Which metrics do you use to assess Chinese marketing success?

For the success of any marketing campaign to be established, it is important to have a clear process for measurement and evaluation. After all, if you cannot objectively assess the results of your marketing activities, how will you know whether your spending has been worthwhile?

There are a huge variety of possible metrics to choose from and each business will select theirs according to a variety of factors. The starting point is to know what your goals and objectives are. If your campaign is designed to build brand awareness amongst your target audience in China, then your success measures will be different than if your campaign is designed to build e-commerce traffic.

Equally, a Western brand breaking into the Chinese market using digital marketing tools may choose different metrics to a more established brand with an existing presence and customer base.

Which metrics measure Chinese marketing success?

A good starting point is to ensure that the metrics you do choose are all SMART aligned. This means measuring things that are specific, measurable (i.e. able to have data assigned to them in a meaningful way), achievable – so that the measures are contextualised, realistic and time-bound.

Popular metrics for marketers include:

1. Inbound website traffic

This is a basic and a broad-brush measure, but it’s an important foundational one. if your Chinese website traffic is slowing you can investigate why. It could be down to a performance issue, a speed issue, a need for better content or a newly optimised user journey. But unless you see those figures decline, you won’t have the prompt to investigate further.

2. Traffic by source

This breaks things down further and assesses where your inbound traffic is coming from. It’s useful to know, as you can focus your efforts on the most profitable sources if you know which ones they are. The main categories are traffic from advertising, organic sources, referrals and social feeds.

3. New vs returning visitors

This helps to give a guide to the ‘stickiness’ of your website. If your content is offering genuine and relevant value, then your customers – or potential customers – are more likely to return to it.

4. Sessions data

It helps to know how many sessions – or visits – your website receives and how long each session is on average. This will give you a sense of how well your UX is working and whether it needs any adjustment.

5. Page data

Similarly, you will probably want to know what your page views are, to see which pages are adding the most value and which may need improving, or removing. Most visited pages and the bounce rate will help to build up a fuller picture of how your content is performing.

6. Bounce rate

This rate tells you how many visitors immediately leave, or bounce, from your website after only seeing one page. A high bounce suggests that something isn’t right. For example, the page might return an error message, it might be slow to load, it might have irrelevant content or not answer the visitor’s search purpose. Either way, knowing the bounce rate is the first step toward making a positive change.

7. Conversion rate

Conversions in this context don’t necessarily mean a sale, but they will refer to a specific and intended function on your website. This could be a form completion or registration, a contact, a subscriber or an entry, as well as an actual sale. it’s a great metric to include in your overall data set as it tells you whether your intended outcomes are being met online.

8. Impressions

If you’re running a branding campaign then you’ll want to keep an eye on your impressions too, to see how many times your content is being viewed online, and how effectively your online advertising campaign is.

9. Social reach

Similarly, social reach will tell you how well your social media campaigns are reaching your target audience. Some marketers use a benchmark goal of 2-5% for engagement against your overall social reach, but your own metrics will be based on your goals and presence.

10. Social engagement

This is a big one for many brands operating in China. It measures the engagement that your social posts receive and this can be measured by shares, comments, likes and so forth. Engagement is the overall yardstick for measuring social media success in any country and these metrics can be further broken down, especially on Chinese social media platforms which are extremely sophisticated and which offer a wealth of analytics.

… and perhaps the most important metric of all:

11. Return On Investment!

Every campaign needs to achieve a return, and the overall ROI will tell you whether your activities are hitting the mark. Decide at the start of your campaign what your objectives will be and how you will measure them, and set some consistent measures that you can track over time to assess performance trends. Insightful reporting will also transform the data into actionable insights and recommendations for further refining your campaigns – something that a Chinese marketing agency like Market Me China can assist with.

Gathering metrics

One of the biggest challenges that Western brands face when gathering metrics data is that most of Chinese digital platforms operate entirely in Chinese. This means that although their back end analytics and management programmes are hugely rich and powerful, they require native language skills. Many Western brands will overcome this hurdle by using the services of a Chinese digital marketing agency, which can gather data, analyse it and produce custom reporting against campaign objectives as part of their broader programme of work.

The help you need

Market Me China can help you to create a powerful, meaningful set of metrics that are wholly relevant to your Chinese digital marketing strategy and overall business plan. We can gather data on your behalf, analyse it and produce custom reporting with insights and recommendations that will guide your work in the right direction. Please contact us to find out more and to unlock the full value from the right Chinese digital marketing metrics.