B2B marketing: choosing the right metrics to measure

Abi Abrahams, Wednesday 2 January 2019
9 min read time
 

 

marketing metrics for measurement-1

Though 80% of marketers say they’re driven by data, over 50% struggle to properly measure their success, due to confusions surrounding marketing metrics. Knowing which metrics to measure is vital to success, without them, your team will be unable to understand campaign success and decipher reoccurring problems to help implement strategy improvements. Metrics help ensure you make worthy investments that gain return, and guide your team to marketing excellence. 

 

Former CEO of HP Carly Fiorina tells us that “The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” She perfectly outlines the power of marketing metrics. They are key to unlocking true audience understanding, creating campaigns and strategies that perfectly pique their interest and build vital product value. Discover what metrics mean for your pipeline and your individual channels, choosing the right metrics to measure for success. 

 

What is a metric? 

 

Metrics are strictly numerical results, offering your team unbiased, objective values they can easily use to gain detailed analysis, discovering relevant trends and patterns. Gathering non-metric measurements can lead your team astray, as readings become influenced by those gathering them, and your team miss out on the finite data needed to fuel the most effective and beneficial marketing campaigns.


When properly measured and analyzed, metrics can offer your team advanced insight into your target audience, what they need and how they respond to you brand messages. This helps you adapt everyday processes and plan future strategies to best fit your ideal buyers, and gain exceptional new business results to boost sales success.


A failure to measure marketing metrics affects the whole business, as there’s little understanding of what other departments need from marketing, and budget gets misspent, due to the confused links between marketing results and revenue gained. Your team need to understand their marketing metrics, ensuring they gather all the measurements required to effectively evolve marketing efforts.

 

Pipeline metrics vs channel specific metrics

 

Marketing encapsulates an enormous amount of differing metrics. Taking time to understand them, and focus on those most vital to your current channel strategies and team needs is essential. Metrics can be simply split into two key categories, pipeline and channel. Pipeline metrics refer to those that track large movements through the buyer journey such as new business inquiries, leads generated, leads converted and sales closed. These metrics outline overall successes, and are essential for every business to measure, ensuring your team properly understand departmental results, output quality and return on vital investments. Your CRM will likely hold a vast amount of information surrounding key pipeline metrics; take time to map out your full buyer journey, and understand what data you measure along the way.


Channel metrics are far more specific to marketing, and offer access to intricate detail surrounding each channel used to gather new business interest. No matter what channels you use, each one will have a set of metrics specific to their campaigns and responses. The number of metrics varies between channels, some carry far more than others, and many teams need to streamline channel metrics to understand which ones are essential to campaign understanding and future strategic improvements. Channel metrics will help your team understand which precise areas of their marketing processes need adjustment, so when a campaign doesn’t perform as desired, they can quickly pin-point under-performing areas to change before the next campaign is executed.


To help your team understand the most effective metrics to measure for marketing success, let’s delve into the most popular B2B channels, understanding what numbers are needed to conduct your most impactful campaigns for continuously improved results.

 

Email marketing 

 

Used for over two decades to share brand messages and generate new business opportunities, email marketing continues to deliver exceptional results to many businesses. But from a metrics perspective, this channel offers plenty, many of which are vital to properly understanding how to optimize your email strategy. These metrics are a great place to start:

 

  • Amount of data emailed- It’s important to know how many sets of data you’re emailing on any given campaign. This is the starting metric, helping your team understand how much data is required to deliver the result needed further down the line, and is often used to calculate additional email marketing metrics.
  • Emails delivered- Not every email will be successfully delivered. This metric points to two key areas, your spam rating and your data quality. If emails are undelivered because they are rejected by different servers, your copy will contain too many spam words. If they’re undelivered because of data quality, you need to update your database and improve data cleansing processes.
  • Emails opened- This metric helps your team gauge subject line success. The more emails opened, the more enticing and intriguing your subject line. A reduced number of opened emails lets your team know where to focus their efforts. This is a great metric to A/B test with a small set of data prior to a large campaign, helping you choose the most effective option.
  • Email responses received-This metric essentially outlines the success of your email campaign, understanding how many prospects were engaged enough to respond. This points to the quality of your email copy and call-to-action, understanding how effective these elements have been to your email success. Be sure to understand what responses count as “interest”. If they ask questions about product pricing, contract details of product information, are they ready to speak to your sales team?
  • Unsubscribes- This may seem counter-productive, but knowing how many sets of data are lost per campaign helps your team ensure data lists are appropriately managed and replenished, to bring continuous results.

With these metrics, your team can easily understand every email campaign in detail, recreating the most successful elements, and adjusting those that need work to better to optimize campaigns for incredible success. 

 

Content marketing

 

Content marketing continues to offer teams a highly effective way to nurture prospects closer to brand engagement, building product value and increasing revenue gain by almost 50%. Compared to email marketing, this channel uses fewer metrics, but numbers can ramp up when publishing a vast amount of content.

 

  • Assets in distribution- Knowing how many different assets you have published, and what kinds of assets are in distributions helps your team understand the amount of assets required to gain necessary results, and hold valuable SERP rankings. This better informs the rate at which content needs to be created and distributed.
  • Asset pages viewed- Understanding how many visitors your content webpages receive is key. Whether these are landing pages for gated content, or the webpages used to display blogs, this metric helps your team understand the reach of your content, and how many possible conversion opportunities they’re offered.
  • Assets downloaded- This metric offers insight into which assets are most popular with your target audience. Understanding what content topics best meet buyer needs and which formats appeal to their requirements helps your team consistently create relevant and engaging content.
  • Inquiries generated- Similar to email responses, this measures your content marketing success, and helps your team understand how effective calls to action featured in content are in enticing and converting your online audience.

By recording these metrics, your content marketing strategy will continue to produce the results your team needs to fuel your sales pipeline with high-quality new business opportunities.

 

Social media marketing

 

Though a more modern channel many B2B organizations have only embraced within the last five years, social media offers businesses exciting opportunities to reach a wider audience, promote brand loyalty and continue to drive lead generation. Though measuring this channel is notoriously difficult, so start with these metrics:

 

  • Platform conversions- As social media offers a vast amount of different platforms to work with, you need to ensure you’re only using those that attract the right audience and offer your business results. Gathering the number of successful conversions from each platform helps you streamline your social media channel and focus your optimization efforts.
  • Brand engagement- It’s up to your team how deeply they measure social media brand engagement, from followers to post likes and shares. Be sure not to get bogged down in metrics that don’t effect your strategic plans and understanding- know how you’ll use the numbers gained to make changes. This understanding of engagement can help your team recreate success full posts to increase future activity.
  • Paid vs organic leads generated- As social media is a vastly free channel, when making investments in paid adverts, it’s important to understand how much conversion improvement this brings in comparison to usual results. Whilst every lead counts, if you pay $400 to run an advert and only gain two additional leads per week, is it worth the investment?

Many of us are still learning how best to run social media strategies, but by understanding these metric areas your team can ensure a more structured approach, taking previous learnings into account when moving forward. 

 

Website optimization 

 

94% of buyer journeys start online, meaning your website is a key online hub for vital brand activity, heavily influencing marketing success. Your website offers a vast amount of differing metrics, each feeding your strategy in different ways and offering new insights into audience preferences and desires. Here are a few of our favourites:

 

  • Overall visitors- Knowing how many visitors your website receives on a daily basis is the founding metric of online analysis. Understanding how many visitors engage with your brand, and how this engagement fluxes in response to other marketing activity offers insight into your online dominance and market voice.
  • Click-through rate- This metric helps your team understand how many visitors complete desired calls to action, submitting contact forms or downloading content assets. This is a measure of your website success, and many businesses aim to achieve upwards of 5% conversion.
  • Popular pages- This metric offers insight into audience preference, and helps your team understand what topics interest visitors, and what questions they often have about your product or service. This enables your team to tailor website content to better meet audience preferences and increase click-through rates.
  • Referrals- Knowing how website visitors found your website can be highly interesting, helping your team understand which marketing channels efficiently drive website traffic. You may find a LinkedIn campaign didn’t generate a bounty of leads, but did direct a vast amount of traffic to your site, so still offered your business benefit.
  • Visiting businesses- Understanding which industries and businesses engage with your site helps ensure marketing efforts meet the right audience; there’s no use gaining traffic from businesses who won’t need or use your product.

Software solutions like Lead Forensics identify the businesses visiting your website and provide contact details for key decision makers alongside detailed website analytics. This fuels your team with high-quality, fresh leads for instant, impactful follow up whilst providing outstanding metric reading and insight. Revolutionize your website with the power of Lead Forensics. Find out more- book your free demo today!

 

Free guide - It's time to revolutionize your B2B sales with the best tools and tactics for success. Download "Ultimate sales tools and tactics specific to B2B sales" for free now! 

 

Ultimate sales tools and tactics specific to B2B sales

 

Topics: B2B marketing, Lead generation, Lead Forensics, Prioritize Leads

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