What types of metrics do B2B marketers need to measure a marketing campaign’s success? Read these interesting blog posts on B2B marketing ROI: Kevin Joyce’s Untangling B2B Marketing Campaigns ROI, Jon Miller’s Improving B2B Marketing ROI: Thought Leadership With Merry Elrick, Tom Scearce’s Three metrics that are more useful than Cost per Lead. We have invited B2B Experts to shed light on the following question: “In what ways have metrics evolved with the increase in digital B2B marketing? Suggest one ROI metric that you have found to be very effective”. Read on to get their insights.
Recommended Resources from B2B Marketing Experts
Blog Marketing Interactions Twitter Ardath421
Measure momentum. Tune and refine the buying process. You’ll see shorter buying cycle times.
Ardath Albee’s Bio
Ardath Albee is a B2B Marketing Strategist. Her company Marketing Interactions helps companies with complex sales and quantify marketing effectiveness by using interactive e-marketing strategies driven by compelling content. She empowers her clients to create customer-centric nurturing programs that leverage strategic story development to engage prospects until they are sales ready. Ardath’s book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale is now shipping!
Ardath Albee’s Tip
Marketers Gain Visibility
The increase in digital B2B Marketing has provided the opportunity for marketers to expand their visibility beyond the aggregate to the granular level of individuals. But regardless of whether overall or drilling down to one prospect’s activity, we now also have the ability to assign more meaning to online behaviors because we can know just who’s doing what, when, in what combinations and how often.
That puts a lot of power into the marketer’s toolbox—if they build their metrics around strategy. Because a complex sale inherently has a longer buying cycle, marketing must not only focus on generating sales opportunities, but on the progression of prospects across those buying stages. In order to keep your company focused on both the short and long terms, you’ve got to demonstrate effectiveness at both.
One of the ROI metrics I find effective across the long-term is measuring not only levels of activity, but the momentum marketing can generate to drive sales qualification. There are a couple of things you need to do to make this metric viable:
• Map your prospects’ buying process (personas and segmentation will help).
• Create content that matches your prospects’ needs during each stage.
• Plan triggers that help nudge your prospects to take next steps.
• Measure progressions over time through to qualified leads and resulting sales.
• Tune, refine and keep going.
Measuring momentum will not only help marketers to show momentum across the buying process, but as you tune and refine the process based on patterns of activity, you’ll see shorter cycle times. The other thing you’ll notice is that it takes a continuous, consistent nurturing program to produce the desired results, rather than a string of one-off campaigns that don’t serve anyone well over the long term.
Real-time visibility into prospect behavior driven by compelling content strategy will help your company generate more interactions with your prospects. And, let’s face it, prospects who read your content when you send out an email and then move on aren’t likely engaged to the degree it takes to indicate sales readiness. As you build credibility and provide the right content at the right time, you’ll see higher levels of engagement that involve your prospects beyond your nurturing sends. Digital B2B marketing allows marketers the visibility they need to transform the value of marketing for your organization by directly impacting sales—and to prove it.
Ardath Albee Recommends
Blog Start with a Lead Twitter BrianJCarroll
Focus on Cost-per-opportunity for effective measurement.
Brian Carroll’s Bio
Brian Carroll, CEO of InTouch, is part of MECLABS Group (MarketingExperiments, MarketingSherpa, InTouch) and author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and the B2B Lead Generation Blog with expertise related to B2B marketing, lead generation and complex sales.
Brian Carroll’s Tip
The use of the Internet, mobile and other interactive channels has certainly increased the number of leads marketers receive today. Many organizations spend thousands of dollars each month on search marketing to take advantage of this increase.
This increase, however, causes many marketers to focus on the wrong metrics. In order to generate leads marketers have to know how to use the analytics. Many marketers focus on conversion rates of specific phrases or banners and are ignoring other valuable information. While conversion rate is one way to measure the effectiveness of a search phrase, for instance, it can be extremely misleading.
If marketers are spending a lot on search marketing and not capturing visiting organizations (both those that convert and the many more that don’t), they are making decisions based only on half-truths. And they are probably routing dollars toward phrases and ad creative that appear to perform better but in reality are really just clogging the marketing database and sales pipeline.
The metrics of digital marketing is starting to slowly evolve. Marketers are starting to realize that sales people care very little about the cost of the leads we generate. What they really care about is how many of those leads will actually become viable sales opportunities.
For this reason, I think cost-per-opportunity measurements are the most effective metrics. The most common metric, cost per lead, is irrelevant unless we can answer other fundamental questions first, “What is our rate of lead acceptance (a.k.a. sales pursuit) into the sales pipeline” and then “What is the cost per opportunity?” Cost-per-opportunity is the one metric that can help you understand how well your sales team accepts and pursues leads. Ultimately, it shows if your leads are actually helping our sales team sell and if marketers are positively contributing to their pipeline.
Cost-per-lead models drive down the cost of each lead by generating more leads, which is good if the quality does not suffer. However, this is rarely the case since there are a finite number of high quality sales ready leads in your target market at any given time.
The real question is, “Are these leads helping our sales team sell more and will these leads become profitable customers?”
These are real-world metrics that every marketer should track in their lead generation program:
- Number of inquiries? (people who raised their hands)
- Number of leads? (qualified as “sales-ready”)
- Number of opportunities? (leads that move to pipeline)
- Number of closed sales? (generated from marketing leads)
If marketers know those metrics they can start to track the following key performance indicators:
- Inquiry to lead ratio (cost-per-lead) – this isn’t a enough
- Lead to opportunity ratio (cost-per-opportunity)
- Lead to pipeline revenue ratio (cost-per-pipeline revenue)
- Lead to sale (win) ratio (cost-per-closed sale)
A value driven mindset requires leaders and marketers to plan and budget for the long term and to take a more holistic view that goes beyond cost-per-lead budgets.
Blog WritingontheWeb Twitter PatsiBlogSquad
Measure what counts for your site, your business, your objectives.
Patsi Krakoff’s Bio
Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D., is a former psychologist and journalist who has been working in online content marketing for the last 10 years helping professionals use e-newsletters and blogs to grow business. Her award-winning blog can be found at WritingontheWeb. She provides quality content and newsletter services for global executive coaches at ContentforCoachesandConsultants. She is co-founder of The Blog Squad, providing blog services and consulting. She lived and worked in Paris for 20 years and now lives in Ajijic, Mexico, where she is an avid tennis player.
Patsi Krakoff’s Tip
Ah yes, numbers, measurements, ROI, return on objective, percentage improvements, traffic stats, sales reports… Yes, I know, I know, that’s important, but I’m a content marketer, not a statistician! I love writing, not counting!
Sometimes I think the whole world is divided into either wordsmiths or bean counters.
But I have a secret: I get a kick out of traffic stats. My heart nearly went into tachycardia last week when I hit the highest page views ever in my little blogging life!
Website/Blog traffic and customer engagement are two important ROI measurements.
I’m a small business, and my clients are small businesses that might not have sophisticated CRM systems to measure and monitor results. Fortunately, certain tools are free and user-friendly. I use Google Analytics and Sitemeter, and advise my clients to do the same. You don’t need an advanced degree in statistics to know that when the line goes up, you’re doing something right.
When it goes down, you need to find out why. Is it your content itself? Or is the design of your site too difficult to read? Is it not clear who your targeted visitors are? Are your content topics unfocused and too broad? Are you confusing the search engine robots because your keywords aren’t clear and obvious? (And, are you boring your readers?)
It’s not rocket science, but it’s often times difficult to discern what measurements mean. Apart from knowing whether your stats are going up or down, what does that mean? What good is more traffic if it’s not converting?
The important thing is that you have clearly defined objectives for your site and your content. Ask yourself “so what?” each time you publish new content. Make sure you measure what counts for your site, your business, your objectives.
Patsi Krakoff Recommends
Blog Direct Connections Twitter HJSewell
Measure campaigns based on Cost Per Quality Lead (CPQL).
Howard Sewell’s Bio
Howard J. Sewell is president and founder of Connect Direct Inc. (CDI) a full-service marketing agency with offices in Silicon Valley and Seattle that specializes in demand generation and lead management for high-technology companies.
Howard Sewell’s Tip
To the extent marketing metrics have evolved, it’s due less to the evolution of digital marketing, and due more to the rapid adoption of marketing automation technologies that improve the way companies connect marketing activity and sales results. Even so, it would be idealistic to suggest that all companies should start measuring marketing activity by ROI. Even with the right tools in place, measuring the true sales return from marketing activity can still be problematic, not the least because of the human element – i.e. the diligence and accuracy with which sales reps record and document sales activity.
A more realistic goal for most B2B companies is to measure campaigns based on Cost Per Quality Lead (CPQL). What defines “quality” isn’t critical – it could be a minimum lead score, a lead accepted by sales, or an opportunity. At a bare minimum, however, CPQL gives a company a more effective way to measure the relative performance of different tactics. Without the qualitative element, a campaign such as paid search (SEM) may appear to be performing well, when in fact a high proportion of the leads may fall completely outside the company’s target profile.
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Blog B2BContentMarketing Twitter SeamusWalsh
Bounce rate should be analyzed daily.
Seamus Walsh’s Bio
Seamus Walsh founded VAZT Global Inc. in January 2008. Seamus’ passion for sales, sales process and excellence enabled him to develop a platform that “finds, cares and feeds” prospects until they are ready to buy. Prior to forming VAZT, Seamus worked in sales and strategic account management for The Hackett Group, a strategic advisory and management consulting firm in Atlanta, For Gartner, a research, advisory and consulting company in Stamford, CT and Cambridge Technology Partners, a web development company, prior to its acquisition by Novell. Seamus resides in Essex Junction, VT with his wife and four children.
Seamus Walsh’s Tip
Picking one metric is very difficult, almost impossible. The hype around the web as a sales and marketing tool is driving people online in droves. Frankly, some are jumping in with no thought to content or a strategy that is going to keep people on and coming back to their sites. That said, to pick one, my favorite metric would be bounce rate. Bounce rate should be analyzed daily. When I am searching on the web, you have about 7 seconds of my time on your site to get my attention. If you pass my UX (user experience) sniff test you gain another 20 or 30 seconds to prove you are a player, in other words, your content has to show me that you understand my search request and that you can satisfy my requirements quickly and if I choose with details: whitepapers, testimonials, spec sheets, videos, etc.
In our and our client’s efforts, we use 3-8 words, or keywords because using longer keyword strings makes it easier to be micro-topical. If we have a bounce rate over 50% we get very concerned. You can, depending on your product and keyword strategy be very, very successful with a higher bounce rate, but for many, it is a very important metric that measures one’s ability to educate and editorialize on a solution as part of a longer sales cycle.
Seamus Walsh Recommends