Right Metric, Right Result
Right Metric, Right Result

While often treated as an expense by the finance department, marketing is in fact an investment in your business.  And like any investment, you want to measure its performance over time: are your programs and campaigns generating the returns you expect?

The trick is knowing what to measure, and having the systems in place to capture the data.

For many companies, the information they are using to monitor their marketing efforts isn’t telling them what they need to know. Typically, they will have access to silos of marketing data for different marketing channels that don’t tell the full story.  For example, they can see how many people clicked through to their site from a given ad, but not much more. They can’t see who clicked let alone whether or not they became a customer.

Companies need to relate marketing investments back to critical sales metrics such as the number of leads generated and the number of opportunities created. It is this lead and opportunity information that will show you which marketing efforts are creating a real return on investment.

For example, let’s say you have two pay-per-click ads running. Ad ABC is sending you twice as much traffic as ad XYZ.  On the surface, you might think ad ABC is outperforming ad XYZ.  But if the visitors from ABC land on your site and immediately leave, whereas the visitors from XYZ convert to leads, and enter your CRM system.  Obviously, with this lead information, you easily see that ad XYZ is the more effective ad, even though it generates less traffic.

Even more important than the initial lead generation is the metric of opportunity creation.  Did your marketing investment ultimately create a sales opportunity that is being tracked in your sales pipeline?

Knowing the difference will help you figure out which parts of your campaign are working and which ones are not. Here is an example of the metrics you should be tracking at the campaign level, and leading up to the creation of a sales opportunity:

  • How long the person spends on your site?
  • Which pages he or she visits on your site?
  • How long they stay on the given pages?
  • How often they visit your site before they make a purchase?
  • Whether or not they converted into a lead?
  • Did the lead convert into an opportunity?

Having these numbers at your fingertips will give you a much clearer picture of what’s going on with your marketing efforts so you can make more informed marketing investment decisions.

Tracking performance at this level isn’t as easy as getting the transactional data that most marketing has available, but it gives you a line of site between your marketing investments and the potential revenue created, and it will allow significant optimization of marketing dollars spent. To get these benefits for your direct marketing efforts consider working with a Resource Performance Management (RPM) vendor (e.g. Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot, etc). Providing this improved reporting for channel partner marketing efforts can be provided by a Channel Marketing Automation vendor (e.g. Zift Solutions).