Measuring Critical Success Factors

Unfortunately most research today suggests marketers are simply measuring the wrong things. Sometimes referred to as “vanity metrics”, these tend to be numbers or qualitative anecdotes that make it difficult to connect to the ultimate goal, which is building the sales funnel. Without measuring critical success factors that control bottom line performance, your confidence as marketer and broader team wanes about what’s actually driving your leads and sales.

If at this point you’re not tracking metrics closely enough nor understand what they mean,  a basic introduction to the topic should let you begin tracking relevant KPIs (key performance indicators). Now you can discover how to translate your goals into measurable results.

Introducing KPI’s

You’re probably aware of and are using tools like Google Analytics to track your web site activity. These and other tools track web metrics such as visitors, page views, and bounces.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measurable stats that tell you how effectively your company is achieving key business objectives. Your most important question: What are our KPIs and how do we act on them?

Basic performance metrics come in 6 different types:

  • Consumption (how many people viewed your pages and downloaded documents)
  • Retention (how many visitors returned)
  • Sharing (how many visitors mentioned your business or shared your materials)
  • Engagement (how many people delved into a number of your documents)
  • Traffic (how many visitors visited your website and social pages)
  • Leads/sales (total phone calls, emails, and revenue)

These basic metrics are combined to assess more complex views of your business marketing performance. Total web traffic or Twitter follower counts are trackable metrics may only tell you a portion of your marketing effectiveness. However, as you combine these data points with Engagement (behaviour score) or Raw Leads for example, you start you have a more holistic view of the impact of your efforts.

To track the quality of a lead, detailed behaviour scores across channel, and enable lead nurturing programs, you’ll need more than just Google Analytics. A comprehensive lead-to-revenue (or Marketing Automation System) such as Act-on, Hubspot, Marketo, or Salesforce. These platforms provide more clarity on which metrics to watch and what changes you’ve made that have increased sales performance.

Jumpstarting your Campaigns

With respect to digital marketing, using KPIs will help you identify problems, gaps, and areas of improvement in your marketing programs. KPIs provide a baseline of where you are now and how they change over time as you implement your quarterly marketing plans.

10 Digital Marketing KPIs

While some KPIs will be similar, certain metrics will depend on the size, type and goals of your business.  An international manufacturer will have different KPIs than an insurance brokerage, IT services firm, or law firm, etc.

Here are 10 KPI metrics you can use if you’re tracking small-to-medium business-to-business (b2b):

  1. Sources (channels) with Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
  2. Sources (channels) with Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
  3. Warm Funnel Leads (WFLs) (or behavioural score)
  4. Email open and clickthrough rates
  5. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
  6. Cost per qualified lead
  7. Landing page conversion rates (Views, Submits, Bounces)
  8. Content engagement (Bounce, Views, Shares)
  9. Cost per Click (CPC)
  10. Overall ROI on 90 day marketing campaign

Using your KPIs

KPIs can help you customize, personalize, and optimize your web and social content and use these resources to nurture leads. They can help you understand marketing gaps in the sales cycle and provide critical telemetry to rapidly adjust your programs.

Getting to the truth about what really works in your marketing, and what will give you sustainable success is the big reward here.  Weigh your KPIs against each area of your digital marketing to build a baseline for future efforts. Then, use A/B testing to find out what works specifically and what doesn’t for your audiences. By watching your KPIs closely you can quickly weed out what doesn’t work, saving marketing dollars.

If this is all too much for you to manage, you may want to consider bringing in an agency with expertise in performance tracking.