Bolster your Go-to-Market plans by prioritizing the metrics that matter
Think about all the time and work you invest each day to help your brand become a category leader.
As you organize and implement your Go-to-Market plan, you must:
- Find a real market problem that your product or service will solve
- Clarify your product’s unique selling proposition
- Develop a memorable brand story that differentiates your offering
- Target your ideal buyers with a solution that strongly resonates with them
- Evaluate the specific results of campaigns that will enable you to improve
Marketing leaders have always been expected to do a lot. But now more than ever, you are responsible for business results. That means acquiring some of the skills data scientists bring to the game. But no two businesses are alike. So, how can you know which analytics metrics are most important for you to focus on?
The answer may be deceptively simple. Ask yourself, “Would it be fair for a CEO to judge my performance as a marketing leader based on this metric?” If so, it should probably be on your core tracking list. Read on to learn which metrics should carry the most weight in charting the success of your brand.
Drive traffic and build awareness
Success in this area will reflect on your overall ability to generate growth. Are you able to attract more people to your website, mobile app, and/or retail stores? Which channels drive a bigger audience? What’s the percentage of new versus repeat visitors?
Based on the data you’ve gathered in this area, what insights can you draw? Is the traffic mostly generic? Or are you attracting the right kinds of visitors in the first place? Consider what you might change to reach higher quality prospects from the start.
The Attract phase encompasses three essential metrics which marketers will already be very familiar with, form an important basis for any solid set of marketing metrics: cost per lead (CPL), marketing qualified lead (MQL), and sales qualified lead (SQL).
Most marketers don’t need to dwell on these three metrics since your marketing team is more directly responsible for them. But these numbers will influence decisions you make and affect the potential success of your programs overall.
Cost Per Lead
It’s unlikely a CEO would assess your performance based on a metric like this because it’s more important how these leads respond to your messaging. But, keeping track of what one lead costs is both useful and interesting.
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
Not all leads are created equal. So, scoring them offers a better sense of which are worth further pursuit. Though you may want to expose the majority of your leads to automated marketing efforts anyway, this is the first step in assigning value to them. If you believe you should be attracting more MQLs than you are, reassess your messaging and offers.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
Once a lead advances to a certain point in your marketing process, it becomes worth a sales conversation. If you’re happy with the number of MQLs you’re attracting, but not seeing enough of them mature into SQLs, you may need to recalibrate your scoring process or better align the messaging at both stages.
Here are some more advanced metrics to consider or reconsider. Two guiding principles to keep in mind for all are to put your audience first and aim to deliver the highest quality customer experience across the entire customer journey.
Beyond this, try to assess what people are really doing on your website. How long do visitors stay? How many pages do they view? What have you done to improve those numbers – and is it working?
Acquire more prospects and customers
Consider metrics that demonstrate your effectiveness here. Do the offers and messaging on your website convert visitors into customers or qualified prospects? How often do visitors complete goals you’ve set based on internal KPIs? Highlights here include:
Conversion Rates by Channel
What’s considered a “conversion” will vary from business to business. For an ecommerce site, you’d equate conversion to a completed online sale. But in the B2B arena, capturing key customer contact details may be enough. Either way, conversion rates are a strong indicator of your potential success. Tracking, evaluating, and working to improve your conversion rates for each channel is worthwhile.
Email Marketing Performance
Email marketing results may matter more to B2B companies than a consumer brand might. And it’s worth noting that you must evaluate a number of other metrics within your email campaigns – like click-through-rate (CTR) – to get a better understanding of how well it’s working. But email efforts certainly remain an important KPI to track.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
Not a big surprise, right? It’s easy to see why this metric is considered important by most marketers. Essentially, you take the money spent on sales and marketing and divide it by the number of customers converted from that investment. But some marketing leaders will find it useful to dig one level deeper. Separate out all costs and wins that can be attributed purely to the sales team so you get a better sense of how marketing efforts specifically contribute to CAC.
Maximize sales and revenue
Knowing what revenue can be directly tied to marketing is important. It can even be a bit of an obsession. But, how the relevant metrics are tallied, along with context to overall market conditions also matters. Measurements to highlight here include:
It virtually goes without saying, but we include this metric to reinforce the emphasis CEOs place on growth. It’s unlikely that growth can go on indefinitely, but when you’re able to prove that revenues for the current month or quarter are better than the same period a year before, it speaks to your performance and bodes well for your standing as a marketing leader.
Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI)
Hubspot recently reported that 40% of marketers cited “Proving the ROI of our marketing activities” was their company’s biggest marketing challenge. Though it takes some work to arrive at reliable numbers for this metric, the intelligence will position you to make better decisions about future marketing investments. A simple way to calculate ROMI is to compare revenue gains with the marketing investment. Certainly, ROMI does not factor other costs like product development, distribution, or overhead – but it’s a useful way to assess the effectiveness of your marketing.
Encourage loyalty and advocacy over the long-term
Does the experience you provide through your digital properties encourage customers to stay longer, return, become loyal to the brand, and refer it to their friends and colleagues? In truth, customer experience (CX) is not always simple to calculate, but these metrics help:
Brand loyalty (repeat visit)
It takes only one sale to convert a prospect into a customer. But that doesn’t mean they will automatically choose your brand over your competitors again and again. To get a better sense of a customer’s brand loyalty, look at a combination of specific data points, including repeat visits, time spent on site (or app), purchase history, and customer satisfaction.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
When you consider the time and resources required to convert and retain just one customer, it’s easy to see why this is a practical metric to track. CLV is especially important when the cost to acquire a customer in the first place (CAC) is relatively high. When you are able to establish that the lifetime value of a customer is dependably several times the initial investment, it helps to justify your marketing spend on the front end.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
This benchmark helps measure how likely your customers will be to recommend your products or services to a friend. That may sound simple, but it’s a very useful metric to track. A great new promoter score is difficult to achieve, so it gives your brand great bragging rights. Tracking your NPS has other benefits as well. It gives you a better sense of word-of-mouth – which can be useful all along the customer journey. NPS can help you identify areas where your product or service can be improved – and align your team toward a positive goal, like delivering unrivaled customer service.
Marketers must track metrics that help them gauge the effectiveness of their content, marketing, and ability to deliver high quality customer experiences. Though Google Analytics is free, popular, and useful, you need to consider other analytics tools and dig deeper into the numbers to draw insights that will help you apply the most effective improvements. Remember:
- Prioritize measurement.
- Put your audience first.
- Consider the entire customer journey.
- Work to improve the quality of the customer experience you deliver.
- Focus on metrics that are simple, manageable, and actionable.
There’s no harm in keeping tabs on metrics your marketing team finds interesting in terms of making tactical decisions. A variety of factors like industry or business model will determine which specific measurements matter most to you. Try to isolate which metrics are most important for your brand, and monitor them consistently.
Summary & Takeaways
As you lead GTM efforts for your organization, understand that making all the right decisions and taking all the right actions isn’t always easy. But taking the time to learn which metrics should be prioritized for your particular organization – in light of your current competitive situation – can deliver huge payoffs.
If we’re swimming in more data than ever before, how can you really know which data sets are most important – and which don’t really impact the bottom line?
For some answers, we invite you to download, “Boost Your Success with Personalization, Storytelling, and Metrics that Matter: The New Rules of Content Marketing for 2020 and Beyond.” In this eGuide, we provide guidance on how to focus only on those metrics that matter most to the business.
Inside, you’ll discover:
- One simple question that can be used to evaluate which metrics are worth monitoring
- Why a focus on customer lifetime value (CLV) is as important as customer acquisition cost (CAC)
- 5 practical tips about metrics that enable you to apply the most effective improvements to your marketing
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