Ever try to get to a new city without using driving directions? How’d you do? Maybe you got pretty close, or maybe you got hopelessly lost. Chances are, you didn’t land at your destination without a bit of trouble.
To get to any destination, you need to know where you are now in relation to where you need to be — and all the roads that span the distance in between. Successfully navigating the process to plan, create, and measure a digital marketing campaign can be a similar process.
You may be churning out incredible content, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily helping you to hit your goals. For your B2B marketing to get you to your destination, you need to know how it’s doing now, and what paths will lead you to your goals.
SummaryKPIs + Steps to Effective Marketing Measurement
- Website traffic
- Conversion rate
- Lead generation and new contacts
- Number of new customers
- Marketing ROI
At Whittington Consulting, we conduct a monthly marketing measurement reports for each of our clients (and ourselves), so that we know exactly how well marketing content is performing. This gives us a clear picture of where they are in relation to their marketing goals. In addition we gleam insights for content strategy opportunities, giving us a roadmap to follow as we move forward.
Is your company in search of a roadmap to help you reach your digital marketing goals?
Follow this step-by-step guide to get your B2B marketing measurement in place so you can clearly see the results you’re getting from your marketing content.
1. Website Traffic
Start with your website traffic. Website visitors become leads, and leads become customers. But if you aren’t getting the traffic you need, you won’t have healthy metrics anywhere else.
When you look at your website traffic, be sure to filter out the internal traffic coming from your own organization. Your employees are probably your most common visitors to your website, and their visits will skew the numbers. Also filter out junk traffic from bots.
As you view your numbers, pay attention to:
- Number of visitors
- Number of pages visited
- Number of sessions
- Duration of sessions
- Bounce rate
- Sources — organic, search, social, etc.
It’s also worth noting the pages and posts that are most visited, as well as any other pages that are important to your goals.
2. Conversion Rate
If you have high website traffic but a low conversion rate, that’s an indication that you’re having trouble getting people who visit your site to take action. This information can help you to identify ways to improve your calls to action in order to capture more leads and to nurture existing leads through the funnel.
Your website visitors should have many opportunities to convert all along the buyer’s journey — not just at the end, when they’re ready to become a customer. As you’re tracking this website metric, be sure to consider the various conversion opportunities on your site: case study downloads, email click-throughs, blog subscriptions, demo requests — any time a visitor responds to a call to action, that’s a conversion.
You could have dozens of calls to action on your website. Which ones should you track? The best rule of thumb is to track the conversions that matter most to you right now. For example, if you have old ebooks that aren’t very relevant to your current sales and business goals at this time, you probably don’t need to track those conversions right now. Spend your time monitoring the types of conversions that are most likely to lead towards the goals you’ve established for this month and quarter.
At Whittington Consulting, we determine a benchmark for your conversion rate based on several factors, including your industry, the type of campaign, and other considerations. As a general rule, we like to see between a 2 to 5 percent conversion rate on most websites (note: this can vary depending on your industry).
3. Lead Generation & New Contacts
When you track your conversion rate, it’s helpful to differentiate between visitors that convert for the first time and visitors that convert multiple times. When someone converts for the first time, it’s called lead generation.
You can have a single lead that converts multiple times. For example, they might first convert by subscribing to your blog. Then, a couple weeks later, they might download a checklist or attend a webinar. Eventually, they might be ready to request a demo or purchase your product or service and become a customer.
However, you can see from this example that single lead has converted many times before becoming a customer. When marketing to prospects, it's rarely a single "ready to buy" 1-1 transactional conversation. People often don't realize there are multiple marketing touch points a lead takes before they are ready to become a customer.
You could have a high conversion rate but few leads or new contacts. In that case, you’re providing valuable content to your leads and doing a great job of nurturing them through the funnel — but getting new leads at the top of the funnel isn’t effective.
You could also have effective B2B lead magnets — content that gets new leads into the funnel — but few of them are converting later on. In that case, you need to find ways to improve your lead nurture outreach.
4. Number of New Customers
This metric is an indication of the quality of your leads. Track the ratio of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) that are passed onto sales and the number of new customers.
If your ratio is high, it’s an indication that the content you’re providing is attracting the right visitors, who convert to the right leads, who are nurtured successfully to become the right kind of MQLs and SQLs. This number will also determine if your marketing strategy and marketing content is effectively supporting your sales team.
5. Marketing ROI
Finally, it’s important to know how much return you’re getting on your marketing investments. This helps prove the profitability of your marketing program. It also helps you identify the channels that are most (and least) cost effective. Continuously improving your marketing ROI helps you find the marketing mix that wins the most sales at the lowest costs.
A simple method of measuring your marketing ROI is to take a look at your total marketing investment — your labor as well as the costs for your marketing tools, ad spend, and other marketing expenses. Divide that cost by the number of MQLs that become customers.
You can also calculate the ROI of a specific campaign. Divide the total investment in the campaign by the number of new leads generated from that specific campaign.
Putting It All Together
Now that you have all your data, what do you do with it?
At Whittington, we use our marketing metrics to assess monthly how well we’re hitting the goals for each metric. We compare the numbers with the previous month and track our progress — whether the numbers have improved or not. For seasonal businesses, we compare the same month of the previous year as our benchmark.
As you’re viewing your marketing metrics, look for the piece of the collage that stands out from the others. This piece will help inform what levers to pull and what actions to take to improve your digital marketing results and achieve the goals you’ve set. Use those metrics will help you to make a plan for moving forward and evolve your digital approach effectively.
Map Your Marketing Success
Just as you have a roadmap for your business goals, you need a roadmap for your marketing goals. But you also need to know where you are on that map. This B2B marketing measurement process will help you to always know exactly how your content is performing.
You can get a head start on your marketing measurement by using our website lead calculator.
Find out instantly if your website is getting as many leads as it should, compared to your industry average. And you’ll get expert recommendations to increase your monthly contacts.