Last month we focused on some qualitative ways to determine if your brand and messaging were in decline or misaligned. Today, we’ll look at some under-the-radar metrics that can help you determine if and where you may have a brand or marketing problem. We will look at your website, marketing and sales funnel, and some digital marketing programs to help you peel back some of the most common metrics that don’t tell the whole story.
Website Metrics That Matter
Total and unique visits are common marketing metrics that most businesses capture. As with Lead Generation, these can also be impacted by certain spending and tactics that bring users to your site that are not interested. In addition to tracking visits, it’s important to also track some quality metrics. What is the average time on your website and how does that compare across a period of time? We also want to look at your bounce rate, the measure of how sticky a visitor is.
Bounce rate is simply the number of visitors who leave after visiting one page divided by the total number of visitors. Typical sites average 50-70% bounce rate. We want to help companies drive their bounce rate down into the 30-40% range. If you are accomplishing this and a steady number of visitors, then your brand and messaging are resonating and delivering engaged prospects.
Want to get an initial peek? Hubspot offers a self-assessment at Website Grader
Email Marketing is More About Awareness for B2B
For years open and click-through rates have been the key metrics for email marketing. That hasn’t changed, but I would argue the meanings behind them have changed. Before everyone was emailing us, daily if not weekly, open rates told us more about how interested customers and prospects were in your messaging. With the surge of email and mail programs that may show something as opened vs. read, we’ve begun looking at email as a brand awareness metric. If you are offering a promotion or other e-commerce, this wouldn’t apply.
As an awareness measure, it’s equally important to closely watch your unsubscribe rates as this will more closely tell you recipients who don’t feel connected or interested in your brand. Otherwise, make sure you are tracking open and CTR rates over time and look at patterns of change.
Keep it Simple with SEO Measurements
There are many metrics for SEO that marketing can focus on, and I think this sometimes gets us in trouble. So much depends on whether you are investing in paid search or just focusing on organic means. In either case, knowing the key search terms that drive your business is more important than looking at all your various terms. I’ve seen businesses that feel good having 30 keywords rank in the top 5 pages, but only 2 rate on page 1. Would you rather have that distribution or 10 keywords rank in the top 5 pages, but 6 rank on page 1?
This is a case where good is the enemy of great! We see companies spend lots of money to be somewhere in the game, but too often they are spreading their focus so thin, that they don’t capture the right prospects.
Lead Generation Needs to be Combined with Other Metrics
Most marketing teams look at the total number of leads and cost per lead as their primary marketing measurement. The problem with both metrics is they can easily be gamed to tell a story that helps marketing look good but doesn’t help the business. I’ve personally witnessed businesses that run contests and sweepstakes to drive the number of leads up. Similarly, we all know vendors that will sell a larger batch of lead targets with a lower cost per lead than a smaller high-quality segment. In both cases what typically happens is the sales or BDR team spends a lot of wasted time reaching out to these leads that are not qualified. This lost productivity also weakens the trust and alignment between sales and marketing.
Instead of focusing on these Vanity Metrics, we look further down the pipeline. On the cost side, we look at both cost per opportunity and cost per deal. Why both? If we see diverging patterns here, we might have a sales or product problem. If both are moving in the same direction, then we have a good baseline to determine if we’re getting better or declining. We also look at the number of opportunities we are creating and the ratio of leads to opportunity and opportunity to deals. These ratios give you a better idea of the health of your pipeline and the ability to close future business.
If you are uncertain about how your brand and digital metrics stack up, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to give you a free assessment.