Understanding Marketing Performance with Comprehensive Reporting

Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Session 9: Fannit's Tony Lael shares the 5 most important metrics to understand and track for business growth.

SESSION TRANSCRIPTION

Introduction

Hi, I’m Tony Lael, a partner at Fannit. We engineer marketing campaigns online for small and medium-sized businesses. I’m going to share a little bit about understanding marketing performance and comprehensive reporting. I use the word “comprehensive,” but one of the things you’ll see, I’m gonna keep it to five simple things that you can do, or areas you can report on with your marketing.

Session agenda:

  • Understanding how you fit into the sales ecosystem
  • The importance of communicating through multiple channels
  • The top 5 metrics you need to understand and track

Understand how you fit into the sales ecosystem

One of the first things to understand about marketing performance is how you fit into the larger ecosystem of sales in your business. There are a lot of companies out there that have marketing and sales teams.

It just depends on how big your business is, but when you’re thinking about marketing and what you’re trying to report on, you have to understand that you have all these marketing channels that you can use today. We’ll get into a little bit of that, but that’s how you communicate with the world. That’s where you send out information. That’s where you talk about what’s going on in your business, the value that you bring. You try to connect through those marketing channels with your ideal buyers, and you’re generating contacts. You’re part of this larger system, and you have to remember that as a marketing team.

In all of those systems and processes, you have systems that collect data, and that data is something you want to report on, and you can go deep. These days, you can report on anything. You want to go deep, but what I’m going to cover is when you report this, it’s all about predictable sales. One of the first things you want to look at or think about is building contacts in your database across these channels. Do people type your domain name directly? Are they connecting with you on the social channel? Are they doing a search online on Google and finding you there?

Communicate through multiple channels

Chances are if you’re doing a great job marketing, they’ll connect with you on multiple channels before they ever buy it. If you think about it, people are searching the internet for a product. Yes, they are, but they’re searching for information, and they’re looking at multiple channels, especially if they’re making a big buying decision for their business. They’re looking at multiple channels for information, and so you want to make sure that you have information out there across all of those channels. Before we start talking about measuring and understanding reporting, think about where your information, your digital marketing copy lives.

  • Who is consuming it?
  • What is their experience when they’re reading your social posts, or when they find a webpage that they’ve searched for that you’ve managed to rank out there on Google?
  • What is their experience?
  • What are you telling them?
  • Why do you think they like it?

That has a lot to do with how well your marketing is going to perform. When you’re trying to think about reporting, think about the things that you’re putting out there, a blog, for instance. If you’re writing blogs, which is a recommended practice, you know, Google and all the search engines blog relevant, fresh content out there that ranks well.

Blog content

Think about someone who’s looking at a blog and think about maybe your sales team that’s sending information out, like, “Hey, you should check out this blog. You and I were talking about marketing, and we wrote this blog on The Ultimate Guide to Organic SEO, and I knew you were interested in SEO, so take a look at this blog.”

When they read this, you have to have a way to measure all of this content that you’re putting out and measure if people are liking it. We use a product called HubSpot. There are multiple products out there like that. We like HubSpot, and it lets you know, “Hey, we put out this blog. We shared it with the sales team for them to share. We think it’s valuable. We shared it on social media, and we think that people will read it.”

If you think about the experience of the reader and how well you’re marketing, one of the things you’re going to be able to see is, are people going to that blog? Are they reading it? Are there calls to action on that blog that people follow, maybe a downloadable? So you’re putting out blogs. Depending on the business that you have, you might put out a product catalog or an e-book, something to download. Well, guess what? Do people download it? That’s what you’re trying to think about.

When you think about measuring and reporting on marketing, you could get deep into the tools that you use, and analytics and you can measure everything, but let’s talk about what’s the common sense thing that you’re trying to measure. You’re trying to measure how people consume the information you put out there into the world across all these channels? Does that lead to sales? That’s kind of what you’re after.

Social & events

Social media and events, we’re doing an event here. We’re recording it live. I’m sure after this, we’ll look at some metrics and see how many people attended, where they started watching, where they stopped watching. You know, it’s not just about likes and shares, although that helps. I’m sure you found that out in some of today’s sessions, but these events that you’re doing with your brand, you want to be able to see if people are consuming this information. We are definitely in the information age, and you’ve got to put a lot of it out, so think about events and channels.

Paid search ads

If you’re running paid advertising, now, there are lots of different things depending on your business that you could be running paid advertising on. You could be running paid advertising, with a B2B company on a downloadable catalog or a playbook or a guide or a checklist. If you’re a product company, you’re going to be running paid ads on products or, you know, we do a lot of automotive marketing and those vehicle description pages when you’re out there. We’re running ads for those for people looking for certain kinds of vehicles.

If you’re in the market for a Lamborghini, which we help with, you can go check that out. But the most important thing, or one of the most important things, there’s a lot of data and metrics, and you can get consumed with this idea of multiple clicks. And clicks are great. They do cost money, but you really want to focus on conversions. How well does your content convert into a sales or a download or a thank you page on a contact FS? Whatever it is, that is your goal conversion or your goal to convert, you want to measure and see if people are looking at that.

Awards or PR

Any type of awards or what I like to call newsworthy events, you want to be putting out press releases. All this information that’s going out, you want to look at everything. And you could get drowned in data. You could get drowned in metrics, and if you hang on, the next thing we’re going to go into is a little bit about these five simple things you should be measuring and reporting on. But there’s more.

Emails

You send out emails. You might send out marketing emails with automation sequences. HubSpot does a great job of that. Your sales team is certainly sending out emails. And you might include links, you know, in these emails. And you want to find out if people are opening or clicking on things. It’s amazing to me how surprised you think, “Ah, no one’s going to click on that,” and you get the largest click through percentage on those things.

So you’re constantly learning. And that’s part of what reporting is about, especially in the inbound world, and even the outbound world of marketing, you have all this information going out, you have the information coming in, and you want to take that information, you want to learn from it. “Hey, we thought this event would be great. It blew everybody out of the water.” Try to understand why. Or we sent out a bunch of these emails, and a ton of people opened them, but not everybody, you know, clicked on it.

Videos

Videos, we do entrepreneurs events where I interview entrepreneurs, and we use a product called Wistia. It helps us understand not just how many people watched, how many viewers, but it also helps us understand when they stop watching, when they continue to watch and more. Is the content of that video really valuable? Do people think it’s really valuable? So videos are another piece of information to watch. I hope this is helpful, but I want to go through five pieces of information that your marketing and sales team should be measuring and reporting on a regular basis, and I’ll talk to you a bit about why those five things are important.

But just stop for a minute and ask yourself, what do you think marketing is supposed to be measuring? When do we show these results? We’ll go into that. And this is a really important piece. When do you report what information? So that’s what I’m going to talk about, these five metrics you should track and a little bit about when you report those.

Okay, number one, not everybody is ready to buy, even though they’re looking at your information. They might be reading your blogs, watching videos, connecting with them through social media. They’re out there searching for information.

Top 5 metrics you need to understand and track

1. Marketing Qualified Leads

They’re out there looking at your business, looking at the information you’re providing. So what your marketing team should be doing is adding what we would call these marketing qualified leads. They’re not ready to buy yet, but they want information. They want information to such a degree that they’ll give you some contact information. And you should be communicating with them. So maybe before they found you online, or they clicked on an ad, or they’re on social media, now you’ve got their email, and now you’re communicating with them through that channel. Are you adding enough marketing qualified leads to fill your database?

If you understand a little about email marketing, an email database segregates about 2% to 3% a year, which means you lose about 2% to 3% a year for various reasons. So you’ll constantly add to your database. And of course, those people come in through calls, like on CallRail. And not every call’s a marketing qualified lead. CallRail makes it really easy now to tell people, “Yep, this is a qualified lead.” And you also might have forms. You might have cart submissions if you’re an e-commerce company, but maybe those people start the process of a cart and don’t finish it.

So you have some abandonment there, but you still have their email address. So it’s all about grabbing that contact information so you can start communicating with those people across multiple channels. Okay, so we’re in the B2B space. We also have B2C clients, but one thing you have to understand is not everybody’s ready to buy, but when they are, you want them talking to your best salespeople, and that means you have to have sales qualified leads, coming in every day, every week, every month, every quarter, every year and you have to have enough of them so that you can close enough business so that you can hit your revenue goals.

That sales conversion is really important and watching the trend of when you add more sales qualified leads as to maybe when the sales pipeline is getting a little thin. You’ll constantly have to be adding enough of those. And this depends on what type of business you have. This is a report from HubSpot deals. Well, if you’re an e-commerce company selling products online, you might look at people who started the shopping cart experience and how many people abandoned and how many people ended up closing. You can get that information from Google Analytics.

2. Know when leads are sales qualified

Okay, so we’re in the B2B space. We also have B2C clients, but one thing you have to understand is not everybody’s ready to buy, but when they are, you want them talking to your best salespeople, and that means you have to have sales qualified leads, coming in every day, every week, every month, every quarter, every year and you have to have enough of them so that you can close enough business so that you can hit your revenue goals.

That sales conversion is really important and watching the trend of when you add more sales qualified leads as to maybe when the sales pipeline is getting a little thin. You’ll constantly have to be adding enough of those. And this depends on what type of business you have. This is a report from HubSpot deals. Well, if you’re an e-commerce company selling products online, you might look at people who started the shopping cart experience and how many people abandoned and how many people ended up closing. You can get that information from Google Analytics.

But this is a great example of B2B sales. We have to have so many sales qualified leads every week in order for us to close the businesses we need to close. And great teams work together and communicate together.

3. Know where your SQLs came from

That’s one of the things I’m hoping you’re noticing because on number three here, where did the sales qualified leads come from? Which channel? Did they come from LinkedIn, which is a great source for business-to-business leads? Did they come through organic search, social? Where are these sales qualified leads coming from? What are the sales qualified leads consuming? What type of content do they consume?

Do they always download an ebook that you have? Do they always fill out a form that you drive people to? Whatever it is, you want to learn as much as you can as a marketing team about how sales is working because it’s not just to hand off a lead, set it and forget it. If you’re not learning about how that’s working, how well your sales team is doing with those leads, you can’t improve. You can’t change communication. You can’t change campaigns, and that’s what you want to do. So communication is probably the most important thing behind the reporting, the regular reporting of your marketing efforts. So that’s number three, where are the sales qualified leads coming from?

Modern day gold miners

You know, I was thinking about this, and we marketers of today are the modern-day equivalent of these gold miners. What do gold miners do? They go think they know where the gold is. They dig up a bunch of dirt. They run it through a sluice box and wash the dirt and rock, and the heavier gold falls out. Those old gold miners used to use these wooden sluice boxes, and now they have sophisticated sluice boxes that capture more gold because there’s finer gold now. And that’s what we are.

And your shopping carts, your marketing channels, your events that you’re running, your PR, all of those things that you’re putting out there, it’s like getting dirt in the sluice box and washing dirt. Washing the dirt and the rock is all about using the data that you see.

So when you think about, do we have enough marketing qualified leads? Are we getting enough sales qualified leads in the door? Where are those sales qualified leads coming from?

Well, you’re like a gold miner. Those are the first three things that you need to be thinking about, but this attitude of gold mining, gold mining is hard work. I’ve never done it, but I can only imagine, you know, jumping on a pick and a shovel and digging up dirt by hand like these guys here.

Marketing is hard work, so you want to make sure you mined as much gold out of this process as possible and the only way that you can do that is to really understand these these five key reporting pieces.

So your sluice box is kind of like your sales pipeline. And most of you out there probably heard of a sales pipeline and what it is. And it’s basically the steps or stages of your sales process that people have to go through to end up closing business or not. You either win new business, or you don’t. And whether you’re running an e-commerce store and you have a cart, or you’re running B2B or B2C sales, you always need to have your pipeline as full as you can, or what I like to say, as full as your production capabilities can handle.

4. The value of your sales pipeline

There’s a whole other topic on scalability of these teams, but we’ll cover that some other time. But your pipeline is at each stage, how many customers are at that stage? How much is that business worth? What percentage at each stage do you think you might close?

But if you get all the way to the end where you’re reviewing the quote, maybe your close percentage is 50%. So let’s do an easy map. If you have to close 25 new deals a month, and your close percentage on sales qualified leads is 25%, you have to bring in 100 deals per month in order to hit 25%.

Now the way that you can get it to a point where you bring in less than 100, let’s say you’re picking hundreds a lot, is close at a higher percentage. Well, how do you do that? Well, dig in and see where people drop off from your sales pipeline. HubSpot is great at letting us do that. We also see win and lose reasons for winning and losing business and evaluating that regularly. Do you have enough MQLs? Do you have enough SQLs? Do you know where they’re coming from? Do you have them at the volume for your sales pipeline?

One of the most important things to remember, reporting on your marketing and sales activities really depends on how fast your business is moving.

If you’ve got an e-commerce business that sells products every single day and you sell thousands of products, you’re going to look at things daily. You know, seven days a week, you have three to four weeks a month. You have three months in a quarter, and you have four quarters in a year. Conversely, if you sell large equipment, large manufacturing equipment, let’s say, and those are worth millions of dollars, and you sell 2 of them a year, or 10 of them a year, not very many, not much volume, your reporting will be skewed towards that. Now, that doesn’t mean you ignore reporting or looking at data, you know, every quarter. You will be looking at data probably every week, and you want to see that you’re talking to the right people, high-quality people.

So it’s not about volume there, it’s about high quality. I guess it’s always about high quality, but you understand in certain cases, it’s more about volume, so reporting might be done daily. Interaction and communication might be done much faster, versus maybe every month. So think about how fast your business moves or your client’s business moves and think about when you need to be communicating on all of this.

5. Hitting revenue targets

We all work for revenue and healthy businesses grow and keep revenue. It’s not a bad thing. This isn’t about money-hungry greed, but one thing to remember is how well are we doing at achieving the goal we’ve set? I can’t tell you how many business owners I’ve talked to at smaller levels, you know.

We work with businesses that are $500,000 to $30 million in annual revenues, and so many smaller businesses in that vein, think “more” is the goal. “More” is not a goal.

You have to understand how on pace you are. You might close a lot, in the first quarter a lot of business, and you might have seasonal trends in your business, and this is what we all work for. The fifth thing is really understanding your sales targets and how you’re doing against those. What is the likelihood that you’re going to achieve your deals? By the way, if you continue, and your sales team continues to blow away your goals, you need to up your goals. You need to push up and incent accordingly.

This is all the reward we work for, enough marketing qualified leads, enough sales qualified leads. Where are those sales qualified leads coming from, and why? Do you have your pipeline full enough based on your sales close percentage to generate the revenue that you’re trying to hit?

That’s simple.

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