What marketing metrics really measure the success of my business?

See what marketing metrics you need to monitor on a daily basis and how they will impact your company’s sales result!

Marketing metrics are indicators used to measure the results of actions and campaigns implemented in marketing channels. By following the main ones – ranging from the number of visitors to the volume of sales – you can identify the impact of your strategies on your company’s final results.

Do you know what are the most important metrics for a company? This question may seem obvious, but when we talk about marketing metrics, many companies still believe that we are referring only to the volume of people who follow the profiles of social networks, without knowing what is the return brought by the actions.

With Digital Marketing work, this can be different. Although there are many vanity metrics that are not related to generating business opportunities, we know that there are several marketing metrics that can show whether your strategies are contributing or not to the company’s results.

And in practice, what are these metrics? What do they represent? Below, Blue World City will talk all about them and how you can follow them to analyze the evolution of your business.

What do marketing metrics represent?

We can define marketing metrics as the first step for any company to develop its plans, actions, and strategies. They are represented by indicators that help measure the success of a specific campaign or of the entire marketing work.

With this data, we are able to study each step of a project safely, without using guesswork to make important decisions – which also allows us to monitor and compare the work in a practical and direct way.

For all that they represent, knowing how to use them is crucial for the success of the area. Also, contrary to what many people think, goals should not be evaluated only at the beginning and at the end of a campaign. They need to be examined during every step of the marketing funnel.

There are many functions of metrics in Digital Marketing. Among them, the main ones are worth mentioning:

  • Pointing out the positive and negative points of the campaigns;
  • assistance with decision-making and investments;
  • Assistance for the improvement of strategies;
  • Decrease in the degree of uncertainty for the area’s next steps;
  • Identification of ROI  (Return on Investment) more objectively;
  • Measuring the performance of each campaign and the involvement of the public.

Social metrics vs. business metrics

The factors that can be evaluated through marketing metrics can be very diverse. To establish the best indicator or the best options among all possible options for your business, it is necessary to understand the objective of your action.

Without a defined objective, you won’t know if the campaign is on the right track or if the strategies were effective. As a result, the risk of investing in the wrong tools is very high.

To set your goal, first, know the difference between social metrics and business metrics :

social metrics

Social metrics relate to brand goals on social media. Each company has its motivation to develop content in these channels and, according to each one, different goals will be analyzed.

The main data observed in social metrics are:

  • Reach: This is a visible metric on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. We consider it as a base goal, as we are able to check how many people are receiving each published content;
  • Engagement: We can read this metric basically as the sum of who comments, likes, shares or clicks on posts. This number will always be less than the content views. It is important information for improving marketing strategies ; 
  • Followers: We often refer to social media followers as the volume of people who highlight their interest in following your posts. This is often a factor that draws audiences to the page. However, remember that having a following doesn’t mean that everyone will see your content.

We must realize that one metric depends on the other, and all must be positive for the work on social media to be successful. In practice, reach should always be increasing as without it there is no engagement. And without that last metric, it’s hard to reach new followers.

At the end of each campaign, you need to generate a report for the company. In it, the metrics will be compared to a previous period of the brand on social networks and will show the hits and misses of your action.

Taking into account the current scenario of social media, boosting publications is important for your content to have relevance. That’s why it’s worth checking out our Paid Media Guide to Inbound Marketing.

business metrics

To design any marketing project, you need to keep in mind why the company is investing in it.

In some cases, the first thing to be informed of is to just make the company known. But that is never the only purpose behind every action. The main business metric is sales volume.

In a way, specific marketing metrics must support the outcome of key business metrics.

You still don’t know what are the main indicators to measure the success of a business? Some examples of metrics for this are:

  • Budget requests;
  • Purchase recurrence;
  • Average ticket;
  • Total sales value;
  • Amount of sales.
  • Contract Renewals
  • Churn percentage.

Regardless of whether the sale is online or physical, the starting point is the business metric: what is my business objective? That is, which number are we going to chase?

As an example, we can imagine an eCommerce model that has a 1% conversion rate.

  • In this case, out of 1000 accesses, 10 will buy some product (business metric);
  • To generate the 1000 hits, a blog post shared on Instagram was needed that had more than 20,000 reach and 600 people engaging (social metrics).

The success of a business has to do with factors that go beyond disclosure, such as price, return on investment, product, among others. When managing the marketing strategy, we don’t have control over them all. But it is important to know them to understand the impact of marketing actions on these other metrics.

What are the most important marketing metrics to track on a daily basis?

Now that we understand that business metrics also impact marketing work, what are the main indicators in this area that must be constantly monitored?

We separate the main ones to help you identify their direct impact on your company’s bottom line!

visitors

The number of visitors represents the number of people who come to your site, regardless of how many times those people have accessed the address.

This is an important metric to track, as it directly reflects the audience that the company’s website or blog has.

In practice, this is a number that is expected to grow every month. If a site keeps the number of visitors stable, it could indicate that it doesn’t attract new people.

To help improve this performance, check out our Complete SEO Guide. There you will find all the tips you need to increase the number of organic visitors to your website.

Leads and Conversion Rate

Leads  are those visitors to your website or blog who are interested in your content or your value proposition enough to fill in your contact details in exchange for something – whether it’s a subscription to a newsletter, downloadable material, contacting a consultant, a test request, or other types of content. 

This is one of the main metrics of Digital Marketing, as it indicates precisely how many people you can actually start a relationship with in order to try to make a sale in the future. If a lot of people are providing their contact details for your company, this is a good place to start.

However, we shouldn’t just look at the absolute number of Leads, but also the percentage of visitors that actually convert to Landing Pages and become Leads. This is what we call the conversion rate  (expressed as a percentage). This is important because there’s no point in a traffic source bringing in many visitors if they don’t become Leads. 

That’s an indication that there’s something wrong with your strategy: either you’re attracting the wrong visitors — who don’t have much to do with your business — or the content you’re offering isn’t interesting enough for your target audience. leave the contact.

So, if the number of visitors grows and the conversion rate on the site remains the same, it is to be expected that the number of Leads will keep up with the growth.

Opportunities and Conversion Rate for Opportunities

Opportunities are those Leads that, after passing through qualification, can really be considered a business opportunity for the company. Generally, the  Lead reaches this stage when it has also shown its interest in the solution that the company offers, and not just in its content.

This is one of the most important numbers, as it is these Leads that already receive a direct approach from the Commercial team. And, as they are more mature than Leads who have just started a relationship with you, the sales opportunity should be greater.

But just like the previous metric, we shouldn’t just look at the absolute number of leads generated, but also at the percentage of Leads that actually make it to this stage.

If lead generation is large but conversion to opportunities is not, this could indicate that, after the visitor becomes a lead, he is not nourished with enough content to become a business opportunity — or also that the generated contacts are not qualified.

Sales and Conversion Rate for Sales

This is, after all, the most important metric for your business. And in this case, the lead-to-sales conversion rate is the percentage of leads that are actually turned into customers.

But should this also be considered a marketing metric? The answer is yes! Only with the sales volume generated from the work developed by the marketing actions will you be able to prove the value of your strategies.

If this rate is too low, it’s time to assess what’s wrong:

  • Is your salesperson‘s approach right?
  • Are you offering your product to the right people?
  • How do you drop objections to your solution?

All of this must be taken into account when looking for improvements! And all of this can be found in RD Station Marketing’s analytics features. Latin America’s all-in-one Marketing Automation tool streamlines your operation at all stages of the funnel: attract, convert, relate, sell and, of course, analyze.

With RD Station Marketing, you receive complete reports on your campaigns, analyze channels such as social media and define the steps of your funnel based on data.

+ 9 key marketing metrics

In addition to the metrics listed above, which give an overview of what is most important in tracking marketing metrics, there are other, more specific metrics. The main ones you should follow are:

1. Leads by channel

It is important to identify which channels (Email Marketing, organic search, social networks, paid media) are more efficient in generating Leads. 

This way, you can also find out which ones are performing well and should receive more investment, and which ones are not performing as well and should receive more attention for possible improvements.

2. Cost per Lead (CPL)

The CPL (Cost per Lead) allows us to know the value of each Lead generated, dividing the amount invested with the Digital Marketing work by the number of Leads generated, coming from the different traffic sources.

Therefore, measuring and comparing this value can be an excellent card for the marketing area to gain more credibility and investments within the company.

3. CPC

CPC or Cost per Click is a marketing indicator widely used in paid media campaigns. It shows what the average amount was invested for each click received on an ad.

4. CPA

Also used frequently in paid media actions, CPA or Cost per Acquisition is the metric that identifies the amount paid for your audience to achieve the main objective of the campaign, usually linked to conversion.

If the objective is to sell a product via eCommerce, or if the campaign seeks to generate new leads by downloading new material, this indicator will show the cost for each conversion.

5. CPM

CPM or Cost per Thousand is the metric that identifies what was the amount paid for a certain ad or campaign to appear to a thousand people. It helps to have greater control over the amount invested in each of the disclosure actions.

To learn more about the differences between the last 3 metrics we talked about here, see more details in the full content on CPC, CPA and CPM!

6. Email open rate

Now talking about marketing metrics related to the Email Marketing campaign, which is one of the main strategies used by any company, we need to measure the open rate, which shows the percentage of people who opened a certain email over the volume that received the email.

7. Email Click Rate

The click-through rate represents the percentage of people who clicked on a particular link in the email sent over the number of those who received the email. Tracking this percentage helps you identify the engagement level of your Leads base.

8. CTOR

Another metric related to email campaigns is CTOR, which stands for click-to-open rate or Click-to-open rate.

It represents the percentage of people who clicked on a particular email based on the number of people who opened it. This makes it different from the usual click-through rate, as the look is not based on people who received the email, but on those who are actually opening it and viewing it.

To learn more about these and other topic-related metrics, visit our full Email Marketing content.

9. Return rate

Given a group of people who perform a certain action, the rate of return is the percentage of that group that has a new interaction within a given period.

Since this action can be filling a form, click on Call to Action, interaction with pop-ups or other tools.

In other words, if 1000 people convert to a Landing Page in a period of 2 weeks and in that period 200 of those people convert back to some other LP, then we have a 20% return rate.

Blog Metrics: What to Measure and How to Analyze

To maintain a quality blog, it is necessary to go beyond the quality of the content: it is necessary to understand the results that these contents are bringing to your business. And the best way to do this is to measure those results.

Even if you think your company’s blog posts are of great quality, you’ll need to metrics to prove the results. Here comes a bit of science and “exact” that the content professional needs to have. You need to find the metrics to identify the success of articles.

1. Pageviews

These are the page views of a website or blog. Attention: pageviews are different from visits! To be clear: in a visit, you can have more than one pageview on the same page — this will just depend on how many times the user has entered it.

Anyway, measuring pageviews is important to identify, for example, which are the most accessed pages. This gives us insights into what content types and themes we should focus on and what we can do to improve those whose pageviews aren’t satisfying.

2. Unique users

A unique user is a visitor who, if he has already entered a certain website and had a cookie installed on his computer, will count as the same visitor on different occasions.

This way, it is possible to know how many visitors a website had without counting the same user more than once. We use this metric to track the number of visitors to the blog, detect when there are sudden changes and why these changes occur.

3. Conversions

The total number of conversions the post generated, either via internal links or via pop-ups. These conversions vary and can be either downloading rich material or signing up for our newsletter.

4. Conversion rate

The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who make a conversion. For example, if a post had 100 visitors and 20 conversions, that means the conversion rate is 20%.

Here it is worth remembering that not all posts will be kings of conversion. But there are some techniques you can apply to increase this rate on your blog. We talk more about this in the post Content Upgrade: How to produce posts with high conversion rates + 6 tips and real examples.

5. Bounce rate

The bounce rate – or bounce rate – is a number expressed in percentage and indicates how many visitors have accessed a single page of your company’s website and then left without further navigation on a nearby page. Each time this happens, a rejection is counted.

6. Sessions and conversions by channel

When someone comes to your site, it certainly came from somewhere on the internet. We seek to know which channel RD blog visitors come from. This is important so that we can prioritize the channels that need optimization. You can identify in “Sessions” in Analytics. Likewise, it’s worth seeing which channels generated the most conversions.

Here at RD, we always measure sessions and conversions from the following channels:

  • Organic search
  • Social
  • Reference
  • Email
  • Direct

With the results, you can follow which channels had growth and which had a drop, and based on these numbers, draw optimization strategies. Read more about it in the post How to make better use of each Digital Marketing channel.

How to track the performance of marketing campaigns across different types of media

Even with all the statistical data available, measuring the performance of your Digital Marketing campaigns is still not easy. This is often due to a lack of vision about the main metrics that should be analyzed.

1. Owned media

Owned media are those that are under your control. For example your website, your blog, social media channels, and other content you can create (eBooks, checklists, infographics). The best example is Content Marketing. If you have a content strategy, you should be publishing content on your website and then promoting it on social media.

Since you have full control over these channels, it’s easier to measure their performance. Most of the necessary data can be taken from platforms like Google Analytics and  RD Station Marketing and from social media profiles. We recommend evaluating the following metrics:

  • Traffic increase, in which we measure all the traffic to your website or blog;
  • Increased traffic by type of content;
  • Leads generated by content type;
  • Involvement in social media (likes, shares and comments on your pages).

To monitor social media engagement you can use the following tools:

  • Buffer (especially sharing and engagement reporting);
  • SEMrush (to monitor engagement on major social media and compare your performance with your competitors);
  • Mention (to keep an eye on your brand’s mentions on social media);
  • RD Station Marketing  (also to keep an eye on your brand mentions).

2. Paid media

Are those marketing strategies you bought, therefore paid media? In the offline world, there are paid advertisements in print, radio, TV; online, on Google Ads, social networks, etc. Since they depend on your money to generate traffic, it’s important to monitor the following metrics:

  • Customer acquisition cost;
  • Acquisition cost per lead;
  • Return on investment;

Most platforms, such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads, offer in-depth data on how your campaigns are performing. However, you can also choose to use some additional tools like AdEspresso.

3. Earned media

Earned media are content dedicated to your brand (or those that mention it) that were created by a person not related to your company and all the media coverage you may have on external sites: mentions on social networks, comments, ratings, feedbacks, blog posts, etc.

In this case, the performance measurement process is a little more challenging, as this type of media includes content that you didn’t produce. To help you there are some tools, for example, Buzzsumo and SEMrush.

These tools monitor the internet looking for mentions of your brand or any related keyword, create reports and even allow you to respond to mentions.

4. Media

Shared are the media responsible for word of mouth advertising, reviews and user-generated content. Depending on the depth of your involvement with such media, you can measure your performance with social media reports.

These reports can be generated on social media platforms or with the help of tools such as MentionBuzzsumoRD Station and SEMrush. Another way to monitor shared media is to add a tracking code to every link you post online.

What are vanity metrics and why aren’t they so important to your business?

You’ve certainly heard of the vanity metrics, haven’t you? They are numbers that generally serve to inflate the ego (that’s why they are called that way) since they don’t prove if Digital Marketing effectively contributes to the generation of business opportunities.

Many people are impressed by these numbers. Some examples are:

  • The volume of page views;
  • Followers on Instagram;
  • People who like the Facebook page;
  • Views on Youtube.

Looking at this data in isolation, the Marketing team gains credit and admiration in the company and everything looks perfect. However, one essential point is missing: how much does this contribute to sales?  After all, selling is the only activity that brings revenue for any company.

Imagine a page that received 60,000 pageviews. That number alone doesn’t say whether the site was viewed by 100 or 60,000 people, two very different cases that demand different types of improvement (increasing reach vs. making content more engaging, for example).

More importantly, the number doesn’t say how many of those people became Leads or Customers, which is the real result for the company. Likewise, a large Twitter follower base does not mean that all of these people actually read and access the content your company publishes. 

Of course, overall it’s good to have a large audience, but you have to be careful. Your company’s goal is not just to talk to a large number of people, but to sell and have customers. If your actions aren’t leading down this path, it’s important to review your marketing strategies.

3 Digital Marketing Metrics That  Can’t Be Your Company’s Focus

It is still common to find companies that base the success of their marketing actions on inactive metrics, which do not say much about the effectiveness of these initiatives.

Let’s now show you what metrics are commonly used to measure results, but they can be substituted so that your company has a much better assessment of stock performance.

1. Email Marketing Open Rate

The Open Rate of an Email Marketing campaign is actually an unreliable metric. It doesn’t say whether the Lead read just one word of the email or the entire email. But that doesn’t mean the metric is useless: it’s a great thermometer for comparing two different email subjects in an A/B test, for example.

The fact is, if your company sends out relevant emails, with good frequency, keeping the list engaged, there are other much more important metrics it can build on.

What metrics to look at in this case? We suggest Clickthrough Rate and  Total Email Conversions.

2. Ad Impressions

In a paid media campaign, whether on Facebook Ads or Google Ads, one piece of data that many companies are concerned with looking at is the number of impressions, that is, how many times the ad was shown.

This metric is not good because, like Email Marketing, it doesn’t say if the ad was actually read – or even seen – by anyone.

So, more important than the number of ad impressions is the CPL of a campaign. If the Cost per Lead is worth the investment made, it is a sign that the campaign is good and sustainable, with a positive ROI.

Even more important than the number of impressions is the Click-through Rate (ratio of clicks to impressions). It will tell you if the ad is really effective. In addition, CTR impacts both ad quality score and cost-per-click.

The metrics to consider in this case are Click Through Rate (CTR), Conversion Rate, Campaign CPL, and CPL for each keyword purchased.

3. Number of followers on social media

The number of followers on social media is an important number because it represents the reach your company has on these channels. However, this number becomes irrelevant when it is not translated into Leads, real business opportunities and customers.

As we’ve already seen, it’s no use having 50,000 likes on the Facebook page if your company has only 2% of that in total Leads. In this case, evaluate the following metrics: Visitors by traffic source – which in this case are different social media – and the Conversion Rate by traffic source.

What indicates the efficiency of Digital Marketing actions?

Investing in Digital Marketing is one of the most important paths for companies seeking to grow quickly and sustainably. Therefore, the most important metrics are related to your sales funnel . They are the ones who will give a true overview of how the actions are contributing to the company.

With the sales funnel in mind, it is easy to measure the effectiveness of Digital Marketing for the business. Just measure the following numbers each month:

  •  Unique visitors (via Web Analytics tool);
  • Leads  generated (completed forms and contact details of potential customers who arrived via the website);
  • Customers conquered (number of Leads that actually purchased your Product or Service).

Simple and effective. But it is worth remembering that this funnel model can gain complexity according to the company’s business. Examples of other possible steps to take in the middle tier are: Qualified Leads , Recurring Customers, Trials, among others.

Does this mean that the sales funnel metrics are the only ones to track?

Certainly not. Sales funnel metrics are important for tracking and reporting results, but they don’t tell you why those numbers are happening.

You need to “peel the onion” at one or more levels to make the diagnosis, that is, go into more detail that helps you understand and make decisions that can have the greatest impact on your funnel metrics.

However, it is important that these more detailed metrics are also actionable metrics, which give clear clues to what can be done to improve the bottom line. They are quite different from the vanity metrics we’ve seen before.

What metrics to analyze at each stage of the funnel?

Whenever we need to understand the performance of a more complex marketing process, one of the best ways to go is to periodically monitor intermediate metrics. In practice, this technique consists of creating checkpoints along the steps to better understand the whole.

At Digital Results, we went through the same process and learned a lot about what is important to monitor to maintain the funnel and ensure its efficiency.

That’s why we’re now going to share this knowledge and show you what marketing and analytics metrics help us find problems and opportunities in generating results.

1. Analysis and comparison of traffic with lead generation

It all starts with attracting visitors to our domains and converting them to Leads. This is the process that fills the mouth of the marketing funnel, and that will establish our limit of performance and results.

Maybe that’s why Eric Santos, our CEO, says that “the best way to compensate for process inefficiencies is using brute force (volume) in the generation of Leads”.

In other words, as a precaution, we always aim for our result 20% above what is established by the target.

The proportion of visitors we are able to turn into Leads is our first key metric. With it in hand every period, you’ll understand if your attracted visitors are really aligned with the offers you’ve prepared and if your conversion pages are performing well.

Make analysis and comparisons to understand how much a new action in a given channel or a new publicized offer contributed to your results.

2. Delivering MQLs to the Sales team

Generating Leads without focus to turn them into customers is nothing more than cost. Therefore, we need to relate to the Leads base and understand when they are at the right time to be sent to the Sales team.

To understand if the marketing effort is making sense, we need to monitor your metrics at this step in the funnel, such as the success rate and the qualification rate.

Utilization rate

We call this the ratio between the number of Leads delivered to Sales and the number of Leads generated. This rate varies according to your requirement to consider the Lead as an MQL  ( Marketing Qualified Leads or Qualified Leads by Marketing), guiding the volume of Leads that will reach Sales.

Furthermore, when this metric is compared with itself in other periods, it helps Marketing understand if the Leads generated in that period were more or less close to the company personas.

In the case of the utilization rate, we also record the volume of blocked Leads for each filter. This will serve so that, when the volume of Leads delivered for sales is varying a lot up or down, you will understand why.

For example, some disqualification reasons we use are:

  • Lack of decision-making power;
  • Less than five conversions;
  • Lack of enough information to get in touch.

Qualification fee

While the metric I talked about above is a volume regulator, this is your quality parameter. When delivering Qualified Sales Leads through automated processes, only a portion of them are actually eligible to enter the sales process.

The stricter your qualifying criteria, the more you leverage MQLs in sales. MQLs accepted in the sales process become SALs ( Sales Accepted Leads or Sales Accepted Leads ).

To understand why MQLs are not accepted by the Sales team, we collect feedback on each discard. With that in hand, we’ve increased our filters and the Lead Scoring score.

For example, we use as a reason for disqualification things like:

  • Inappropriate profile;
  • Lack of contact information;
  • A company is already an opportunity or a customer.

3. SALs with real potential become SQLs

Upon accepting the Marketing Lead, the next step is the approach, to personally validate that the inferences about the Lead’s profile quality and interest in the solution are concrete.

For this work, many companies choose to work with a team of SDRs  ( Sales Development Reps ) specialized in the filtering process, reserving the job of closing contracts to sellers.

The ratio between the number of Leads that after validation will continue in the sales process and the number of qualified MQLs will give us this conversion rate. This metric does not need to be used by companies that have a simplified sales process, but it helps in understanding more robust processes.

Here at RD, a Lead is considered an SQL when it reaches the evaluation stage and is passed from the SDR to our sales representative. For all questions about these terms, see our full content on MQL, SAL, and SQL.

4. Turning Leads into Customers and Generating Revenue

After all this filtering, the Leads that reach the seller are actually ready to close contracts. Even so, misalignments happen and will help Marketing to improve even more. Here again, the efficiency level will be a result of the stiffness applied in the previous filters.

After closing a sales cycle, we will finally have data on what actually works. The close rate can be calculated for different points in the funnel, not just marketing but sales as well.

If you do it through the ratio of the number of customers to the number of SALs, you will have the efficiency of the sales process as a whole. And if you divide the number of customers by the number of MQLs and Leads generated, you will have funnel efficiency from the Marketing processes.

This information is the ultimate feedback about your funnel as it will guide you from the lead generation process to delivery to the Sales pipeline. Keeping track of all these indicators will help you to have data to optimize the system and will give you parameters of the funnel’s effectiveness in several aspects.

Indicators are a path to success!

How far will I be able to deliver the business goals? Can I see the routes that lead to the sale? The way to reach this level of success goes through all this monitoring that we describe here, based on the analysis of marketing metrics.

For any campaign to be successful, you need to enter the goals and identify the right metrics as part of the marketing framework. With this positioning, your company will be able to:

  • Develop actions based on quantitative data;
  • Be quick to make decisions on challenges;
  • Use the budget as optimally as possible.

So, are you now ready to assess your marketing metrics and make the necessary improvements to jumpstart your business? If you want to go deeper into the topic, go to a spreadsheet and eBook on Tracking Marketing Metrics. Just fill out the form below to access this full content!