Marketing KPIs that correlate with business performance

Marketing is a department that has more measurement than most. This is due to the width of the complexity of the discipline.

To be a full-stack marketer you’ve got to be literate in Brand Building, Social Media, Paid Media, SEO, Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing and Marketing Automation, and Conversion Rate Optimization.

What makes the challenge greater is the consumer is not using one of these channels to engage with a brand, and they’re not doing their engagement is one session. They are likely to be using lots of channels across days, weeks and months.

This is where analytics, measurement and KPIs come in. There are hundreds of things you can track and focus on, but which ‘matter’? Which if you focus your efforts on them would result in the business moving forward in the required direction and velocity?

This is a list of Marketing KPIs that for most companies short-cut the process of planning what to track and report. This is because the list has a bias towards meaningful KPIs that are more likely to correlate with business performance.

Marketing KPIs that correlate with business performance

Marketing is a department that has more measurement than most. This is due to the width of the complexity of the discipline.

To be a full-stack marketer you’ve got to be literate in Brand Building, Social Media, Paid Media, SEO, Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing and Marketing Automation, and Conversion Rate Optimization.

What makes the challenge greater is the consumer is not using one of these channels to engage with a brand, and they’re not doing their engagement is one session. They are likely to be using lots of channels across days, weeks and months.

This is where analytics, measurement and KPIs come in. There are hundreds of things you can track and focus on, but which ‘matter’? Which if you focus your efforts on them would result in the business moving forward in the required direction and velocity?

This is a list of Marketing KPIs that for most companies short-cut the process of planning what to track and report. This is because the list has a bias towards meaningful KPIs that are more likely to correlate with business performance.

Net Promoter Score

All metrics are not created equally, and depending on the stage your business is at, and how your metrics arNPS is an index ranging from -10 to 10 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company's products or services to others. It’s often used as a Company and Marketing KPI as it gets right to the heart of what a business is designed to do; create products that customers love.

Marketing a product or service with a low NPS score is hard work, and can often involve carrying a lot of reputational management work whilst the company works on NPS improvements.

Lifetime Value Of Customer

The Lifetime Value or LTV of a customer is the expected lifetime revenue from a new customer signed in a time period.

This is an important Marketing KPI because it impacts that you can spend on acquiring a customer, which in turn impacts which channels you can use and what proportion of market demand you can market to. This means that if you’ve a relatively high LTV you job is easier than a competitor with a lower LTV.

But like NPS, LTV is a Company and Team KPI and actually impacts other teams like Product and Customer Service. This means that when it’s set as a Goal it’s often a Collaboration across teams or if it’s an issue could even have a multi-functional squad assigned.

Cost Of Acquiring A Customer

Your Costs Of Acquiring A Customer or CAC is simply that, i.e. the amount it cost to acquire a customer during the period.

It’s a measure of how efficiently you can use your Marketing Spend to acquire a customer. Note that where the customer journey is long using the costs in the same month might not be optimal.

Leads

There are various types of Lead. At its simplest a lead is a prospect that needs to be qualified as a real sales opportunity. Once qualified, you convert the lead and the lead becomes an Account and Contact and Opportunity.

This KPI should be paired with MQLs as it’s possible to create lots of Leads and have them not convert to MQLs, SQLs, and Sales. So be careful with this KPI.

Marketing Qualified Leads

If a Lead is unqualified, a Marketing Qualified Lead or MQL is a website visitor whose engagement levels indicate that he is likely to become a customer.

For example, a Lead may have downloaded content, read blog posts, read feature pages and visited your pricing page. These events have given them a Nurture Score sufficient to call them a MQL and Sales can and should now engage in a timely way.

The speed an MQL is followed up can be a KPI by itself, as can the conversion of MQLs to SQLs which helps ensure quality if focused on. Groups of KPIs like these can make great OKRs.

Goal Count

Goals measure how well your site or app fulfills your target objectives. A goal count represents a completed activity, called a conversion, that contributes to the success of your business.

These Goals can be significant Macro-conversions like sign-ups, demo request, and quote requests. They an also be Micro-conversions like Downloads and Webinar attendance. The macro-conversions make great KPIs.

Analytics Software, like Google Analytics, will be able to attribute these goals to Channels, Mediums and Sources. These allow you to be more granular and use more specific versions of these KPIs to manage channel and campaign performance.

Goal Conversion Rate (%)

The Goal Conversion Rate % is the conversion rate to a specific goal. Increasing the conversion increases the Goal Count. This is why Conversion Rate Optimization is a critical skill and measuring the Count and Conversion Rates together are a critical KPIs.

Balancing Vanity with Sanity

These KPIs if reported in isolation could be considered Vanity Metrics. Vanity Metrics can look great but could show successful progress and not correlate with business performance.

It’s not a bad thing to look for growth and improvements in metrics like these. But where you can put them alongside more commercial ones that indicate or even prove they correlate with business growth. Balancing vanity with sanity.

Sessions

A session is a group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame. By default, a session lasts until there's 30 minutes of inactivity, but you can adjust this limit so a session lasts from a few seconds to several hours. It’s not uncommon to Sessions to go up and not see Revenue rise.

Time On Page

You want people visiting your website to engage. A metric that helps you determine this is Time on Page, which is the average amount of time a user spends on the page on your website.

What makes this a good metric is it also correlates well with Organic Rankings. So as a KPI that’s used in Goals it’s great.

However you also want engagement to turn into actions so lots of visitors loving you content and not engaging with your product or at least sharing your content may be an issue. So you can pair it with KPIs like Clicks, Goals, and Position / Rank.

Pages / Session

Pages / Session is the average number of pages viewed during a session on your website. On the face of it having visitors look at lots of pages is great. But what if that meant a small conversion rate or goal count? In some instances, the best thing to do to optimize conversion is to keep the visitor on your landing page.

New Subscribers

It’s great that you’re grow New Subscribers that have opted-in to receive communications. But they also need to fit your Ideal Customer Profile and be nurtured to a point where they become commercially valuable.

New / Total Followers

The same issues are there with New followers and Total Followers from a Social Network.

Backlinks

Backlinks are links from other websites to your own content, and improve the authority of your website and Organic Search Traffic. Not all links are the same and some can be toxic. This means a straight count is not useful.

Rank

High search engine rankings for a keyword equal traffic and conversion sometimes is the truth. Which keywords really matters, as does the intent of the searcher and the subsequent goals that can be attributed.

Improve these KPIs with Dashboards, Goals and Operational Alignment

If you want to improve KPIs, creating KPI Dashboards is the natural next step.

These KPIs can and should also be used inside Key Results as part of setting goals using OKRs. Remember that when setting your targets to be ambitious. Goals are deliberately designed to be hard to achieve, as this is what drives greater creativity, efficiency and effectiveness.

You can integrate Google Analytics and other Marketing Analytics Software to make the updating of metrics easy, or update KPIs manually.

Inside ZOKRI you can create Dashboards and create OKRs from KPIs. You can also create and manage Initiatives targeting these KPIs and OKRs in ZOKRI or by connecting task managers like Trello and Asana.

Measuring KPIs that matters, setting goals and aligning and optimizing your operations is the key to performance growth and is what ZOKRI is designed to do.

Here are examples of team KPIs to help you think about which ones are right for you and might be used for Key Results:

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