Mobile Menu

How to measure success of marketing campaigns

how to measure success of a marketing campaign

Advertising is a tricky business. But the only thing trickier than figuring out what message to send to your customers is knowing whether your advertising efforts have made an impact. Especially when executing multi-channel campaigns, there are lots of factors to consider when trying to measure the success of a marketing campaign.

Your goals and objectives will guide which right metrics to track, which can include the likes of reach, impressions, return on investment or conversions. But how do you know whether your advertising efforts actually resonate with your audience?

In this article, we explore how to measure success of marketing campaigns by leveraging qualitative data that’ll help you glean deeper customer insights that really help you understand and measure advertising effectiveness.

Choosing metrics for measuring advertising effectiveness

An effective way to determine if your ads are achieving their objectives is to set clear, measurable KPIs. Each advertising campaign will have different objectives which will determine the most appropriate metrics to measure.

Typically, advertising campaigns have one of three goals: to inform, persuade or remind.

  • Informative ads drive awareness of your brand, product or service.
  • Persuasive advertising aims to drive purchase behaviour by convincing consumers that a brand’s products or services are the best option for them.
  • Reminder ads unsurprisingly serve to remind people why they need a product or service.

How to measure success of marketing campaigns: Quantitative measurements

When it comes to measuring advertising effectiveness, many marketers opt to use quantitative data. Why? It’s tangible, objective and easy to explain to stakeholders.

There are plenty of ways to leverage quantitative data to measure the success of your marketing campaign, including:

  • Return on investment (ROI) – attributing profit and revenue to the impact of marketing initiatives.
  • Conversion rate – the percentage of customers who take a desired action after seeing your ad (buy a product or subscribe to a service etc).
  • Click through rate (CTR) – the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is viewed.
  • Cost per click (CPC) – the price you pay per click on an advert.
  • Impressions – the total number of times people see an advert.
  • Engagement rate – the percentage of people who have engaged with an advert (likes, comment, shares etc).
  • Website traffic – number of visitors to a website or landing page.

For instance, if your goal is to drive awareness, you will measure the number of impressions your ad receives. For digital ads, you could look at how many people are engaging with content to calculate the engagement rate.

When aiming to persuade, track landing page click throughs or measure the conversion rate to see how many consumers have bought your product.

If the main objective is to remind, you might want to see if website traffic has increased, or measure the ROI of your ad campaign to see whether your efforts are prompting people to take action.

How to measure success of marketing campaigns: Qualitative measurements

However, to truly understand how a campaign is landing with an audience, you need to get under the skin of consumer perceptions and look at the words they choose to talk about your brand. While it’s easy for marketers to focus on quantitative results, they may lose sight of the bigger picture which is why it’s key to look beyond traditional KPIs such as impressions and clicks and dig deeper into qualitative insights.

Qualitative data enables brands to understand how the public engages with their advertising efforts and ultimately measure whether brand perception or brand awareness has changed due to marketing initiatives. You can also harness qualitative research in the initial stages of ad creation and testing, helping brands to develop resonant content for their marketing campaign.

This data generally involves open-ended survey responses which provide feedback on advertising, focus group and interview transcripts, or unstructured data sources like social media, online communities or forums. By analysing consumer thoughts, feelings and opinions, marketers can better understand how people feel about their brand or campaign.

How to measure the success of marketing campaigns

Relative Insight helps brands and agencies measure the impact of their advertising efforts by analysing consumer conversations before, during and after a campaign. Relative Insight Explore compares text data from different time periods to pinpoint the language that is more prevalent in one data set over another.

Our newest product module – Heartbeat – takes it a step further, providing an objective visualization of how discussions of key themes are changing in consumer conversations over time.

To put the platform through its paces, we did some analysis measuring the advertising effectiveness of a PR campaign launched by Camden Town Brewery.

Relative Insight x Camden Town Brewery

In the midst of shops and restaurants re-opening their doors post-coronavirus, Camden Town Brewery made the rather bold move of releasing a TV ad that gave punters the chance to win free beer. That’s right. Free beer.

During the summer of 2020, Camden Town Brewery launched an advert that encouraged viewers to scan a QR code and win free beer. As far as marketing campaigns go, it was refreshingly fun and used clever advertising to expand the brand’s reach to a wider target audience.

We wanted to find out how people reacted to this advert and understand whether opinions towards Camden Town Brewery changed over the course of the campaign. To do this, we analysed social data from Twitter to see how people were speaking about Camden Town Brewery six weeks before the launch of their campaign, compared to the two-week period that the campaign ran for.

Using Relative Insight’s text analysis capabilities, we were able to pinpoint the words, phrases, topics, grammar and emotions that were more likely to appear in each time period, as a way of measuring advertising and PR effectiveness, and the impact this had on brand perception.

Before the campaign

Before launching the campaign, tweets about Camden Town Brewery were largely focused around @untappd (a beer review app) and Strawberry Hells Forever (one of Camden Town Brewery’s newest products). In fact, these words appeared infinitely more in tweets during this period.

The fact that beer drinkers mention Untappd highlights how consumers were using review sites to learn about different types of beer. This is a key consumer behaviour, and Camden Town Brewery could tap into the comments being made on Untappd to understand more on what people think of their products.  

During the campaign

But what were people talking about after Camden Town Brewery’s ad hit the small screen?

People love free stuff

Throughout our analysis, we found that the language people used in tweets mentioning Camden Town Brewery changed drastically. It turned out that consumers not only love free beer but also love talking about it. During the campaign, the word free and phrase free beer was 17.1x more likely to appear in brewery-related tweets.

A study published in Marketing Science actually found that using the word ‘free’ in any marketing initiative can be extremely powerful, triggering the so-called ‘zero price effect’. While these insights don’t come as a huge surprise, it’s interesting to see the positive effect that this campaign’s use of the word ‘free’ has had on people.


When measuring the advertising effectiveness of this campaign, we also saw a sentimental shift in consumer opinion with people expressing their gratitude for free lager. During the campaign, the word thanks was infinitely more likely to appear, highlighting the positive effect that this PR stunt had on brand perception.

Differing opinions

As for the advert itself, it would be quite an understatement to claim that it was less than conventional. In our measuring of this campaign’s effectiveness, we found that people either loved it or hated it. However, one thing is for certain, the ad definitely stood out and to quote a cliché: there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Why does this matter?

Camden Town Brewery’s ‘free beer’ PR campaign triggered positivity and gratefulness in the midst of the pandemic, which is bound to have long-term positive effects on brand awareness and loyalty. The brewery created a campaign that stuck, reminding people that beer is waiting to be enjoyed as the world enters a new normal.

When it comes to the question of how to measure success of marketing campaigns, it’s clear that in the case of Camden Town Brewery’s PR campaign, analyzing social data over time enabled us to pinpoint exactly how brand perception had changed. Relative Insight’s comparative approach also enabled us to see if the advertising message was reflected in consumer language.

Relative Insight provides an innovative and effective way to measure the success of a marketing campaign. So, what are you waiting for?

Measure the success of your marketing campaigns