Tech and B2B marketing news, tips and how-to's.

Q1 results are in the bag and now is the time to check the assumptions in your 2021 marketing plan. Focus on these marketing metrics, paying attention to what you need versus what your CEO will appreciate.

Remember, marketing department metrics differ from CEO/CFO metrics. For the marketing troops, who are always looking forward, metrics like marketing touches, click-throughs and conversions are critical because they provide insight into next steps. As a rule, however, CEOs and CFOs aren’t much interested in these.

CEOs and CFOs are typically backward looking because they are accountable to investors and others for reporting financial performance. Their metrics are almost always financial and historical.

You need to be adept at both types of metrics. Work with accounting, IT and sales to find the data you need…it’s there but sometimes requires effort to find it.

marketing metrics dashboard

Key metrics for marketers (not for CEOs)

Your MAP may already have these features, but it’s good to check their scope and accuracy.

Many of the following tools are adding features to encompass a range of metrics. The market is saturated with offerings so you’re bound to find something for your specific needs.

Website page views – This simplest of marketing metrics, viewed as a timeline charted against your campaigns, can give you an idea of whether your tactics are working. A good starter kit tool is Google Analytics, which is free. In the better category are SimilarWeb, Alexa and SE Ranking.

In 2021 you’ll need to use a tool or calculation that gets the bot hits out of your numbers.

Press and analyst mentions If you’re getting positive attention of industry and financial press, you are doing something right. Two free apps are Talkwalker Alerts and Google Alerts. As your needs become more complex, you can move to apps like Mention and Meltwater.

Organic search rankings This is typically used to track your traffic and your competitors. I like SEMRush. other top contenders include SEO ToolSet, MOZ and BrightEdge.

Click-throughs and conversions by marketing channel This is a job for marketing automation platforms, of which there are at least 5,000+ available. I use EngageBay because it’s reasonably priced and includes CRM. Again, there are tons of these on the market.

PPC results GoogleAds is the go-to sorta free resource. Other excellent apps include  iSpionage and SpyFu.

Metrics your CEO will love

CAC Customer Acquisition Cost is the total of all sales and marketing costs (fixed and variable) divided by the number of new customers in a given time period. If your company’s products have a long sales cycle it’s best to take quarterly measurements so use Q42020 as your first benchmark in 2021. Learn more.

M%-CAC Marketing percent of CAC is total marketing costs divided by CAC. Put the spotlight on you before someone else does!

Time To Payback CAC This is monthly (or quarterly) CAC divided by monthly (or quarterly) gross margin. Work with your accounting department on this one.

MOP Marketing originated pipeline is the number of qualified prospects that marketing put in the pipeline in January. This is a job for your marketing automation tool. Work with sales on this metric because, as end users, they are the ultimate decider of what makes a qualified lead.

Remember, don’t do this work in a vacuum! Work hand-in-hand with sales and accounting on the CEO/CFO metrics to gain agreement on the data that underpins the metrics. You don’t want to be embarrassed by an unforeseen challenge to your calculations.

Marketers need to continue learning and applying metrics like these. Otherwise, we can’t expect our peers and executive team to place value on something we can’t quantify.

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