Yesterday, we presented an “Intro to Marketing Metrics” webinar , focusing on the five metrics that matter to your CEO. We discussed some of the challenges that marketers face tying their efforts to revenue, as well as the general uncertainty there is out there when it comes to metrics. What to measure? How to measure? How to bring everything together?
From a CEO’s perspective, one of the main call-outs was "context" and "story." It's nice that you have a lot of data, but what is the data telling you? Is it good or bad, and what are you planning to do about it? That’s what your CEO is thinking, so that’s what you need to be prepared to address.
From a KPIs perspective, here are five metrics your CEO cares about:
- Database growth - meaning, how much is your database evolving over time?
- Conversion rates - meaning, how good is marketing at getting people interested?
- Qualified lead volumes, how good is marketing at sustaining interest and engagement?
- Pipeline growth - meaning, how effective is marketing at delivering MQL (marketing qualified leads), and does Sales accept these leads?
- Marketing attributed revenue, ROMI - what is the actual dollar value, in revenue that marketing has contributed? What activities or channels were most successful in driving that revenue?
Again, CEOs are looking at the big-picture. They want to know how your marketing activities are supporting Sales and driving revenue. We were lucky to have a very engaged audience for this session, and they asked some great questions that I wanted to share with you all:
1. What are the KPIs you recommend for online, leads, conversions, etc?
First, making sure your KPIs are representing a holistic view of your marketing, over time is key. You can look specifically at things like pipeline velocity, lead nurturing, and engagement. If you are just starting off with marketing automation, it’s critically important to know where you are right now, make sure you benchmark everything.
2. Is there a danger in sharing metrics with your CEO too early?
Absolutely not. As a CEO you want to be clear about what’s going on. It’s best to communicate results, from the beginning and stay in constant communication about how they are evolving. The key is to present the metrics, support it with a narrative that aligns with business objectives, and be clear about what you plan to do with this information, how you plan to respond to the data.
3. How long should it take until you are able to get real pipeline metrics?
There are a number of factors this depends on, mainly; CRM (is it new?), marketing automation platform, or how long the buying cycle is. If you are just starting off, 60-90 will give you the best look at how things are performing, and moving through the pipeline. If you are not just starting, benchmark now then check back in 30 days, then every week after that.
4. Once you have dashboards in place, what levers should you push/pull in oder to change results?
There are levers throughout the entire buying cycle that you can play with. For example:
- If you have high form abandonment rates, shorten the form
- If you are not getting enough MQLs (marketing qualified leads), you need to do more nurturing and content marketing
- If you are not getting enough SQL (sales qualified leads) or sales is rejecting leads, you probably need to work on your lead scoring models
- If you are not converting names to prospects, you should probably test subject lines, or content offers
- If sales is getting a low close rate, maybe it’s a sales enablement issue
5. What are some guidelines you should think about when looking at database growth as a KPI?
The number one thing to consider about database growth is how dirty or clean the data is. It’s critically to have a clean database, and a hygiene strategy in place to get it cleaned up or keep it clean as new data gets entered. One way to check the health of your database is to simply send out at note asking recipients if their information is correct. From a growth perspective, depending on your marketing activities, your database should increase 25% month over month.