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Break out the ruler, because it’s about time we do some measuring around here. Okay, we’re kidding. Obviously the ruler can stay nice and comfortable in its drawer. But keep that measuring mentality out, because it’s high time we talked about marketing KPIs.
Setting your marketing KPIs is a way of the marketer’s life. KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, can help you understand what’s working in your marketing work. And even better, it can help you identify what isn’t.
Your business’s marketing performance shouldn’t be a mystery, especially to the people actually developing the marketing strategy around it. Your marketing KPIs should be a central feature for your business’s marketing and growth strategies. Measuring your marketing campaigns will help you identify new insights, maximize your ROI, and unleash new potential in your marketing team.
Nonetheless, even a business which regularly utilizes marketing KPIs can use some new ideas. There are countless metrics you can measure, and some are more useful than others depending on your organization’s goals. As marketing changes and continues to diversify, so will the KPIs relevant to each business. What worked for your business 10 years ago may not apply today!
We’re going to introduce you to three marketing KPIs you may be missing. We’ll skip the big ones and cut right down to the overlooked and new KPIs that might be worth considering, so that you can have the right tools to help your business grow.
If you’re not new to the idea of key performance indicators, then we won’t need to tell you about the value of measuring things like sales growth. (If you are new, we’ve got an article coming your way on the topic soon.) Instead, we’re going to visit some overlooked marketing KPIs you might not be using yet.
As a direct response marketing firm, we could write about email marketing all day long. (Come to think of it, we have before!) But one overlooked element of email marketing we haven’t touched on too often just so happens to be a marketing KPI that can add a new dynamic to your team’s strategy: the forward/share rate.
There are a number of different KPIs you can focus your email marketing around, and a holistic strategy will prioritize and weight a few of them. But the forward/share rate might tell you some things about how your email content is received by the people on your list.
For example, a weekly email with a promotional code or a recipe might see a high number of forwards. Or at least higher than your weekly newsletter filled with updates might. While your business may not necessarily always have content that encourages sharing from its readers, seeing which emails resonate in that way might help you dream up new kinds of email content that achieve this goal—and get your brand in front of more people.
The quality of a lead falls off pretty quickly. Indeed, if you’re only casually interested in buying a car and you fill out something on a dealership’s website, that interest may fade over the course of the day. Or your car hunt may have moved on from that particular model. And if, two weeks later, someone reaches out to you and says, “So you’re interested in the Civic!”—you might well respond with, “Huh?”
Unfortunately, sales team response times seem to be far worse on the B2B side than on the B2C side. According to a recent study, the odds of making a successful contact with a lead within 5 minutes are 100 times better than when the contact is attempted after 30 minutes.
Now, your business model may not require a lightning fast sales team. But if you’re seeing a drop-off between your qualified leads and your quotes, the sales team response time might provide you with some of the clues you need to close that gap.
We’d wager that most marketing teams look closely at their website traffic. The sessions, bounce rate, and average session duration are commonly quoted KPIs for a reason. Knowing the volume and patterns of the folks visiting your business’s site can tell you a number of things and help guide your marketing decisions around content, design, and more.
But you might be overlooking the potential of page views in your marketing KPIs. While page views won’t tell you how many people are visiting your site or how often they bounce, but page views can offer you interesting clues into how effectively your website is organized.
Low page view numbers might suggest your site visitors aren’t compelled by the way you’re previewing your site’s content. For example, perhaps your small heading at the bottom of your blog that reads “Read next:” isn’t really convincing anybody to visit your other articles. Could a sidebar help? Or would image-first previews be more enticing? As a KPI, page views can give you an idea of what is and isn’t working from a UX standpoint. And improving your numbers might just indicate your site is more enjoyable and enticing overall.
The first step to improving your growth and marketing strategies: implementing KPIs. The second step: Always iterating and finding new ways to fine-tune your key performance indicators to your business.
It can be a challenge to determine exactly which marketing metrics matter to your team, and for good reason. With some exceptions, the KPIs that best serve your business will grow and evolve along with your business and the marketing landscape at large. But regularly seeking out new ways to gauge successes and failures in your marketing is the only way to push your results to new heights.
So as you plan your marketing KPIs for the months and years ahead, don’t hesitate to look beyond the usual suspects. Push for new boundaries, chat with your network about their preferred key performance indicators, and try something new. You may just love what you find.