How to track your marketing efforts

November 11, 2016 by Kyle J Johnson

A team reviewing marketing data on a tablet.

About the author

Kyle J Johnson

Revenue operations lead

Kyle provides revenue and sales analysis for all Advicent go-to-market teams. These analytics optimize Advicent pipeline forecasting, marketing strategies, and leveraged media channels to improve efficiency of sales operations. Kyle is interested in combining his three passions: tech, data analytics, and marketing, to drive success.

There are many ways to keep an eye on your marketing efforts. Some of the most common means of tracking those efforts are wrapped in a high-level attribution system that consists of a Google Analytics code, goals, and UTM parameters.

Tracking your marketing efforts has never been more important. For independent advisors, ROI is an essential number. How can you tell if you marketing efforts have a positive return on their investment if you do not track them? With the advancements in CRM systems and marketing automation tools over the past years, understanding marketing ROI has become paramount to the success of marketing your organization.

Below is a quick guide on how to setup a very basic attribution system for comprehending the results of your marketing spend.

Google Analytics

The first step is to install Google Analytics onto your website. Google Analytics is a free tool that Google provides for tracking how users interact with your website. Google Analytics tracks very important information about your website, such as number of users that have visited your website, the average duration of time they spend on the website, and the number of pageviews per session. You can also track how users are navigating through your site – do they go from your homepage directly to the contact page? Or do they read about your business first? If they head to the "about me" page, you should consider putting a “contact me" form onto that page.

Setting up Google Analytics is simple, head over to Google Analytics and follow these instructions. The instructions will require you to insert a snippet of code onto each page of your website, so you may need to contact your website administrator in order to get the code onto each page. Once the code is in place on each page, you will be tracking users across your website! This step can be the only tracking you implement and could still provide some amazing insights into your website and your marketing efforts.

Goals with Google Analytics

What is the goal of your website? It is to get people to provide their contact information so that you can reach out to them about the services you provide. Thus, it is critical that you have forms on your website for people to fill out so that you can contact them. If you do not currently utilize forms on your website, I suggest you work with your web team to get those in place. After someone fills out a form, you can send that individual to a “thank you” page on your website. Now you can use Google Analytics to track the visitation to the “thank you” page as a success in a Google Analytics’ goal! To setup a goal follow these instructions.

Once you are in the Goal Setup, you will choose “Custom” for the First Goal Setup. Then, under Goal Description, fill in a name and select Type as “Destination.” Now you will need to find the “thank you” page URL, once you find the URL, paste it into the Destination box. Click Save. Now, every time a potential client fills out a form and views the “thank you” page, you will see this as a goal conversion.

UTM parameters

UTM parameters give you the ability to determine where your leads are coming from. UTM parameters are attached onto URLs to transport information.

Let's take this URL as an example:

The UTM parameters come immediately after the initial URL. The UTM parameters are: “?utm_source=Facebook&utm_campaign=Advicent”. When a lead clicks on this link, Google Analytics will automatically pull in the source as Facebook and the campaign as Advicent. When you look at the statistics in Google Analytics, those UTM parameters can show you how many people have visited your website from a certain ad campaign you have ran on a given platform, such as Facebook. You can build UTM links here.

By looking at your analytics, you can begin to determine how well your marketing campaigns have performed. Using the goal tracking from above, you can determine how many new leads you have acquired from each campaign or source. You can also analyze the engagement of each of your campaigns. Are people clicking on the ads or posts? Are people engaging with your content more on Twitter than LinkedIn? Use these insights to drive your marketing strategy