Marketers are artists. Brainstorming creative solutions for driving business, designing eye-catching graphics, and crafting the perfect CTAs: these are all artistic endeavours.
But in 2018, marketers must be more than just artists. We must be both artists and scientists. We’re responsible not only for creating, but also for researching, hypothesizing, and validating.
Digital marketing has forever altered the discipline by making data more accessible than ever. And with data availability comes the need for proof. Evidence that our artistic endeavours are delivering business value.
To supply that proof, marketers must find a way to use data to supply clients and leaders with undeniable evidence. Doing so requires a detailed plan for measuring marketing performance.
The 6 Most Important Marketing Performance Metrics in 2018
Using data to prove marketing’s value isn’t really a new thing. We’ve been tracking metrics for years, supplying leaders with reports on traffic, social shares and followers, and inbound links.
The difference in 2018 is that these metrics, in isolation, are too shallow. They’re all still important, but only within the context of larger goals. Today, the most important marketing performance metrics have shifted to align with six broader company goals:
- Brand Awareness – Brand awareness metrics contextualize your brand’s reach and prove how marketing is helping expand that reach. Common individual metrics that point to changes in brand awareness include organic traffic for branded terms, social media follower counts, number of inbound links, and number of online brand mentions.
- Lead Generation – Lead generation metrics highlight the number of potential customers you’re sending to the sales teams. Common individual metrics for measuring the number of leads generated include form completions, demo requests, and inbound phone calls.
- Customer Acquisitions – Customer acquisition metrics specify the number of conversions that were driven by marketing campaigns. Customer acquisitions are commonly measured with goal completions, but this only really works if all conversions occur online. Offline conversions are difficult to track without the right analytics program.
- Engagement – Engagement measures how engaged your customers and potential customers are with your marketing campaigns and content. Common individual metrics for measuring engagement include time-on-page, returning visitors, and email opens.
- Revenue – Revenue metrics detail the amount of revenue generated by marketing campaigns and initiatives. Historically, marketing-generated revenue has been measured with goal completions, but this method—at best—represents an educated guess rather than an accurate value. And again, it only really works if conversions occur online.
- Customer Loyalty – Loyalty metrics measure the amount of repeat business marketing generates. Marketers commonly use Net Promoter Score tools to measure loyalty, though some also track repurchase ratios.
As you can see, the types of metrics marketers have leaned on in the past are still important, but they’re important within the context of how they support larger initiatives. And because of these changes, the old ways of tracking marketing metrics don’t really cut it anymore.
How to Track the Different Types of Marketing Metrics
To track the metrics that are important for marketers today, you need an analytics tool that tracks customer interactions across the entire customer lifecycle—from the first touch to repeat business. You need a view of not only how prospects and customers are interacting with marketing campaigns and assets, but also how they interact with sales teams down the line.
In the past, this has been difficult at best, downright impossible at worst.
Because sales and marketing teams typically work in separate systems. Marketing systems track things like traffic, links, form completions, and time-on-site. But sales CRMs track the really important metrics like conversions, revenue, and return/repeat purchases.
To get a full view of marketing performance, you need a tool that synthesizes all of that data to provide a complete picture, and Google Analytics goals just don’t cut it.
We know the struggle. We’ve been there.
And because the solution didn’t exist, we built one: Ruler Analytics.
Ruler Analytics supports integrations with more than 1,000 tools and apps, meaning you can connect data from your marketing analytics, CRM, and social media monitoring platforms and view all of that data within Ruler.
Essentially, you can close the loop between online marketing and offline sales: connect real values—actual revenue amounts—back to the marketing campaigns that generated them.
Revenue Attribution with Ruler Analytics
Here’s how we do it:
1. We use our own platform to monitor all of our marketing initiatives, allowing us to track traditional metrics like traffic, referrals, and form completions. Ruler Analytics also tracks this data by a visitor, both known and anonymous, allowing us to isolate activity down to specific prospects.
2. We send all lead data to Pipedrive, our CRM. This populates the sales team’s system with all marketing data, which helps our salespeople learn more about prospects’ interests before reaching out to them.
3. When sales teams convert marketing-generated leads and enter the sales amounts into Pipedrive, it feeds that data back to Ruler, giving marketers a complete view of how many conversions they’re generating and exactly how much revenue those conversions brought in.
4. Ruler also connects to Stripe, our payment processor, allowing us to track loyalty metrics by connecting repeat/recurring sales to our customer marketing campaigns.
Because of this process, we can generate detailed reports that describe exactly how our marketing initiatives are performing: how many leads, conversions, and repeat sales we’ve generated, as well as the exact revenue amounts we earned for the company.
Conducting a Marketing Performance Evaluation
You get everything set up, you’re tracking and reporting exactly how much revenue your team is generating for the business, and leadership is now well aware of the value marketing brings.
It’s awesome. But you can do more.
Here’s another advantage of seeing all of your marketing and sales data in a central platform: you can see exactly how much revenue different channels and campaigns generate.
For example, at the end of the month, you populate a report showing how much revenue you generated and which marketing touchpoints prospects interacted with prior to converting. You see that 90% of your revenue comes from customers who discovered you through organic search by landing on the content you’ve published on your blog.
On the other hand, while you get a lot more traffic from social media than organic search, only 10% of your revenue comes from your social media marketing initiatives.
Because you can now see revenue, you know that your social media campaigns are underperforming. However, if you could only see traffic referrals, it would look like your social media campaigns were performing much better than your content marketing initiatives.
But now you know that’s not the case. You make the decision to double down on content marketing and slow down your social media marketing, and the next month, marketing-generated revenue doubles.
For this reason, it’s important not only to track marketing performance metrics but also to conduct frequent performance evaluations and adapt your efforts accordingly.
This just isn’t possible unless you can see all of your key marketing performance metrics on a central platform.
Measuring Marketing Performance in 2018
With the right analytics tool, marketers can be both artists and scientists.
This is particularly important in 2018 because today’s leaders expect marketing to not only grow company revenue but also to prove it.
And even beyond that, today’s consumers expect marketing campaigns to be personalized. They want their interactions with brands to feel like they’re one-on-one, not one-to-many.
Without measuring the right metrics, it’s difficult to know whether or not you’re delivering on those expectations.
Connect the art of marketing with the science of data analysis with the right tool, such as Ruler Analytics, and you’ll not only improve the performance of your campaigns, but also the perception of marketing by leadership and the perception of your company by your customers.