Marketers are under steady pressure to demonstrate ROI for their marketing programs. And with so many great analytics tools out there, determining marketing ROI is no longer a guessing game. They key is to know what to measure, and when to help inform your marketing decisions and truly understand what’s working for your organization and what isn’t.
Marketing Score Card
Measurement should be baked into your marketing plan from the start – determining how you’ll measure the success of your activities is as important as identifying the activities themselves. We recommend creating a marketing scorecard that measures overall marketing health metrics, like Web sessions, organic traffic, and new contacts; as well as metrics tied to your specific marketing campaigns. For example, if you have a campaign to penetrate a new market, you could measure that by tracking qualified new contacts in that space. To be the most effective, your marketing scorecard should have specific targets and baselines to measure against.
While a marketing scorecard may not show you actual revenue generated from these efforts, they will show you which activities are working the best, which activities you can stop spending time on, and identify any problem areas in marketing that may be preventing you from achieving your goals.
Full Funnel Reporting
To go a little deeper into what is moving the needle in terms of converting your web visitors to leads, leads to opportunities, and opportunity to sales, we recommend full-funnel reporting. Full funnel reporting tracks the total number of contacts at each lead stage and the conversion rate between each of these stages.
This process helps you visualize your entire marketing and sales cycle, see exactly where leads are converting or dropping off, and identify any problem areas along the way. And best of all, it helps attribute actual revenue to your marketing efforts. The better data you have for each of those contacts, such as their original source, content they’ve downloaded, and sales touch points along the way, the more you will know about what contributed to the sale at the end.
Look for Anomalies
Sometimes you’ll have something you didn’t expect greatly impacting your marketing metrics. Maybe a blog you wrote last year suddenly started ranking on search, bringing in a ton of new web visitors. Maybe another company has shared one of your content pieces on their social network or on their customer user forum and you’re suddenly getting lots of new contacts from referral traffic. Maybe a web update impacted how a group of pages are indexed on Google and suddenly a page that was doing great in search isn’t showing up anymore.
There are many things that can impact the effectiveness of your marketing efforts that may not be a specific line item on your scorecard so it’s important to keep a pulse on your Web analytics on a regular basis. If you see a spike or a dip, look into it to determine what is causing it. Noticing these anomalies quickly can help you fix issues before they have a lasting impact on your efforts. On the flip side, they can also alert you to opportunities to maximize your efforts. When you see traffic pouring in from an unexpected source, for example, you can quickly add a lead-generating CTA to that content piece in an effort to convert some of that traffic.
It’s not just what you measure that’s important. It’s how often you are measuring and who you are reporting those metrics to. We recommend scanning your Web analytics weekly for anomalies, tracking your marketing scorecard metrics monthly, and conducting full funnel reporting quarterly. Each quarter, gather with sales, leadership, and other key stakeholders to discuss and analyze these metrics and make adjustments to your plan accordingly.