There are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of metrics that can help a manufacturer or B2B business improve their marketing ROI. If I had to choose, these would be my top five:
- Click-through Rate: Nearly all of us are using email marketing or e-newsletters to reach out to our target audiences. Often, email “open rate” is seen as the most important email metric, but I believe it shouldn’t be. We rarely know if a person opens and immediately deletes our email, how long they stay on an email or how much they actually read if they do open it. Tracking the click-through rate tells us that someone was interested enough in our email to click through to either our website, social media, or a “contact us” button, thus entering them into our sales funnel. I’d rather take that prospect more seriously than someone that simply opens an email.
- Organic and Paid Website Traffic, Leads, and Opportunities: Websites are the backbone of every business in the 21st. If it isn’t as user-friendly, then it’s just wise to hire developers who can the job with perfection. We need to keep track of exactly how many people are looking at our site, how many leads come through it and which of these leads present a genuine opportunity. It’s no longer an option to just dabble in Google Analytics or another type of web analytics tool; we must know the ins and outs, what the metrics mean and how to make adjustments during a campaign to improve performance. I prefer to track web metrics by comparing each month year over year than month to month or quarter to quarter. This gives us a view against our previous efforts during the same point in the fiscal year under, hopefully, similar sales circumstances.
- Social Media Engagement: I would rather have 200 Facebook likes where 20% regularly engage with me, buy my products or click through to read articles on my website than 10,000 likes with only a handful of engagements. If you produce quality content on a consistent basis, then maybe you’ll be one of the lucky companies that get both the numbers and the engagement.
- Cost Per Acquisition: Marketing can be expensive, and unfortunately, money still doesn’t grow on trees. We need to not only define what we consider to be an acquisition in all of our marketing efforts, but we must keep track of how much we’re spending to get an acquisition, conversion or lead. Understanding CPA will help your marketing team make adjustments to their campaigns that can save a huge chunk of change in the long term. It will also help you ditch channels or campaigns that just aren’t worth the return for your company.
- Lead Generation by Channel: Similar to CPA, it’s imperative to know the quantity and cost of leads coming into your company through each marketing channel. A marketing campaign will be more successful when it can act on its feet by changing campaign tactics on the fly. More money can be put into channels that have potential to grow and the “loser” channels can be improved or dropped when they aren’t working.