Steering the sales team, developing marketing campaigns and reporting on sales revenue is a balancing act for any marketer. You have to stay on top of your game and quickly determine what's working and what isn’t to be able to adapt or change your marketing strategy.
Identifying the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that highlight how well your strategy is working and then measuring your data against those KPIs will assist you in keeping the momentum going with successful campaigns while providing valuable feedback on where money is being spent with little return on others.
Which marketing KPIs should definitely be on any marketer’s list?
- Website traffic: visitors. If your website is your main marketing platform, pulling traffic is vital as well as understanding what is attracting traffic and why. Another crucial point is converting visitors to leads.
- Landing page conversion rates. A good conversion rate is at least 30%.
- Social media reach. Determine the number of qualified leads earned from each social media channel, the number of converted customers from each social media channel, and the percentage of online visitors that are directed to your webpage due to social media. (This plays a huge part in closed loop marketing.)
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) . How many leads meet the criteria of being a potential client / customer? How many MQLs are qualified and have indicated that they are ready to buy? These types of leads are what the sales team really want in order to spend the least amount of time to close a sale.
- Customer retention. It costs less to keep a customer than to acquire a new one. Retaining customers is also an indication of customer satisfaction and affirms that you are offering relative value compared to your competition.
- Attendance by qualified prospects. How many potential leads are attending your webinars (for example)? Keep track of these numbers in order to determine the value of a lead.
- Cost per SQL. Allocate actual marketing spending so that you can calculate the cost of a lead for future campaign budget planning.
- Customer value. This is determined by calculating the average sale per customer; average purchases made by a customer per year; and the time in months that an average customer is retained.
- Closing rate. It does depend on the quality of leads and general service, but a strong closing rate tells you your value proposition is attractive, and your sales force is well equipped to deliver and demonstrate the promise.
- Sales Team Performance. After looking at the marketing performance, it is time to evaluate how well the sales team (as a department) did, all things considered.
The results speak volumes
After evaluating your marketing endeavours against your identified KPIs, you’ll see that the results will fall into three main categories: drives which work well with good returns; drives which are successful but could do better; and lastly, those that cost more than they are worth. Analysing this information will help you decide which steps need to be taken next.
For the things that work: Keep doing these things as no major changes are needed. These are processes or tactics that are working well and producing good results.
For the things that are judged as effective but could do better, continue along that path but consider allocating more resources to it to drive it forward. For example, perhaps your blog attracts a good number of views, but you blog infrequently. Or you offer product demos at trade shows that always result in quality leads, so you need to figure out ways to do demos virtually, maybe via YouTube videos.
Lastly, for the high cost / low return campaigns: simply stop them. For example, it could be direct tactics aimed at cold prospects that simply aren’t producing qualified leads that convert into sales. There are always some aspects of current activities that do not hold up to objective scrutiny, and once you start the evaluation process you see real evidence of how it is failing.
KPIs do a good job of setting the scene for an objective review and highlight what is working and what isn’t, and for you, as a marketer, this is a big motivating boost to make changes for the better.
Start with measuring basic activity and evaluate the results on a monthly basis. Over time you will develop your own specific set of KPIs that will give you the answers you need most. In today’s age, marketing can prove return on investment (ROI) as long as the data is collected and measured.