Don’t Miss the Opportunity: How to Optimize Using Marketing KPIs

March 5, 2019

In today’s landscape, you can’t afford to let any of your marketing efforts go to waste. Optimization is critical to your company’s survival and success. And although many marketing teams are overwhelmed with strategies, tools, and objectives, this just means that effective goal setting is more important than ever.

To align your marketing strategy and your team to overarching business goals, the best tools in your arsenal are key performance indicators. KPIs keep your team’s focus on moving the right needles to support company objectives and constantly improve their work.

Create Marketing KPIs for Every Role

If you want all of your team members to be committed to this vision, everyone needs their own KPIs. Below, we have KPI suggestions for common marketing roles—you may have to adjust or add to this list, depending on your team’s structure and goals.

Demand Gen

It’s likely that your marketing team employs a variety of strategies for demand generation. As such, one of the most powerful KPIs for your demand team is close rate per channel. In fact, Sococo measures not just close rate, but conversion rates through each stage of the funnel for each channel on their Marketing Inbound Funnel Dashboard.

Paid Ads

The primary KPI for most paid ads managers is cost per lead (CPL). Their goal is to bring as many people into the top of the funnel for the least amount of money.

That said, quantity vs. quality can be a difficult balance to achieve with paid advertising. Often, lower cost comes with lower lead quality. However, if you keep your eye on the end goal—closing deals—by balancing CPL with cost per acquisition or customer acquisition cost (CAC), you can more clearly evaluate the quality of leads that come through paid ads.

Email marketing dashboards can help you optimize nurture streams and gain more leads than ever.

Email

If email is part of your demand gen strategy, open rate will be one of your most important performance metrics. Are people actually reading the emails you send them, or are they sending them straight to trash?

Another critical metric is click rate. A high click rate tells you not just that you can write an enticing subject line, but that your readers are truly interested in what you have to say—enough to take action to learn more.

You’ll also want to track new subscribers and unsubscribe rate to make sure your email list is always growing.

Social Media

Social media often gets a bad rap for being full of vanity metrics: followers, reach, and other data points that aren’t necessarily indicative of performance or business results. However, there are KPIs that can tell you more about how successful your social media efforts are.

Engagement rate sums likes, comments, and shares then divides them by your reach to tell you how well your audience is responding to your posts. Taking it a level deeper, click-through-rate (CTR) shows whether your posts are inspiring your audience to take action and learn more.

You can use a brand dashboard to monitor awareness, social media, and event ROI.

Brand

Brand is one of the more elusive, abstract areas of the marketing team, which can make it hard to assign KPIs. However, it’s still important to measure what you can, even if it’s not a perfect indicator of effort or performance.

Creative/Design

For every marketing campaign, your creative team should be aware of the conversion rate, whether it’s a landing page, downloadable, ad, or other project.

More important, however, is to be tracking conversion rates using A/B testing. For your creatives to understand the design decisions that best resonate with your audience, they have to be able to test different variations to see which performs better.

PR

Like other aspects of branding, public relations is often more about the long game than the short game. As your PR team works to build your brand, you may see an increase in mentions from various news sources, which will also likely increase your site referrals from those sources.

Another key PR metric is share of voice, which can help you better understand how well you’re reaching your audience compared with your competitors.

Events

Although sometimes costly, events (especially the more niche ones) can be a powerful lead generation opportunity as you’re able to interact, build rapport, and even demo your product face-to-face.

Not only will you want to track new leads from the event, but you’ll also want to track your cost per lead after each event. Further down the road, you’ll want to evaluate your events ROI by calculating your cost per acquisition for all new customers that started as events leads.

Content

Depending on your overall strategy and the types of content your team is producing, different KPIs will be more or less useful. It’s up to you to determine what is the best measure of performance, and which will help you optimize for overall marketing success.

Blog

There are many ways to define a good blog post, but the real question is what are you trying to achieve? Generally speaking, time on page can give you a good idea of whether people are reading the material you’re posting, but typically, you want to go a little deeper.

If you want your audience to respond to a specific CTA, conversion rateswill be the right way to evaluate success. For those aiming to become thought leaders in their industry, inbound links can indicate whether others trust your words and consider you an authority.

Educational Resources & Downloadables

Whether your content is gated or ungated, you’ll want to measure their performance. For gated pieces, downloads and leads will be important metrics. If you take more of an inbound marketing approach and use ungated content, you’ll want to look at downloads or views, depending on how your content is presented to your audience.

Use a SEO performance dashboard to monitor your organic traffic.

SEO

Because organic traffic costs much less than paid traffic, optimizing SEO can be very valuable for your company. You’ll want to track organic search against your other website traffic sources.

Keyword rankings are also an important metric to help you understand which terms are getting you more site visitors, which terms you should be pursuing, and any terms you are ranking for that are bringing in the wrong traffic that won’t convert to paying customers.

Customer Marketing

Attracting new customers is important, but so is keeping them. If customer marketing is part of your overall strategy, you should be tracking KPIs like retention rates to see how well your efforts are paying off.

Another excellent customer marketing metric is customer referrals. Happy customers want to help out their friends by referring them to you, so this KPI can be a great indicator of how much your clients are enjoying their experience.

How Real Marketing Teams Use KPIs to Get to the Next Level

The marketing metrics mentioned above can help your team optimize their work and consistently improve their results. But what if there are other levers to pull?

Monitor cusotmer pain points on a Salesforce dashboard that updates in near-real time.

As Sococo became a more data-driven company, they discovered other metrics that were useful for their marketing team. One particularly important metric came from their sales team: Main Pain Points from Leads. When salespeople reached out to new leads, they took time to discuss and record the problems those potential customers were trying to solve. That information became incredibly valuable to the marketing team, who were able to adjust their messaging and advertising strategies to address the right pain points and market themselves to the right audience. This optimization has led to more qualified leads and happier customers.

Optimize Your KPIs with Marketing Dashboards

Perhaps like no other department in your company, marketing is about the visual. Play to that tendency and strength by making goals and KPIs visible for them. A marketing dashboard displays your data so that it can easily be seen, understood, and analyzed. (Not to mention, beautiful to look at.) To simplify the work of building your dashboard, choose a business intelligence solution that automates most of it for you, like Grow.

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