Today’s leaders expect marketing to not only grow company revenue but also to prove it. Without measuring the right metrics, it’s difficult to know whether or not you’re delivering on those expectations. We take a look at the most common marketing performance metrics, and show you how to measure and attribute revenue back to your marketing campaigns.
Everything you do in business needs to have a measurable ROI. This is particularly true for marketing.
As marketing has evolved, so have the means to track it. While you may consider marketing a form of art; designing eye-catching graphics or crafting the perfect CTA, we would actually say you need to be both an artist and a scientist.
Hear us out.
You can’t create a piece of content, push it out and just leave it, right? Tracking and reporting, both online and offline conversions, is essential to understanding whether your efforts are having any impact.
If you work in marketing, chances are you’ve fielded this question at least half a dozen times from senior leaders.
“How much revenue is marketing generating?”
Of course, if you’re an eCommerce business, then attributing sales to marketing is quite easy. But what if your business also completes sales offline? Or even more problematic, what if your business only completes sales offline?
Generating leads, through phone calls, form submissions and live chat, is one thing, but how exactly do you track those leads through the full customer journey? Well, that’s exactly what we’re here to share.
Measuring Your Marketing Against Revenue, Not Leads
Google Analytics is the most popular digital analytics tool when it comes to marketing measurement, and with good reason. It provides you with a wealth of information.
On a conversion level, you can track the number of form submissions and other key goals.
Whilst it’s common for people to use enquiry forms, users will convert through other mediums such as telephone or live chat. Then, there’s the 90-day lookback limitation. Google Analytics users can’t see channels that led to a conversion if they happened more than 90 days before the conversion.
In addition to all this, leads in Google Analytics are not actual sales. They could close tomorrow, next year or not at all.
For example, your Google Paid campaign may seem like it’s driving value based on how many goals it’s generated in Google Analytics, but these leads might not be closing into revenue. Below is a keyword report of Google Paid taken from our software, Ruler Analytics. As you can see, the keyword ‘boiled sweets’ has generated 56 phone calls and form fills. The keyword ‘sour sweets’ has only generated 6 phone calls and form fills.
Ruler Analytics Keyword Report Last-Click Preview
If you look over at the revenue column, you can see that both keywords have generated near enough the same amount of revenue for the business.
So, if you were optimising your marketing based on goals in Google Analytics only, you have a gap in your analysis that is stopping you from scaling your business. Linking revenue to your leads and to your marketing is the only sure way to truly understand your ROI.
That’s not us saying don’t track the usual metrics. They’re important too. Speaking of which…
The 7 Most Common Marketing Performance Metrics
Using data to prove marketing’s value isn’t a new thing. But what exactly should you be reporting on?
When it comes to marketing, some of your content will be created simply to drive engagement. Other content will be created to drive conversions. Being mindful of our buyer’s journey, we need to create content for each stage so our marketing metrics should reflect that.
The most popular measuring metrics to consider when creating a marketing dashboard are:
- Brand awareness
- Lead generation
- Customer acquisition
- Customer retention or loyalty
- Lead management and nurturing
Brand awareness metrics contextualise your brand’s reach and prove how marketing is helping expand that awareness. Common individual metrics that point to changes in brand awareness include direct traffic or organic traffic for branded terms.
Google Analytics Acquisition Report
Some marketers also track social media follower counts, number of inbound links, and the number of online brand mentions. These are a good indication of how many people are aware of your brand.
Lead generation metrics highlight the number of potential customers you’re sending to the sales teams.
Ruler Analytics Source Report
Common individual metrics for measuring the number of leads generated include form completions, demo requests, and inbound phone calls. Tracking these against your marketing channels is a great way to see which are performing best for driving conversions.
Tracking forms can be done in Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager, but tracking phone calls and live chat is a little trickier.
We offer a call and live chat tracking software to help you track offline activity. Call tracking uses dynamic insertion that assigns a unique number to each website visitor.
When an individual phones the business, their phone number is then attributed to the source, keyword or landing page that influenced the activity.
With the help of integrations, you can send the call data to Google Analytics and Ads. You can then set up an event in Google Analytics so that phone calls show up as a goal. The same can be done with live chat.
While lead generation looks at the number of conversions that were driven by marketing campaigns, customer acquisition is the number of leads that convert into real customers.
Understanding your cost per acquisition is essential as it highlights your return on investment. While spending ad budget to drive leads is great, if none of these convert then that ad budget is wasted.
These numbers will come directly from your sales team. Skip to find out how to connect your sales and marketing data.
Engagement metrics span across email, social, web content and more. They simply measure how engaged your current and potential customers are with your marketing campaigns and content.
Common engagement metrics include:
- Social engagements; numbers of likes, comments etc
- Website engagement; number of page views, time on page etc
- Email engagement; open rate, click through rate etc
Generally speaking, engagement metrics only highlight the potential of your marketing.
Google Analytics Behaviour Report
If you’re an eCommerce business, then you can link up your purchasing functions onsite directly to Google Analytics. You can then see a real time representation of how your marketing is affecting your sales. Revenue metrics detail the amount of revenue generated by marketing campaigns and initiatives.
Google Analytics Acquisition Report
Historically, for offline conversion-based businesses, marketing-generated revenue has been measured with goal completions. This method—at best—represents an educated guess rather than an accurate value.
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.
Realistically, the best way to track loyalty metrics by connecting repeat and recurring sales to your marketing activity.
Lead management and nurturing
Lead management is something generally managed by your sales team. Once a lead is generated, it’ll be pinged over to your CRM where your marketing team will have little involvement with it.
From there, your sales team will contact the lead and try and progress them through a pipeline. Of course, in some instances, marketing teams will support nurturing leads, using email cadences based on personal data to try and warm leads up.
As you can see with each of the metrics listed above, there’s one recurring and crucial bit of missing data. Tracking vanity metrics like follower count, website sessions and email open rate is essential. But if you can’t confidently say that your paid social campaign drove 200 new leads, which led to 60 new clients then isn’t your marketing lacking somewhere?
This is where we come in.
How We’re Measuring Marketing Performance
To track the metrics that are important for marketers today, we use visitor level analytics that tracks customer interactions across the entire customer life cycle—from the first touch to closed revenue.
That sounds complicated, but in reality, it isn’t.
We simply connect your CRM to your marketing data. If a lead comes in via email, but then converts via a phone call, well, we can track that. If a lead comes in via paid advertising but then converts via a separate web session where they complete a form, we can track that too. And even better, we’ll fire it right back to your reporting software of choice.
To see the true value of your marketing, 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.
Why? 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.
And as the solution didn’t exist, we built one.
Here’s how we measure marketing performance:
1. Track anonymous visitors over multiple sessions and traffic sources
We use our 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 at a visitor level, both known and anonymous, allowing us to isolate activity down to specific prospects.
Ruler Analytics Visitor Report
2. Send conversion data to the CRM
Whenever a visitor converts via phone call or form fill, we send that conversion data to our CRM. We have integrations that can achieve this, but with Zapier, you can send any marketing data from Ruler Analytics to over 1,000 tools. 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. Send sales revenue back to Ruler Analytics
When sales teams convert marketing-generated leads and enter the sales amounts into Pipedrive, it feeds that data back to the Ruler Analytics dashboard.
This gives marketers a complete view of how many conversions they’re generating and exactly how much revenue those conversions brought in. You can see exactly how much revenue different channels and campaigns generate.
Ruler Analytics Source Report
The Aha Moment:
There’s so much opportunity you can get out of this framework.
But let’s say, at the end of the month, you populate a report showing how much revenue you generated and which marketing touchpoints prospects interacted with before converting.
You may 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 decide to double down on content marketing and slow down your social media marketing, and the next month, marketing-generated revenue doubles.
4. Integrate with other web applications
As previously mentioned, Ruler Analytics supports integrations with more than 1,000 tools and apps. Meaning, you can connect data from your Ruler Analytics account into your Google Analytics, CRM, and social media monitoring platforms and view all of that data within those applications.
For example, as you can see below, any sales that have been attributed to a Ruler Analytics dynamic number have been sent into Google Analytics. So, not only can the marketing team see how many phone calls a source has generated, but how much revenue it’s produced for the business.
Google Analytics Acquisition Report
Essentially, you can close the loop between online marketing and offline sales: connect real values—actual revenue amounts—back to the marketing campaigns, sources or keywords that generated them.
Measuring Marketing Performance in 2021
With the right marketing performance plan, marketers can be both artists and scientists.
Connect the art of marketing with the science of data analysis through the right tools, 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.
Book a demo with Ruler Analytics to see how you can close the loop to prove ROI and optimise your budgets. Do this, and you’ll never have to hesitate when you field that question again. You know the one we mean: “how much revenue does marketing bring?”