4 Steps to Defining Marketing Goals that Your Clients Will Care About

There is a common misbelief that business growth is only about increasing numbers and finding potential clients. However, the most successful marketing agencies will tell you that holding to this mentality comes at the expense of your clients.

Focusing only on gaining new accounts too often leads marketing agencies to the pitfalls of making short-term decisions to win a new account while sacrificing other long-term client relationships, trust, and success.

The truth is that to win as a marketing agency, you must do both. You must define marketing goals for your agency that also benefit your clients.

Follow the steps below to create marketing goals that your current clients will care about.

1. Establish trust by determining what your clients care about.

Do your clients trust you?

Clients who are unsatisfied with their marketing agency often report that their agency partners seem more interested in selling their firm’s ideas than in solving the client’s actual problems.

The first marketing goal you should set for your agency is to determine what your clients actually care about.

Agencies with a growth mindset regularly communicate with their clients to make sure that they know what their clients care about.

You can communicate with your clients in many ways--customer satisfaction surveys, one-to-one calls with the decision-maker at your client’s company, or team-wide feedback sessions after a big campaign launch. Whatever method, or combination of methods, you take, there are a few questions you should be sure to ask:

  • Why did your clients choose your business and how are you keeping your promises?
  • How are you providing an exceptional customer experience for them?
  • How strong is your differentiator in the actual delivery?
  • How are you addressing the pain points you targeted when marketing the product to them?
  • How effective is your solution at actually addressing those pain points?

2. Create measurable goals—for your team and for your clients.

For your agency:

Once you have identified what your clients care most about, you need to translate those ideas and values into business goals for your team to continually monitor their progress toward.

Setting measurable goals is a key aspect of defining your funnel analytics because it allows you to quantify your progress and respond as needed. By aligning your goals with customer expectations, you will build stronger loyalty with clients and increase retention rates.

Consider these common KPIs marketing agencies use to track their customer satisfaction and engagement:

KPIs related to customer satisfaction and retention:

  • Percentage of Clients Satisfied with Service
    After administering surveys asking for customer satisfaction, determine the percent of current clients that are satisfied with your services.
  • Retention Rate
    What percentage of clients are you keeping? What percentage of clients are you losing?
    If your retention rates are low, you need to focus on improving retention.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)
    You determine this metric by using the average monthly revenue per customer divided by your monthly churn rate. This shows how valuable are your current clients in terms of revenue?
  • Inbound Marketing ROI
    (Gross Marketing Revenue – Marketing Invest)
    Look at your actual rate of revenue on inbound marketing when you subtract the amount you spend on marketing.

KPIs related to customer contact and interaction:

  • Frequency of Contacts
    How frequently are you contacting your clients?
  • Percentage of Opened Emails
    What percentage of your sent emails are actually being seen by clients?
  • Website Traffic (by channel)
    Discover which channels are the most popular with your audience by looking at website traffic.

For more ideas of Marketing KPIs to track, check out

For your clients:

Every client’s needs may differ, but your guidance to translate their needs into metrics that can be measured and managed must remain consistent across all your accounts.

Setting goals with your clients will ensure that you are on the same page and make it easier to measure the impact of your agency helping them achieve their marketing goals.  

The following metrics are particularly helpful for your clients to use:
  • Traffic by Channel
    Identify changes in traffic for individual channels including social, search, email, and others. Because of the prevalence of digital marketing, this metric can be a good reflection of brand awareness.

    Tip: If brand awareness is a particularly important initiative for your client, include more engagement metrics such as number of new visitors, bounce rate, and time spent per page, as well as social engagement metrics like followers, comments, likes, and shares.
  • Traffic-Lead Conversion Rate by Channel
    Although traffic and engagement data is useful information, they can commonly be tagged as “vanity metrics.” In order to make that data meaningful, calculate your traffic-to-lead conversion rate, again by channel. This tells you what your traffic is worth, as well as which channel is producing the most leads. It also demonstrates that you’re aligned with your client’s objectives, not just the appearance of success.
  • Marketing Pipeline Contribution
    Transitioning from traffic-lead conversion rate to marketing pipeline contribution is simple: just add up the leads from each marketing channel, and then divide by the total number of leads given to sales. This will give you the percentage of leads that marketing has directly contributed.

    If possible, you should also calculate the marketing-influenced pipeline, which includes all leads that were nurtured or touched by marketing at any point.

    Tip: For highest impact, calculate both percentages by quantity and by lead value.
  • Marketing Lead-Customer Conversion Rate
    Continuing along the path from traffic to revenue, the next step is to address what percentage of marketing-originated leads convert to sales. This will give you and your client great insight into the quality of leads being passed from your agency to their sales team, and whether that handoff needs improvement.
  • Marketing Cost Per Lead
    Your clients probably care about costs. One way they may measure your value to them is cost per lead, specifically the marketing percentage of cost per lead. To calculate this, divide the marketing cost to them by the total number of leads that came directly through marketing. Depending on company goals and expectations, you may want to follow this further down the funnel and address marketing percent of customer acquisition cost (CAC), especially if providing higher-quality leads to sales is one of your objectives.
  • ROI
    You want to make your client feel good about the money they’re spending on your services, so showing them a good return on investment is incredibly important when you’re reporting to them. The proper formula for a marketing agency to use is this: (Gross Marketing-Originated Revenue less your Marketing Investment)

    Tip: You can also break down ROI further by campaign or channel to give greater insight into what has been effective. (We highly recommend a stacked bar chart to show progress over time.)

Again, you should also include any other metrics that are relevant to your client’s specific company goals, and drill down on any campaigns or channels that are particularly important to the marketing strategy your agency recommends. Just don’t forget to tie that data back to your client’s top-line growth!

3. Use data as a common language for your agency and with your clients.

Communicating in generalities can be frustrating for clients, as well as for people within your agency. When you have created KPIs and established methods to track them, you can change your discussions from talking in vague terms about trends, to discussing the actual real-time data.

By using a BI tool, you can easily track this data and quickly see a visual representation of real time data, these real-time visualizations benefit your team and each client account your agency works with.

When you frame your agency’s internal marketing goals through the common language of data, you can better target your team’s efforts and identify opportunities for growth and optimization.

When you frame your regular communications with your clients by data, you establish a clear purpose for each conversation and keep both the client and their account managers from your agency on the same page.

4.  Use dashboards to track KPIs and keep clients informed.

To truly make data your common language, you first need to create dashboards to connect all your data.

The most effective way to quickly communicate the data within your agency and with your clients is through dashboards.

With dashboards you can ensure that everyone has the correct, most updated data.

Dashboards for you

Grow can help you identify your most important KPIs and create dashboards to connect all your data.  By having all your important data in one place, you can view successes and areas for improvement quickly in one central location. Grow provides an all-in-one business intelligence solution by having all your information in one place and allowing you to share it with the team in real time.

  1. Connect to all your core business apps.
    Grow connects to all of your favorite marketing, CRM, and financial data sources; clean and prep your data once, and create a single source of truth for your entire organization.
  2. Build beautiful visuals & gain unique insights.
    Break down your complex business data into beautifully simple visuals and spot areas that need attention before they become a problem. Now you can focus on doing more of what’s working best.
  3. Share with your entire team & align around data.
    With Grow, you can share data with your whole team in real time. This allows you to ensure that decisions are being made based on the most recent data.

Dashboards for your clients

  1. Duplicate metrics to create dashboards for clients using your data sources.
    Instead of having to build dashboards for each client and campaign from scratch, Grow allows you to quickly duplicate metrics and dashboards for different clients. All you have to do is attach the correct data sources for each one. A marketing dashboard brings scattered data from all your apps and spreadsheets together in a single browser window.
  2. Create personalized dashboards with custom branding for each client.
    Grow makes it easy to share a personalized dashboard with clients. You can give clients access to a view-only dashboard, so they’ll be able to check in on their metrics. With a custom branded account, your logo and colors will be used throughout the app, so your clients’ experience will be seamless (and they’ll be seriously impressed).  Because they are so visual, Grow dashboards also make data beautiful and easy to understand and interpret, which means you’ll have an easier time sharing and explaining your reports.

Request a demo to learn more about using Grow. For more information about how Grow can enhance your marketing process check out the Marketing KPIs Cheat Sheet.

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