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6 Tips for Confident Marketing Tracking

Sabra Fiala

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Marketing is an essential part of every business. But it’s not always so easy to know if you’re doing it right. Using solid tracking mechanisms not only allows you to measure performance but can help you feel confident in your results and support the development of data-driven strategies to improve your marketing efforts.

It would seem logical to jump right in with campaign tracking, but we need to begin with coding structures in the CRM or marketing platform used to house your prospect data. There are specific codes (sometimes referred to as source codes) that are often prebuilt and associated with prospect data. Quite a valuable resource when examining marketing efforts related to acquisition.

Then there are the tracking codes sometimes created outside of a CRM such as UTMs or extended URLs and tied to Google Analytics that allow for tracking the effectiveness of email and digital marketing efforts. The term UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) may sound complex, but the codes are very simple to create, easy to use, and provide a wealth of information on a marketing source, medium, campaign, term, or content. 

If you’re on the marketing team executing campaigns tied to prospect acquisition and conversion, you’ll want to get very familiar with your company’s or institution’s CRM coding structure. Often the technical mindset developing or customizing the source or tracking structures thinks differently than the marketer who is delivering the results.

In addition to all the variations of UTM parameters that can potentially translate into a unique code to attach to a record, there are still prospects that result from more traditional types of marketing such as list purchase responders or event attendees. And, if you’re thinking UTMs are just measuring marketing performance, not prospect conversion, think again. Prospects who become students or clients likely went on a marketing journey you created. A continuation through a funnel of touch points that led to a conversion. More sophisticated software applications track this through attribution modeling with labels such as first-touch and last-touch

Related reading: Get a Free Marketing Action Plan Template

Try These 6 Tracking Tips

Regardless to what extent you are coding prospects or tracking campaign efforts, here are six things to consider as a marketer responsible for presenting accurate results:

  1. Tracking shouldn’t be an afterthought. It’s best to plan ahead and stay on top of software updates that could impact your set-up or results. 
  2. Some CRMs and marketing platforms have pre-built tracking structures that aren’t always so easy to customize. Always ask about the source code configuration before implementing a new CRM or marketing platform.   
  3. Create a mission for your source code structures, tracking resources, and related processes. This places an intentional value on the importance of tracking to all members of the marketing and executive teams.
  4. Be the source code and marketing tracking champion or designate one. No one can ever fault you for wanting consistency in measurement for accurate results reporting.
  5. Create process documentation or set up a training session for new marketing team members so there’s no question on how to code incoming data into a CRM, work with UTMs, or identify attribution tracking potential.
  6. And remember, if you’re not tracking your marketing, it’s an expense. If you are, it’s an investment. 

Creating a solid foundation of source codes and tracking processes allows you the confidence to deliver accurate marketing performance reports whether you’re creating graphs and charts in Excel or uploading data into more robust business intelligence (BI) platforms.   

Establishing and managing tracking processes are part of a communication mapping workshop Stamats offers. We’ve created hundreds of recruitment communication maps to help colleges and universities optimize their marketing performance and improve confidence in communication processes.

Ready to get started? To discuss marketing or campaign tracking or are interested in a communications mapping workshop, contact Sabra Fiala or schedule a 30-minute meeting