As a digital marketer, I’m exposed to a lot of data. The beauty of running digital campaigns is that I have access to metrics on almost everything imaginable. From impressions to views, placements, clicks, position, and conversions. The list goes on and on. Yet with all of this data at my fingertips, how do I determine which metrics to deliver to my boss? How do I know which metrics will show the true success of my digital campaigns?

The answer is simple. Bottom line revenue is all that really matters to a business. However, the metrics leading up to bottom line revenue shouldn’t be ignored. They’re used on a real-time, daily basis, to optimize my campaigns. But with all the metrics available, which ones really matter?

Let’s Start With The Customer Journey

This graphic below is one of my favorite representations of the customer journey. I’ve used it in multiple presentations for a couple reasons:

  1. It lists the different online and offline touch points a customer takes on their path to purchase (including phone calls – make sure you report on that offline conversion).
  2. It empowers digital marketers to define which touch points are micro conversions versus macro conversions by displaying them all in one place.

marketing analytics conversions

Let’s dive into how you can report on the micro and macro conversions that are important to your business.

Micro Conversions

Google writes a lot of articles on micro conversions and defines them as, “a small step on the path of a visitor toward your primary, or macro, conversion.” So how do you determine which micro conversions really matter and should be reported on?

I believe that there are two types of micro conversions:

  1. Soft micro conversion: This is a click, which we as digital marketers know can be a first step, but not something we would report on as a key metric to the bottom line.
  2. Hard micro conversion: This would be a significant occurrence that proves a customer is interested. It’s what I like to refer to as a hand raise. Some of the hard micro conversions that I regularly report on are content downloads, webinar registrations, RSVPs to an event, a demo requests, and offline conversions.

Once you distinguish your hard micro conversions, the next step is to understand the context behind them. You’ll want to ask yourself questions such as: What content are they downloading? How did they find out about it? How many other pieces of content have they downloaded in the past?

It’s not always easy for digital marketers to understand the context behind every micro conversion. Sure, we can spot a bad email address from a mile away, but what about the more complicated metrics, like phone calls? How you know what happens during the conversation? To determine if a phone call is a micro conversion – or even a macro conversion – you’ll need to understand the context. And let’s be honest, not many people have the time to listen to every recorded phone call. But with the right technology, you can easily listen to or transcribe the call, helping you quickly spot if the caller is early on in their path to purchase (micro conversion) or much further down the funnel (macro conversion).

Macro Conversions

I tend to think that macro conversions are a bit more clear cut than micro conversions. Some digital marketers may consider a macro conversion to be the one primary conversion, such as actual revenue achieved. However, I think macro conversions should also include one step back from the revenue.

Specifically (outside of e-commerce) I think the “negotiation” phase should be considered a macro conversion. What I mean by “negotiation” is the period when a product has been selected and price is being determined. For me specifically, a macro conversion is considered an opportunity to close revenue. I know the amount of anticipated revenue as well as an expected close.

What metrics do I report on as a macro conversion if it’s not only ROI? For considered purchases, macro conversions can be an in-person visit or a phone call. They can even be both depending on the context. These conversions are considered offline conversions, which often include a spoken conversation. This gives digital marketers a key macro conversion that not pinpoints a huge moment in the customer journey, but also attributes the call conversion back to their digital marketing spend.

As I stated earlier, the metrics leading up to bottom line revenue shouldn’t be ignored. Digital marketers use those metrics on a real-time, daily basis to optimize campaigns. So make sure you report on all of the micro and macro conversions you define for your business, including offline conversions like the phone call.