Excerpt of Forbes – By Mike Kappel
Are you throwing money down the drain with marketing strategies that just aren’t cutting it? Unsure? That’s where marketing KPIs, or key performance indicators, come into play. Businesses use KPIs to gauge whether their marketing efforts are effective or not.
There’s no shame in having failed marketing efforts. When you measure them, you can easily test and fix things. But if you don’t bother to measure them, you could be wasting time and money on things that don’t work.
Let’s fix that, shall we?
A Quick Rundown On Marketing KPIs
In marketing, key performance indicators are metrics businesses use to measure the successes and shortcomings of their marketing efforts. KPIs measure things like the revenue, costs, and web traffic associated with marketing.
So, do marketing KPIs matter? Before all you marketers cringe at this question, let me just quickly say that yes, yes they do. But depending on your small business and the industry you’re in, you might not know much about these KPIs. So, it’s OK to ask if you should take the time to invest in measuring them.
Tracking key marketing KPIs can help you:
- Make business decisions
- Attribute incoming money to marketing efforts
- Adjust unsuccessful strategies
- Find ways to cut costs
- Learn what works best, and therefore grow your business
5 Marketing KPIs You’ve Gotta Be Tracking
Not all of your marketing efforts directly translate into money. In fact, a lot won’t. Marketing is also about building brand awareness and letting potential customers get familiar with your business. As a result, some marketing KPIs focus on money while others don’t. Regardless, they’re all pretty important for marketing (and business) success.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Return On Investment
How much money are you soaking into marketing versus how much is it generating for your business? Use the return on investment (ROI) metric to find out. ROI is a percentage that shows you whether your business is gaining or losing money. […]
So to figure out your marketing cost, you need to add up all of your marketing expenses, including:
- Pay-per-click (PPC)
- Marketing employee salaries
If your ROI is too low, you can cut back some expenses or find new ways to boost revenue. If it’s high, keep going—you’re doing great.
2. Customer Acquisition Cost And Lifetime Value
Customer acquisition cost shows you how much you are spending to get the customer to spend at your business.
Customer lifetime value shows you how much the customer spends over the course of a lifetime at your business. If they’re a loyal customer, probably a bit.
You can then compare the customer’s lifetime value to how much it costs to acquire the customer. If you’re spending more to acquire a customer than what they’ll spend at your business, it might be time to reevaluate your marketing strategy.
3. Website Traffic
Do you have a business website? Of course you do (and if you don’t, now’s the time to create one!). And chances are, your website is a marketing tool in and of itself.
Why not observe how successful it is?
You can use tools, like Google Analytics, to determine how many people are coming to your website. And, you can see which website pages generate the most activity. Take advantage of your top pages by adding things like ads, and beef up your low-performing pages with things like keywords and visuals.
Now of course, you can get as nitty-gritty as you want to when it comes to web traffic. Break it down by organic (unpaid) traffic and paid traffic. You can see how many people are returning visitors and how many are unique visitors. The possibilities are (seemingly) endless.
Here are a few other things you can track when it comes to your website:
- Bounce rate
- Click-through rate
- Time on page
- Domain authority
- Site speed
4. Social Media Engagement
According to one study, 90% of U.S. businesses use social media to market. If you fall into this majority, the question is … what KPIs should you use to measure your efforts?
Well, there’s a bit. You can use metrics such as:
Keep in mind that, even though you may use social media for marketing purposes, it shouldn’t be exclusively about marketing. If some of your KPIs are poor, it might be because you’re not giving your followers enough useful and informative content. Play around with a posting schedule to improve your metrics.
5. Email Engagement
Are current or potential customers opening emails? Clicking through them? Doing the action you want them to?
If you don’t know, you’re going to spend a lot of time throwing emails into the void. That’s why email engagement metrics are oh-so important.
You can measure the percentage of recipients who open emails, click through them, and convert to paying customers.
By measuring these types of metrics, you can change up your emails so they’re more effective. Do some A/B tests, where you send one email to one group and a variation of the email to another group. See what’s more successful. I’ve been surprised by more than one A/B test winner in the past.