Are you a marketing manager looking to track the success of your campaigns? Do you want to make sure your decisions are data-driven and informed by metrics? But with so many metrics to choose from, it can be overwhelming to determine which ones are the most important to track.
The main metrics every marketing manager and their team should track include website traffic, conversion rate, bounce rate, cost per acquisition (CPA), video engagement rate, and return on investment (ROI).
But every channel has its own metrics. And every metric pursues a different goal. For example, creating videos to advertise a new service or to interact with current customers during an onboarding process cannot be evaluated solely by the number of views.
Similarly, many people think that a high email open rate means their campaign is successful. However, that isn’t always the case. If leads aren’t responding or buying and if that was the goal, it’s a problem.
Here, we will explore the key performance indicators (KPIs) to keep your marketing team accountable. You need to know how to use these metrics to achieve your marketing goals and pick the most relevant ones for your organization.
What’s a marketing metric?
Before we dive into the metrics themselves, let’s define what I mean by metrics. In marketing, metrics are measurable values that demonstrate how well a particular aspect of your marketing strategy is performing.
These metrics can include data related to website traffic, improving lead generation, sales, customer acquisition, social media engagement, email marketing, and more. Metrics are typically collected and analyzed using marketing analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, HubSpot, or Marketo.
Then, marketing metrics are quantifiable data points that help you measure the success of your marketing efforts. Metrics can be used to track progress toward specific goals, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions about future marketing strategies.
By tracking metrics, marketing teams can gain insights into what’s working and what’s not, allowing them to adjust their campaign goals and strategies accordingly.
Why are marketing metrics important?
As a marketing manager, your ultimate goal is to generate more revenue for your company. However, in order to do this, you need to have a deep understanding of your customers, what drives their behavior, and how your marketing efforts are impacting their decision-making process.
This is where marketing metrics come in. If marketing teams are not constantly measuring their marketing, they run the risk of making decisions based on assumptions or intuition rather than data.
This can lead to wasted resources on campaigns that are not effective or even damaging to the company’s reputation. Without proper measurement, it can be difficult to identify areas for improvement.
Often, one of the collateral damages is that sales teams get low-quality leads when compared to their sales-qualified leads (SQLs). In the end, poor marketing then translates into a waste of their time as well.
Understanding your key metrics and focusing on them can improve the quality of your marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), regardless of your marketing funnel.
Marketing and sales teams must work together to be more efficient, agile, and fast. As a result, they will generate more revenue, understand customers better, and use resources wisely.
Additionally, without regular measurement, it’s impossible to accurately determine the ROI of marketing campaigns, which can impact overall budgeting decisions and potentially lead to missed opportunities for growth.
Simply put, if companies don’t consistently measure their marketing efforts, they’re missing out on useful insights that could enhance their marketing and generate more revenue. Then, they can’t build successful marketing campaigns.
Metrics per marketing channel: What managers and teams should measure
In marketing, every channel has its own metrics. Managers and teams must know what to pay attention to in digital marketing to identify growth opportunities and missed chances.
It’s easier to track metrics in real time when you have this knowledge. And it’s a lot easier to know what to focus on when you know your goals.
Let me cover the main metrics you should pay attention to depending on the marketing channel you use.
Metrics for website traffic
- Unique visitors: This metric measures the number of distinct individuals who have visited your website within a specific timeframe. Tracking unique visitors helps you understand the size of your audience and how it’s growing over time.
- Bounce rate: This metric measures the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate can indicate that your website isn’t engaging enough, or that visitors are having trouble finding what they’re looking for.
- Time on site: This metric measures how long visitors spend on your website. The longer visitors stay on your site, the more engaged they are with your content.
Metrics for video marketing
- View count: The view count is the total number of times that a video has been played. This metric is essential for measuring the overall reach of a video. While a high view count does not necessarily indicate a successful campaign, it is a good indication that your video is reaching your target audience.
- Engagement rate: The engagement rate measures the level of interaction that viewers have with your video. This metric includes metrics like likes, comments, shares, and click-through rates. A high engagement rate indicates that your video is resonating with your target audience and generating interest in your brand.
- Conversion rate: The conversion rate shows how many people out of all viewers completed a specific action after watching your video, like joining a mailing list or buying a product. Because of this, I recommend using personalized calls-to-action because they improve the effectiveness of your videos. This metric is critical for measuring the overall effectiveness of your video marketing campaigns and can help you optimize your videos for maximum impact.
Metrics for podcast marketing
- Downloads: Downloads measure the number of times your podcast episode has been downloaded by listeners. This is a key metric in podcast marketing because it reflects the size of your audience and the reach of your podcast.
- Listener engagement: Listener engagement measures the level of engagement and interaction between listeners and your podcast. This can include metrics such as the number of comments, likes, and shares on social media, as well as the number of reviews and ratings on podcast platforms. High levels of engagement indicate that your podcast is resonating with listeners and building a loyal audience.
- Time spent listening: Time spent listening measures the average amount of time that listeners spend listening to your podcast episode. By tracking this metric, you can evaluate the engagement level of your listeners and identify areas for improvement in your podcast content.
Metrics for social media marketing
- Engagement rate: This metric measures how many interactions your social media posts receive, such as likes, comments, and shares. Tracking engagement rates can help you identify what type of content resonates most with your audience.
- Follower growth: This metric measures how quickly your social media following is growing. A steady increase in followers can indicate that your content is reaching new audiences and resonating with them.
- Click-through rate: This metric measures the percentage of people who click on a link in your social media posts. A high click-through rate indicates that your content is compelling enough to prompt action.
Metrics for email marketing
- Open rate: This metric measures the percentage of people who open your marketing emails. Tracking open rates helps you understand the effectiveness of your subject lines and email content.
- Click-through rate: This metric measures the percentage of people who click on a link within your marketing emails. By tracking click-through rates, you can see which links and calls-to-action (CTA) are the most effective.
- Conversion rate: This metric measures the percentage of potential customers who take a desired action after clicking through your marketing emails. This could include making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
Metrics for advertising
- Cost per click: This metric measures the average cost you pay for each click on your ads. By tracking cost per click, you can optimize your ad campaigns to ensure you’re getting the most value for your advertising spend.
- Conversion rate: This metric measures the percentage of people who take a desired action after clicking on your ad. This could include making a purchase or filling out a form.
- Return on investment (ROI): This metric measures the amount of revenue generated compared to the amount spent on advertising. Tracking ROI helps you understand the effectiveness of your ad campaigns and adjust your budget accordingly.
Metrics for sales
- Revenue: This is the total amount of money earned from sales over a certain period of time. Revenue is a fundamental metric for businesses as it directly impacts the bottom line.
- Conversion rate: This measures the percentage of prospects who actually make a purchase. The higher the conversion rate, the more efficient the sales process is at turning leads into paying customers.
- Average order value: This is the average amount spent by a customer per transaction. Increasing this metric can result in higher revenue and profitability, and can be achieved through upselling or cross-selling techniques.
Metrics for customer engagement
- Customer retention rate: This measures the percentage of customers who continue to do business with a company over time. A high customer retention rate is a strong indicator of customer satisfaction and engagement.
- Customer lifetime value (LTV): This is the total amount of money a customer is expected to spend with a company over their lifetime as a customer. The higher the customer lifetime value, the more engaged and loyal the customer is.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): This measures how likely customers are to recommend a company’s products or services to others. It is a good indicator of overall customer satisfaction and engagement and can be used to identify areas for improvement.
Metrics for direct mail marketing
- Response rate: The response rate is the percentage of people who responded to a direct mail campaign. This metric is usually calculated by dividing the number of responses by the number of pieces of mail sent. A high response rate indicates that the direct mail campaign was successful in capturing the recipients’ attention and motivating them to take action. Direct mail marketing is still really effective, especially if you have a good contact list.
- Cost per response (CPR): The CPR is the cost of each response generated by the direct mail campaign. It is calculated by dividing the total cost of the campaign by the number of responses. This metric is useful for comparing the cost-effectiveness of different direct mail campaigns.
- Average order value (AOV): The AOV is the average amount that a customer spends when making a purchase in response to a direct mail campaign. It is calculated by dividing the total revenue generated by the campaign by the number of orders. This metric can help determine the overall profitability of the campaign.
Metrics in inbound marketing
- Time on site: This metric measures how long visitors spend on your website. A high time-on-site indicates that your content is engaging and valuable to your audience.
- Cost per lead (CPL): CPL measures the cost of acquiring a single lead through your marketing efforts. By tracking CPL, you can identify which channels and campaigns are most cost-effective for generating leads.
- Customer acquisition cost (CAC): CAC measures the cost of acquiring a new customer. By tracking CAC, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are generating a positive ROI and that you are not overspending on customer acquisition.
Metrics for print marketing
- Impressions: Impressions measure the number of times your printed marketing materials are seen by your target audience. This can include metrics such as the number of flyers distributed or the number of posters displayed in public areas. By tracking impressions, you can evaluate the reach of your print marketing campaign and identify areas for improvement.
- Cost per acquisition (CPA): CPA measures the cost of acquiring a new customer or lead through your print marketing efforts. This can include the cost of printing and distribution, as well as any other expenses associated with your campaign. By tracking CPA, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your print marketing campaign in acquiring new customers or leads.
- Brand awareness: Brand awareness measures the level of awareness and recognition among your target audience for your brand or product. This can include metrics such as the number of people who recall your brand identity after seeing your printed marketing materials. By tracking brand awareness, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your print marketing campaign in building brand recognition and recall.
Metrics in SMS marketing
- Revenue generated: Revenue generated measures the amount of revenue that is generated from your SMS marketing campaign. This metric is important because it directly correlates with the ROI of your campaign.
- Cost per conversion: Cost per conversion measures the cost of acquiring a single conversion through your SMS marketing campaign. By tracking this metric, you can ensure that your campaign is cost-effective and generating a positive ROI.
- Time to conversion: Time to conversion measures how long it takes for a recipient to take a desired action after receiving your SMS message. This metric can help you understand how quickly your SMS marketing campaign is driving results.
Metrics in WhatsApp marketing
- Message delivery rate: Message delivery rate is the percentage of WhatsApp messages that are successfully delivered to recipients. A high delivery rate indicates that your WhatsApp campaign is reaching its intended audience. However, if your delivery rate is low, it may be due to issues such as incorrect phone numbers or network connectivity.
- Message open rate: The message open rate is the percentage of WhatsApp messages that are opened by recipients. This metric is important because it indicates how well your message resonates with your audience. A high open rate indicates that your message is engaging and valuable to recipients.
- Response rate: Response rate measures the percentage of WhatsApp recipients who respond to your message. This metric can help you understand how engaged your audience is and how well your message resonates with them.
Metrics in event marketing
- Attendance rate: The attendance rate measures the percentage of people who attended your event compared to the number of people you invited or targeted. A high attendance rate indicates that your event was successful in attracting attendees and generating interest in your brand or product.
- Engagement rate: The engagement rate measures the level of interaction and engagement between attendees and your brand or product during the event. This can include metrics such as the number of conversations, interactions with branded materials, or social media posts related to the event. A high engagement rate indicates that your event was successful in creating meaningful connections with attendees.
- Cost per attendee: Cost per attendee measures the cost of acquiring a single attendee for your event. By tracking this metric, you can evaluate the cost-effectiveness of your event marketing campaign and make informed decisions about future investments.
Note that in one or another way, conversion metrics are always there. In the end, there is no point in executing a marketing plan if it is not with the goal of driving conversions short, mid, or long-term.
Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs)
Before you can choose the right marketing metrics for your organization, you need to identify your key performance indicators (KPIs). You also need to be realistic with your marketing budget and what is reasonable in terms of customer acquisition cost.
KPIs are specific metrics that help you track progress toward achieving your goals. To identify your KPIs, start by defining your marketing goals, such as increasing website traffic, generating leads, or improving social media engagement.
Then, determine which metrics will help you measure progress toward these goals.
Setting SMART goals for your marketing metrics
To choose the right marketing metrics, you need to set SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
By setting SMART goals, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are focused and effective.
Your marketing goals should be specific and clearly defined. For example, “increase website traffic” is not specific enough. A specific goal might be “increase website traffic by 50% in the next three months.”
Your goals should be measurable so that you can track progress and determine whether you’ve achieved them. Measurable goals might include “generate 100 leads per month” or “increase social media engagement by 25%.”
Your goals should be achievable, given your organization’s resources and capabilities. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and decreased motivation. Make sure your goals are challenging but achievable.
Your goals should be relevant to your organization’s overall objectives. For example, if your company’s goal is to increase revenue, your marketing goals should be aligned with that objective.
Your goals should be time-bound, meaning they have a specific deadline or timeframe. This helps keep your team focused and accountable. For example, “increase email open rates by 10% in the next quarter” is a time-bound goal.
Choosing the right metrics
When it comes to marketing metrics, it’s important to choose the ones that are most relevant to your business goals.
While some metrics may be important for one company, they may not be as important for another. The same applies to periodic marketing activities.
For example, if you run a brand awareness campaign, maybe you are not expecting customers to respond to an email campaign. But you’ll then focus on understanding if the target audience opened the emails or viewed the display ads.
But what about if it is a Black Friday email campaign? Then, what really matters is the conversion rate. There, you are focused on sales.
It is possible that the number of people that open an email campaign has a huge impact on the conversion rate. But this also depends on the quality of the email list which comes with how engaged your audience is.
Here are some tips for choosing the right metrics:
Align critical metrics with business goals
Your marketing metrics should be aligned with your overall business goals. For example, if your goal is to increase sales, you may want to focus on metrics like conversion rate or revenue per customer.
Choose metrics that are actionable
Your marketing metrics should be actionable, meaning they provide insights that you can act on to improve your marketing efforts. For example, if your website traffic is low, you may want to focus on improving your SEO or investing in paid advertising.
Focus on a few key metrics
Tracking various marketing metrics is crucial, but it’s essential to prioritize a few key metrics that hold the most significance to your business goals.
This will help you avoid information overload and ensure that you’re focusing on the metrics that will have the biggest impact on your bottom line.
Interpreting marketing metrics
Once you’ve chosen the right marketing metrics, it’s important to know how to interpret them. Here are some tips for interpreting marketing metrics:
Look for trends
Marketing metrics can fluctuate from day to day or week to week. It’s important to look for trends over time to determine whether your marketing efforts are having a positive or negative impact.
Compare metrics to benchmarks
To determine whether your marketing metrics are good or bad, it’s important to compare them to industry benchmarks or your own historical data.
This can help you identify areas where you’re performing well or areas where you need to improve.
Use metrics to ask questions
Marketing metrics should be used as a starting point for asking questions, not as an endpoint. If your conversion rate is low, try asking questions such as “Is our website designed to drive conversions?” or “Is our target audience being reached effectively?”
Keeping your marketing team accountable
In any business, accountability is crucial to success. This is especially true for marketing teams, whose effectiveness can directly impact a company’s bottom line.
However, it can be challenging to keep a marketing team accountable, especially when the team is remote or when projects are spread out over a long period.
Let me share some tips on how to keep your marketing team accountable and improve their performance.
Setting goals and expectations
One of the best ways to keep your marketing team accountable is by setting clear goals and expectations from the start.
When everyone knows what is expected of them, it becomes easier to measure performance and track progress.
Assigning roles and responsibilities
Another way to ensure accountability within your marketing team is by assigning clear roles and responsibilities to each member.
This not only helps team members to stay focused, but also eliminates confusion about who is responsible for specific tasks, projects, or performance optimization of your B2B marketing strategies and tactics.
Establishing processes and deadlines
Establishing clear processes and deadlines is another key aspect of accountability. By creating a clear roadmap for each project and setting deadlines for each step, it becomes easier to measure progress and identify areas for improvement.
Measuring performance and providing feedback
Measuring performance and providing feedback is essential to improving accountability within your marketing team. By regularly tracking progress and providing feedback to team members, you can identify areas for improvement and celebrate successes.
In digital marketing, this is easier. Most tools offer built-in analytics, and many even connect with Google Analytics.
Small businesses can also leverage the power of marketing automation to make this job easier.
Fostering collaboration and communication
Finally, fostering collaboration and communication within your marketing team is essential to accountability and success. When team members are encouraged to work together and communicate effectively, it becomes easier to identify issues and solve problems.
Every marketing department should know the critical metrics that will help them drive the best marketing ROI, grow the customer base, and increase retention.
By choosing and tracking these key metrics, marketing managers can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of their campaigns and make data-driven decisions.
Accountability is crucial to the success of any marketing team. This becomes easier if every team member knows the metrics that are important based on specific goals.
Overall, the choice of which metrics to use will depend on the goals of the direct mail campaign and the specific needs of the business.