Engage University Ep. 6: Most Important Digital Marketing Metrics
Lauren Devens: Hello and welcome to Engage University episode six! I am Lauren Devens and I’m the Digital Marketing & Social Media Coordinator here at BNP Engage and I will be your host today. I’m here with our CEO and Founder, Ben LeDonni, and we are going to be discussing the most important marketing metrics to track for success. So, Ben, I’ll pass it over to you for a brief intro.
Ben LeDonni: Hey, Lauren. Thank you and thank you for having this meeting and inviting me to be a part of it. Yeah, so, I’m Ben LeDonni. I’m the Founder and CEO at BNP Engage where we strategically partner with those seeking the most effective digital marketing solutions and I’m excited for the conversation today. It’s a good topic and one we get asked about all the time.
Which marketing metrics should be tracked to measure success?
That’s just such a common question, right? The first metric that we always get is way more of a business metric. It’s one we suggest that a marketing director or marketing CMO really needs to be looking at which is ROI (return on investment). It’s very common in the business world to say that question, “What’s my ROI on this thing?” “What’s my return on my investment on my marketing spend?”
But really it’s a calculation to say if I spent, you know, $100k in a marketing campaign for a year, what did I get back for that hundred thousand dollars? So, that’s the first and foremost that I would say.
How can you improve ROI on marketing campaigns?
First off, we see that most people don’t have a true calculation that they trust on the return on investment. One of the problems is that they don’t break the goals apart to be able to run that calculation in meaningful ways.
Say, for example, the goal for your $100k campaign is to get more eyeballs and awareness for a new product launch. Then, awareness is really the measurement on that return on the investment. You may not see dollars right away. You may just be looking at things like views and engagement as key metrics to set a benchmark for how well the campaign is performing.
And that’s different for something like consideration. Say you’re trying to deploy that same $100k to win back clients or prospects that you lost, or trying to make sure that anybody that’s in your sales funnel is converting. You’d measure things like engagement rate on email campaigns or time on the website or things like that. You’d also measure sales. We’d suggest at that point to try and track through to the decision.
Then, when you get to the decision, you should track close rate. What’s my close rate out of everything that I deployed in this campaign? If I was trying to spend $100k to generate new business, how much new business did I generate with those campaigns all the way through?
But what we typically see is that people spread those dollars and those campaigns out and they have multiple goals that overlap. So, they might be very much interested in growth and new business sales. But they may say, “But we’re also very interested in awareness.” So, you’ve got to carve a portion of that out to say, “I’d be happy with getting a return on this amount for awareness, but I really want to try and get to this metric for my sales or my overall growth.”
So, what can they improve if that’s the case? I would say it depends. Come up with a hypothesis on what’s working. Make sure you know what your assumptions are.
I’ll give you an example. I once was working with a partner of ours that we worked with on a campaign and they said to us, “Well, we can change everything, but we cannot change this print marketing that we are doing because it just works.” And we said, “Well, how do you know? How do you know that it works?” And they said, “Well, we just always have done it and we always feel like it’s something that just works, so we just don’t change it.”
That could be true. But if you can’t measure it, you really can’t tell. If you’re looking to improve something, come up with a hypothesis about what you can improve. Run some tests based on the assumptions that you have using that scientific method. Come up with a hypothesis and run tests. You’re going to come up with your variables and your measurements as a result. You’re going to assess and conclude and then repeat again for the next hypothesis.
To me, it’s more about making sure that you look at what it is that you’re trying to accomplish with your investment in marketing, what you’re getting out of it, and then testing and optimizing as you go to make sure that you get back the results that you want. But I’d also challenge them.
These days, if you can’t measure it, try not to do it. And that doesn’t mean don’t do the print piece. It means make sure that the print piece is measurable so that you can judge the results and you can see whether or not that assumption that you’ve made is correct.
Aligning digital marketing and sales teams
People look towards ROI and you’ll get questions like, “What’s the measurement of posting to social media three times a week?” or “What’s the benefit of revamping my website? What should I see as a result?”
But when you talk about salespeople, everybody’s always like, “Oh, I’ll invest in the salespeople and the trade shows where I send my salespeople,” because they see that as an engine that delivers sales and results. We try and tell people to look at marketing and sales combined because one side lifts the other and the other lifts the other.
So, it’s really helpful to think about your metrics for sales and marketing as somewhat combined and intertwined, and use tools that give you data like that. HubSpot is one that we like and recommend because you’re able to see some of the metrics that I mentioned and the success of those metrics not only for marketing and not only for sales, but combined.
If you think of return on investment as being a conversation that marketing and sales is having combined and you break the problem apart into what we call KPIs or key performance indicators, those conversations should go like, “Well, marketing says, hey, I’m doing X Y and Z. Here’s my results.” And sales says, “Well, I’m noticing that this is what’s coming from it,” and then those conversations happen and marketing improves and sales improves as a result.
Start tracking towards digital marketing success
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