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Why do marketers implement UTM Code in their digital media campaigns?

“Excuse me, Sir. May I kindly check whether you had a reservation, please?” said the server politely to the arriving customer at the entrance of the restaurant. Customer in indigo suit replied: “Yes, I made a booking thru your website yesterday.”

What clues do we get from the above conversation? There were identifiers: the origin of the customer - which is the “website” of the restaurant, time of the booking activity, which is “yesterday”, visiting “now” and the reservation was for “dinner”. The server manually compared the declared information and registered his records before welcoming the customer in.

Tracking in digital advertising works very similar but, in a smarter, faster, and more complete manner. All advertisers wish to know which “source” is performing the best for their campaigns and aim to boost their return-on-investment rates. Which “medium” or campaign term is generating the most response? To distinguish their campaigns, advertisers need to append some unique identifiers such as “specific campaign names” in their tracking settings. These three parameters, “source”, “medium” and “specific campaign names” are the bare minimum requirements to have a sensible insight. Those advertisers looking into more comprehensive tracking may add the “campaign terms” and its “content” to their tracking structure for more refined intuitions.

Then, how to handle the tracking? How to generate it? Where will that need to be implemented? Will there be any technical requirements or difficulties? Will that affect user experience? Any adverse effects on the page or application loading times? Are these tracking mechanisms search engine friendly? Are they compatible with the ad serving and web serving technologies?

UTM is the abbreviation for “Urchin Tracking Module”, and it is merely a simple URL tracker. It helps advertisers to understand their digital campaigns better and allows them to review the results to act swiftly, apply optimizations timely for the best returns and to have very successful advertising campaigns. UTM is essential for campaign analytics where it offers clear, actionable feedback to the advertisers from macro-level to micro levels, dependent on how well its setup and design is. Advertisers will not only be calculating the impact of their campaigns easily but also will have a superior understanding of the best-performing terms of their campaigns. Is it CPM, CPC, CPA or others driving the campaign’s success?

Did you realize that when you forward to your friend a news article or a social media post on WhatsApp, the link always appears to be longer than what you thought? You are indeed right. It is longer because of the appended UTM components.

Let’s examine some UTMs together (these are fictitious ones and used for explanation):


From this UTM, we understand the source was “Blog” and the campaign was promoting a “blog article”, the date was “December 2021”, and the user arrived via “organic” traffic.

Similarly, below example number two will show that source was an “advertising campaign”, again promoting a “blog article” that campaign was in December 2021, and it was a “paid” advertising campaign.


These clues are invaluable to any advertiser, hence, the usage of UTM in a digital advertising campaign could be highly instrumental. UTMs do not affect users’ browsing experiences. It assists with the deep analysis of the campaigns and has perfect, natural compatibility with advertising and web server technologies. However, we must always remember and be mindful that comprehensive and detailed UTMs should not necessarily be complex and difficult to analyse. There are a few syntax rules for UTMs that require attention. All caps, title cases or lower cases? What about spaces? Following the correct syntax is imperative to avoid mismatches of tracking tags with each other. It is industry practice to keep the letters in small caps and use “+” for spaces. These are some of the key rules.

Digital Advertising comprises at least a website, website analytics, mobile advertising, promotions, links, media, social networks, email marketing, analytics, newsletters and so on. For each of these avenues, URLs are the common attributes and once there is an orderly UTM setup and beautiful execution, it will return meaningful insights to the advertisers with an exact breakdown of happenings on each component.

At Osprey Media Lab, our team of experienced professionals not only ensure your advertising campaign’s success but also execute the detailed yet neat setup of your UTMs alongside other vital preparations for your digital marketing efforts. You can focus on your campaign’s insights and discuss with our team the optimization options while leaving all the technical back end to Osprey Media Lab’s trusted hands.

We hope this article will help you decide on your Digital Marketing plan, and for more enquiry on anything Digital head over to our enquiry form "Click Here" and we will be happy to consult you.


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