Analytics That Matter
I must say that we as marketers have improved over the past several years in the analytics arena. Four or five years ago, it wasn’t surprising to talk to marketers who literally weren’t tracking anything. Today, all of us are tracking results in some form or fashion. In fact, we have more tools for tracking results than we know what to do with. There are web analytics, predictive analytics, business analytics, business intelligence (BI) tools….just to name a few. I dare say that many of us have gone from one extreme to the other, from too few metrics to too many.
How can you have too many metrics, you might ask? The question shouldn’t really be about the quantity but about the quality of our metrics. Many of us use the acronym KPIs today, standing for Key Performance Indicators, and that’s exactly what your analytics should reflect:
- Key – Metrics should add value to the business
- Performance – Metrics should tell you if your program is running above, below or on par with current or past benchmarks
- Indicators – Metrics should provide a lens as to the condition or direction or your marketing efforts
Is what you’re measuring today truly accomplishing these things? Do opens and clicks of email messages really add any value and reflect how effective your marketing efforts are? While at a very detailed level those metrics are still important, what you really want to measure is how well your marketing efforts are Engaging your prospect universe, Nurturing those who have engaged, and Converting your prospects into actual buyers.
For engagement metrics you’ll want to look at KPIs that show the volume and quality of prospect names you have collected as a result of your marketing efforts. Here are a few examples to consider:
- Net new names by lead source (PPC, outbound email, organic web)
- Cost by source vs. net new names by source
- Net new names by offer
Nurture metrics should be focused on how well your efforts are pushing prospects through the buying process. For example:
- Conversion rates from one lead stage to another
- Number of days it takes to move prospects from initial engagement to a sales opportunity
The results of these KPIs will tell you if your leads are getting stalled somewhere.
And finally, your conversion metrics should reflect your Return on Investment (ROI) as well as the health of your sales pipeline. Some examples:
- ROI of each content offer
- ROI of each engagement channel
- Value of all current sales opportunities
To summarize, analytics that matter are much more than numbers. Simply pulling numbers into a dashboard doesn’t constitute tracking or understanding results. Are those numbers useful? Yes. However, are they meaningful to the business? That is what matters.