A great email can turn ho-hum offers into lead generation blockbusters. A poor signup experience can doom an otherwise brilliant promotion. Strategic investment in digital experience can deliver outsized marketing returns. And your brand’s return on experience (ROX) is a necessary data indicator that tracks brand growth, customer engagement, and profitability. Whether you’re a marketing pro or just starting out, this list of metrics to measure will give you and your organization a clear picture of the state of your ROX.
What is return on experience (ROX)?
Return on experience (ROX) is not a single number, but a progress indicator from some of the most important marketing metrics. It can include quantitative values like customer lifetime value and churn, and more granular digital metrics, including pageviews. ROX also examines more qualitative metrics like customer opinions about your brand, service, and products. When looked at as a whole, ROX paints a picture of how a customer feels when interacting with your brand, and how likely they are to return and recommend.
As a marketer, I wish there were a simple formula for measuring return on experience for any brand interaction on any digital channel, such as a landing page, downloadable tickets or playbooks, or a free trial. This perfect calculation would measure users who think “I’ll be back” up against “that was a pain.” Sadly, that single ROX metric doesn’t exist.
The perfect calculation would measure users who think “I’ll be back” up against “that was a pain.” Sadly, that single ROX metric doesn’t exist.
As a side note: To measure ROX from a recent digital investment, focus on the big-picture metrics most likely impacted. Use digital metrics to spot quick wins or indications that the experience needs further refinement. Turn to common survey-based measures to uncover shifts in customer perceptions.
However you approach your analysis, start tracking your marketing ROX by selecting the most relevant measures from the lists below. Choose at least one metric from each of the three categories. These 18 marketing metrics, when taken in aggregate, can help you monitor experience returns.
Track these big picture metrics that lead to monetary returns
- Conversion rate: This measures the percentage of traffic that takes your desired action to convert. In commerce, that usually means making a purchase. On a B2B site, it could mean downloading digital content. For instance, Goodwine, which sells wine online and in its stores, has increased its conversion rate by 60% since improving its email journeys with Marketing Cloud.
- Churn: Most relevant for businesses that generate recurring revenue, churn is simply your rate of customer loss. Just divide the number of customers you started with in a given period with the number you lost. The lower your churn rate, the better.
- Lead generation: In many sectors, sales start with leads – especially qualified leads. Well-executed experiences inspire potential customers to take a step that makes them a lead, whether that’s calling, filling out a form, or visiting a physical location. Measure changes in the number of leads generated within your experience to track ROX.
- Customer acquisition cost: To measure acquisition, divide the total cost to win new customers by the number of new customers gained for a given period. (Hint: You want more customers for a lower cost). Great experiences will attract more customers without breaking the bank on promotions.
- Customer lifetime value (CLTV): It’s easy to understand the importance of CLTV – it’s the average revenue you can expect from a customer over the course of their relationship with your company. To calculate:
- Multiply the average purchase value by the average purchase rate (that’s the number of purchases for a time period).
- Then, multiply that by the average lifespan of customer relationships.
- Subtract average customer acquisition costs.
CLTV improves when acquisition costs go down, relationship longevity increases, and purchase frequency accelerates. A better experience can boost each of those, leading to dramatic CLTV gains over time.
- Adoption: Divide the number of new purchasers by the number of total purchasers for a product. You want to see your adoption rate climb – and a decline in attrition.
- Advocacy: The metrics you’ll use to measure active advocacy depends on the type of program in place to encourage actions like referrals. Possible measures include number of rewards issued for successful referrals, the number of referrals, content shares, product reviews, and the number of customers willing to provide feedback.
Look to digital metrics for signs of brand growth success
- Engagement: Track digital interactions such as clicks, expanding an image, watching a video, sign ups, shares, and likes.
- New vs. returning visitors: This measures the ratio of new visitors to returning visitors. Better experiences inspire visitors to return.
- Bounce rate: Your bounce rate tracks the percentage of visitors who leave a digital touchpoint after seeing just one screen or page. You want bounce to be low. Look to this metric for early indications on new experiences winning over visitors.
- Blog/newsletter/content subscription: Does your investment in experience include content? If so, use content consumption (and engagement) along with new subscriptions to measure success.
- Clickthrough rates for calls to action (CTAs): Whether you’re asking customers to watch, buy, download, or share, experiences funnel to an action. Measure the percentage of users who take the action your experience encourages. For example, Piedmont Healthcare dropped bounce rates by 83.5% and increased clickthrough rates by 21% by delivering more personalized messages.
- Traffic growth: Measure traffic to your experience over time. It should grow as existing customers visit more and you attract new users.
- Time on site: This is the average amount of time a visitor spends on your site.
- Brand awareness: A better digital experience, especially one that includes content, can impact brand awareness. You can track growing brand awareness by measuring content shares, brand mentions on social media, and searches on your brand.
Use survey metrics to measure customer satisfaction
- Customer effort score (CES): How easy is it for customers to work with you? CES is measured by asking customers to rate the difficulty level of a specific interaction.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): Capture data for this metric by asking customers how likely they are to recommend your brand using a 10-point scale. High scores are from promoters; sevens and eights are merely satisfied. Scores of six or lower are detractors. Subtract your percentage of detractors from promoters to find your NPS. By improving the experience it delivers, Best Buy Canada saw a year-over-year increase in NPS of 9.5%.
- Customer satisfaction score: Ask your customers to rate a specific interaction, overall satisfaction, or both. It’s common to use a 10-point scale for ratings. To measure ROX, conduct the same survey before you launch a new experience and at regular intervals thereafter. Compare your customer satisfaction score over time.