not choosing unimportant or irrelevant metrics, you risk measuring misleading results for your business.

3. Marketing goals

Marketers’ most common issue is that their goals aren’t strong enough or not aligned with business goals. In either case, marketing measurement is worthless. A lack of clearly defined goals can affect marketing measurement. Consider using SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) to set clear marketing goals for your organization.

3 Tips for successful marketing measurement

Here are three best practices for considerations to achieve effective marketing measurement.

1. Diversify Channel Expertise

While specialization in certain marketing channels (TV, Radio, Print, Billboard, Digital Advertising, Social Media, Search engines, and Events) is necessary due to the different tools, skills, and expertise required, it’s crucial to ensure a diverse range of channel expertise within the team.

This diversity can help to capture all aspects of a campaign.

2. Align Team Structure with Overall Goals

Marketing teams are often structured around channel expertise, leading to budget allocations by specific channels.

However, aligning the team structure with broader marketing goals rather than specific channels can provide a more holistic view of a campaign’s performance.

3. Broaden Reporting Focus

In a channel-oriented team, individual performance is often tied to the channel’s performance.

However, shifting the focus from channel-level questions such as “Which channels are performing best/worst?” to broader marketing questions like “Is this campaign achieving its target metrics and ROI?” and “Are we achieving our key goals?” can lead to a more comprehensive understanding of marketing performance.

Planful: Your solution to marketing performance measurement

The levels of marketing measurement covered in this blog add value at different phases of the marketing life cycle and for different individuals in the team.

Even if you have a channel-oriented organization structure and budget allocation, take a campaign-oriented approach to your marketing measurement. This will let you see how channels perform on a case-by-case basis and allow you to measure marketing ROI across all your marketing efforts.

At Planful, we encourage marketers to start with their goals, defined in terms of objective – preferably financial – marketing metrics.

Get a demo now to learn how Planful can help you achieve operational marketing excellence.



Dan Faulkner is co-author of The Next CMO: a guide to operational marketing excellence, and the CTO of Planful, where he is responsible for the technical strategy and delivery of the world’s first AI-powered marketing performance management platform. Dan has 25 years of high-tech experience, spanning research and development, product management, strategy, and general management. He has deep international experience, having led businesses in Europe, Asia, North America, and South America, delivering complex AI solutions at scale to numerous industries. Dan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics, and Masters degrees in Speech & Language Processing, and Marketing. He has completed studies in Strategy Implementation at Wharton.

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