Simplify ROI Measurement

Young business man pen pointing graph chart in this mounth for Plans to improve quality next month.

Demonstrating Return on Investment (ROI) is challenging for many marketers. Executives are demanding more accountability from marketing: What, exactly, are we getting for all this money we spend on marketing?

At the same time, marketing is complex, the buying cycle is long, and prospects typically interact with your company and content multiple times through multiple channels before making a purchasing decision. That can make it hard to measure ROI.

There are times when simplifying your approach to ROI can be helpful. You may not be able to measure everything, and some uncertainty may remain, but taking a simplified approach to ROI can still provide actionable insight and justify your marketing spend.

Start With Your Marketing Goals

Before you can start calculating ROI, you have to decide what to measure. The metrics available today to digital marketers are legion, since every click, view, open, forward, share, comment, and more can be captured.

How to choose which ones are important? Start with your marketing goals. The most common marketing goal for industrial marketers is lead generation, followed by brand awareness. But you might want to get more specific than that. To generate a single lead, a lot of touches—and therefore metrics—can be involved. Same with brand awareness: many metrics can contribute to its measurement.

Within lead generation, your goals could be to increase long-term leads for nurturing campaigns, or marketing qualified leads or sales-ready leads. Within brand awareness, a goal might be to increase subscribers or followers, or website traffic. You might have multiple goals. But if you’re new to ROI or struggling to get a handle on it, try focusing your efforts on one or two important marketing goals.

These Metrics Are Always Relevant

Whatever your marketing goals, certain metrics always make sense to track and are solid inputs for calculating ROI.

Website traffic—Your website is your company’s face to the market and your primary channel for attracting, educating, and converting potential prospects. Free Google Analytics is your source for the data.

New vs. returning visitors give a sense of how well you are reaching a new audience compared to keeping your current one. Other metrics within website traffic include page popularity, entrance pages, time on page, and exit pages.

If brand awareness is a goal, upward ticks in web traffic metrics are a good sign.

Conversions per activity—Getting visitors to your website is one thing, converting them is another and is essential to lead generation goals. Use forms completed on landing pages and content accessed to measure conversions.

Marketing qualified leads—You might generate a lot of leads, but how good are those leads? Many marketers using a scoring system to rank the quality of leads. What goes into the score is individual to each company, but common inputs include how closely a prospect resembles your current customers, the number of times they interact with your company, their industry/location, and their expressed buying timeframe. A marketing qualified lead can be tied to a specific campaign or come about as the result of a prospect interacting with multiple campaigns.

Engagement—This metric helps you understand how good your content is and how prospects respond to your marketing messages. Engagement is measured by clicks, shares, comments, likes, forward, mentions, and other purposeful activities on the part of your prospect. It can help you measure ROI on branding efforts as well as the value of your content.

Cost per lead—Most prospects who become leads will have multiple interactions with your company, so it can be challenging to attribute a single program and its associated costs to any given lead. What you can do is take your total marketing program costs, divide by the number of leads and get an overall cost per lead. But if you want to drill down to see which programs and efforts contribute most to lead generation, we recommend marketing automation.

Marketing Automation Makes Measurement Easier

With multiple marketing channels, so much content, and often a long sales process, it can be challenging to determine what influenced the lead’s desire to buy.

Marketing automation makes this process much easier. It allows you to track prospect activity across different channels and programs. You can also nurture leads with scheduled marketing touches and content throughout their buying journey.

You will be able to see all of the ways a prospect has interacted with your company, content, channels, and programs. You can get answers to the questions of what content they downloaded, what pages they visited, what social media they interacted with. You won’t run the risk of attributing a lead or a sale to only one program if several programs contributed to the outcome—which is a common occurrence.

There are free and low-cost marketing automation solutions on the market today. If you want to simplify ROI, take advantage of the technology and tools out there to help you.

Marketing Measurement Marketing ROI Marketing, General

Ten Tips to Increase Clicks in Your Marketing Emails

Earning a click-thru on a marketing email is a badge of honor. It ranks higher than an email open and is a measure of an engineer’s engagement with your content and your skills as a marketer.

With upcoming changes Apple will be implementing to protect user privacy (see companion article), clicks will take on even more significance as an email marketing metric. Here are ten tips for increasing click-thru rates on marketing emails.

1. Place buttons “above the fold”

“Above the fold” is a newspaper term referring to the top half of the paper. In an email, it refers to the area a user can see without having to scroll. Make sure the first appearance of your call-to-action (CTA) button is visible without scrolling, making it possible for a quick decision to click.

2. Use both buttons and text for links

Buttons in bright colors are attention-grabbing and might attract clicks, but text links within copy are just as important for users who block images or like to read the copy. Sprinkle both buttons and text links in strategic places throughout the email.

3. Use action verbs on buttons and text links

Make it easy for your email recipient to understand what to do and what they will get if they click. Action verbs get the job done. Words like Download, Read, Register, Watch, Get, Listen, Calculate, Compare and other action verbs are perfect for enticing clicks.

4. Offer different types of content

Notice some of the action verbs in the tip above: read, watch, listen. Each of these words promises a different type of content. Many engineers prefer to read the content. A growing percentage are watching videos. Podcasts offer another option for delivering content. Not every email has to contain all content types, but try out different formats and track your metrics to see what is popular.

5. Main offer, secondary offer

Each email should have one specific purpose with a CTA you are using to entice your audience to click. This main offer should be front and center to command the attention of your audience. However, it is also effective to add secondary content and click opportunities to your email. An engineer who does not find your main offer attractive might notice and click on a secondary offer.

6. Create a sense of urgency

Offers that are good for only a limited time or limited to a certain number of people such as event registrations that are closing soon or even “breaking news” are all ways to instill a sense of urgency in your audience and possibly increase clicks. However, do not deceptively use this tactic. If a discount on an event registration always applies, do not say it expires in two days.

7. Use responsive email templates

More than half of all emails are opened and read on mobile devices. For this reason, you need responsive email templates that render the content in an easy-to-read format on any device, whether the recipient is using a desktop, tablet or phone. An email that is too small to read on a cellphone or requires horizontal scrolling will likely be ignored. You will not get many clicks that way.

8. Use A/B testing

A/B testing is simple: divide your list (or a part of your list) in two and test two different versions of an email to see which one gets more clicks. Create your first email, then change only one aspect of it to create a second version. It might be your button placement, offer, headline, or another variable. You should only test one thing at a time in order to understand the results from that one change. If you have multiple changes you’d like to test, then you can perform more than one A/B test.

9. Segment and personalize

If you only have one product, one message, and one customer type, then you can ignore this tip and send everyone the same email. But it is more likely you have different types of customers who have different interests. The more you can segment your list and personalize content for them (even ‘Dear Dave’ is helpful personalization), the more likely you are to get clicks.

10. Be relevant

We would not be the Maven if we did not harp on relevancy. This is the most important tip of them all. The more you are tuned into your customers’ wants and needs—and address them with targeted content in your marketing emails—the more they will pay attention and the more clicks you can earn.

Content Marketing Digital Media E-Mail Marketing Marketing Measurement Marketing Strategy Marketing, General

Will Apple’s Privacy Changes Hurt Email Marketing?

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Apple’s recent announcement about protecting users’ privacy has marketers wondering about the implications for their email marketing efforts. Some pundits are declaring the end of email marketing, while others are mostly shrugging off Apple’s maneuvers.

Nothing is scheduled to take effect until September when a new version of the Apple operating system rolls out, and a lot can happen between now and then, but marketers will need to pay attention and likely make some adjustments to their email marketing tactics.

Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection applies specifically to the native Mail app on iPhones and iPads, and the desktop email application.

According to the Apple press release, “In the Mail app, Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. The new feature helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email, and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.”

There will be other changes as well, but these are the most significant for industrial marketers:

Email open metrics

You will no longer be able to track email opens from those using the Apple mail app. Apple will also block forward tracking. If your subscriber forwards an email to another email address, you will not receive any tracking information on the forward.

Masking IP address

Apple will mask a user’s IP address, which will prevent marketers from tracking a user’s location or other online activity. This means less insight into your subscribers’ behavior and tendencies.

Dynamic content and device information

Apple will block dynamic content, such as live poll updates, carousels, and hamburger menus, forcing the user to actively download this content. In addition, marketers will no longer be able to discover what type of device is reading the email, which will impact email design decisions.

How industrial marketers should respond

Marketers should start preparing now for the upcoming changes Apple is implementing. One important measure is to look back at your analytics over the last six months to a year and identify trends.

Email opens have long been a metric tracked by industrial marketers to measure engagement. Your history of email opens documents how you’ve been trending in this area. Now you can expect a change, depending on what percent of your subscribers use the Apple email app. Your email open metrics are bound to increase, which will be inaccurate because with the Apple changes the open will be recorded as soon as you send the email.

Open rates can often be equated to the strength of the sender and subject line. They are not, however, the best measure of engagement. Nor is this the first time that marketers have fretted over open rates. Remember when email preview panes first became a thing? Subscribers could read some or all of the email content without actually recording an open of the email.

Most important: be relevant

The more important engagement metric is a click-thru on email content. A click-thru shows how interested your subscriber is in what you have to say and what you have to offer. The key takeaway is: make your content relevant to your audience. Click-thrus and subsequent conversions are the most powerful measurements of how relevant your content is and how well you engage your audience.

You may also need to pay more attention to other engagement metrics beyond email to get a better perspective on your audience. These include website visits, social media activity, orders, and account activity.

Another way to gain valuable information and increase engagement opportunities is to ask subscribers to update their preferences. Typically, you might ask what type of content subscribers are interested in receiving and how often. You can also add questions about whether they prefer dynamic content and what type of device they prefer to use.

Getting around masked IP addresses and the blocking of live content are more complex issues, although fewer marketers will need to contend with them. If you send live content and use IP addresses to track online behavior or location, you will likely need to get design and technical experts involved to work on solutions.

Ultimately, the impact of Apple’s privacy changes on email marketing remains to be recognized. It will likely be neither doomsday nor a non-event and instead fall somewhere in between. The Maven will continue tracking the situation and keep you updated as the new Apple OS rollout gets closer.

Digital Media E-Mail Marketing Marketing Measurement Marketing Trends Marketing, General

The Benefits of Marketing Visibility

Year after year, industrial marketers tell us that their top marketing priorities are to generate qualified leads for sales and to increase brand awareness.

One way to help achieve both these goals is to increase your marketing visibility. High visibility leads to high brand awareness, and together they produce a host of benefits, including:

  • Instilling in customers a sense of trust in your company, brand, and products.
  • Discoverability early in the engineer’s buying cycle. This is essential, as engineers and technical buyers prefer to search and research independently before contacting a potential vendor.
  • Engagement with potential customers. Without visibility, there is no opportunity for engagement and qualified leads.
  • A shorter sales cycle, as customers often prefer to buy from companies they recognize and that are known in the market.

What Helps Increase Visibility

There are two primary factors that help increase marketing visibility: reach and regularity.

Reach is how far and wide your marketing presence extends. Depending on your strategy, you may be using marketing programs to:

  1. Penetrate deeply into your current markets and core customers
  2. Get your message out to new markets and new potential customers
  3. Some weighted combination of these two strategies

Regularity is how often your brand and message are visible to your target audience. Are you maintaining a consistent and highly visible presence, or only periodically appearing in the market to support specific initiatives?

Ideally, you want to maintain some level of visibility at all times in the market, and bump up your presence to a higher level to support product launches, important company milestones or news, or in response to a unique market opportunity.

Effective programs and channels that help to maintain regular visibility and also can generate immediate interest or engagement opportunities:

  • Company website—Your number one brand ambassador, allowing your audience to find you whenever they are searching.
  • Email—allows you to stay in touch with your house list and keep your brand top of mind with customers and prospects.
  • Social media—Regular updates on social media channels help keep you front and center with engineers. Relevant posts can be easily shared by users, helping to increase your reach.
  • Display advertising—Used on a network of targeted industrial sites, display ads offer high visibility and brand awareness.
  • Industry-specific websites—Directory listings, content hubs, and online catalogs offer you an opportunity to be as visible as larger companies and reach potential customers during their search process.
  • Media relations—Public relations efforts such as pitching stories, writing by-lined articles, providing expert opinions on newsworthy topics, and sending press releases can increase the number of mentions your company receives.
  • Webinars/online events—Whether hosted by your company or with an industry partner, online events are powerful, subject-specific branding opportunities that deliver a captive audience.
  • Video—One of the fastest growing marketing tactics for manufacturers, watching video is popular among engineering and technical professionals.

How to Measure Visibility

Every marketing initiative you undertake should be measurable, including efforts to increase marketing visibility.

Unlike a call-to-action lead generation program that produces short-term results, increasing visibility takes time and therefore should be measured over time. The key is for trends to point in your favor. If your results increase month over month and quarter over quarter, you’ll know that your visibility is increasing as well.

Individual programs have their own related metrics that allow you to measure visibility.

  • Email metrics include number of emails sent, number opened, and number of clicks or other desired actions such as forwards.
  • For display ads, visibility can be measured by impressions, which is the number of times your ads are seen. Clicks on display ads measure engagement with your content. These metrics hold true for e-newsletter advertisements as well.
  • On industry-specific websites, the number of visitors to your directory listing or content hub measures visibility; additionally, the number of click-throughs to your website measures how interested your audience is in what you have to say.
  • Social media metrics such as the number of followers, shares, and retweets all measure visibility.
  • The most important website metric for visibility is the number of visitors. The ratio of new vs. returning visitors gives a sense of visibility with a new audience. If the percentage of new visitors rises in relation to returning visitors, your visibility is increasing because new audiences are discovering you.

You should also track other metrics that are not tied to any specific channels or programs, yet offer deep insight into how visible your brand and message are in the marketplace. For example, how often users type your company name into search engines is a good measurement of brand awareness. In addition, to measure the impact of media relation efforts, use the free service Google Alerts, which will notify you of specific keywords mentions such as your company name, product names or other relevant keywords that appear in news articles, blog posts web pages.

If these metrics are increasing over time, you will know that your marketing visibility is increasing as well.

Marketing Measurement

The Industrial Marketer’s Measurement Checklist

marketing measurement

One advantage of the digital age is that industrial marketers have access to a wealth of data and a trove of metrics they can track and analyze to determine if they are meeting their marketing objectives.

However, with so much data and so many options, the task of measuring can seem overwhelming. What metrics really matter? Which ones can help you make more informed marketing decisions?

Below is a checklist of meaningful metrics you should be tracking regularly for your programs. Not every metric or measurement will apply to your program. Choose the ones that are relevant to you and use the results to improve your marketing programs.

  • Email deliverability and spam reports. You want deliverability to go up and spam reports to go down, which will indicate you have an accurate and updated email list.
  • Email opens. Shows how well your subject line works and how effectively you are targeting the right audience.
  • Clicks. Links in emails, linked offers in display or e-newsletter ads, social media links and text links on your website all reveal how well your message is resonating with your audience.
  • Pageviews. On your website, directory listings, or content hubs of industry-specific websites, page views indicate the popularity of a page.
  • Time on-page. How long a visitor stays on a page before dropping off. This tells you how relevant the content is to the audience. 
  • New vsreturning visitors. An important website metric that reveals how you’re doing attracting a new audience.
  • Social media views, comments, and shares. These social media metrics, tracked by channel, can tell you if you’re using the right social media platforms and delivering content that your audience finds valuable.
  • Impressions. For display ads or e-newsletter advertisements. This simple metric counts the number of times your ad is seen and can measure visibility and awareness. 
  • Video views, drop-offs, and point of drop off. For marketers using video, these three metrics tell you how many people are watching and for how long. If they’re dropping off at a certain point, you’ve lost their interest.
  • Brand, company, or product mentions. You can use the free service Google Alerts, which will notify you of specific keyword mentions such as your company name, product names or other relevant keywords that appear in news articles, blog posts web pages. This is a good indicator of the strength of your brand and the effectiveness of public relations efforts.
  • Attendees, booth visitors. Important for measuring events such as webinars or tradeshows. You can also track drop-offs for webinars, which is a measure of relevancy and engagement.

Two More Essential Measurements
Seldom do marketing programs exist in isolation or do isolated metrics tell the full story. As every marketer knows, a prospect will have multiple touches with your company before becoming a qualified lead and even more touches throughout their buying journey before making a purchase decision.

  • You should try to track all touches a prospect has with your company to better understand what content and programs resonate with them and the cumulative touches that contribute to a sale. Marketing automation software makes this complex task much easier.
  • All the metrics and measurements listed here ultimately roll up into one measurement that most marketing teams are ultimately judged by: qualified leads delivered to sales.

If you’re staying within your marketing budget and leads are increasing, you’re doing something right. If leads are flat or declining, examine those metrics that are stagnant and underperforming programs. Weed out the weak and work with your media partners to strengthen your overall marketing portfolio.

Marketing Measurement
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The Marketing Metrics That Really Matter

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Industrial marketers track a variety of metrics in order to measure the success of their marketing programs and calculate marketing ROI.

According to the “2019 Trends in Industrial Marketing survey,” 57 percent of marketers use leads to measure the success of their marketing initiatives. Forty-eight percent use customer acquisition; 48 percent use sales attributed to marketing programs.

All three of these measurements can be summed up in a single statement: marketing’s mission is to implement programs that generate leads who become customers. It sounds simple.

But in the digital age, marketers have a trove of data and a myriad of metrics they can analyze and track to determine if they are fulfilling their mission. There are many ways to determine the results and value of each campaign, as well as the overall marketing program.

The task of measuring can seem overwhelming. What do you really need to track? Here are four areas that deserve your attention and that can help you make marketing decisions.

Website Traffic

Your company’s website is your face to the market and your most important marketing asset. Sixty-two percent of industrial marketers currently measure website traffic. Website measurement offers plenty of insight for marketers:

  • Steady growth in website traffic indicates a strengthening brand and the ability to drive traffic through marketing programs. Any decline in traffic is reason to be concerned.
  • Popularity of pages and time spent on page provide insight into what content your audience is looking for and what is engaging them.
  • Internal click paths and page drop offs reveal how your audience journeys through your site and where they leave. You can get a sense of how your audience thinks and discovers, which can help you make improvements to your content hierarchy.

Email Metrics

Email campaigns are the most common type of marketing program in the industrial sector. Email offers a few important measurements:

  • You can measure your list quality by tracking deliverability, bounces, and spam reports. Deliverability should be increasing over time, while bounces and spam reports should shrink. If that’s not the case, it may be time to clean your list.
  • Measure engagement with your message and content by tracking the open rate, click-through rate, and forwards.
  • On your landing page, measure conversions (such as downloads/forms completed).

Account for All Touches

Most engineers and technical professionals engage in a methodical buying process. They typically have multiple contacts with a company over a period of time, with each touch-point helping the buyer move closer to making a buying decision.

That’s why it’s seldom accurate to attribute a customer sale to single marketing program, whether it’s the first touch a prospect has with your company (such as downloading a white paper) or the last touch (such as attending a webinar).

What’s important is to track every touch a prospect has with your company on their way to becoming a customer. Each touch is a contributor to the eventual sale. You can give each touch equal weight, or you can come up with your own system that assigns different levels of importance to each touch.

Marketing automation software makes this complex, but important, task a lot easier. If you’re not already using marketing automation, there are a number of low-cost solutions available for any sized marketing budget.

Measure Branding and Visibility

When deciding what to measure, many marketers focus on leads, which are obviously important. But before you land any leads, branding and visibility must smooth out the runway.

The vast majority of people want to do business with companies they have heard about and can trust. This is where campaigns such as display ads, tradeshows and directory listings come into play. Measuring views and visits can tell you how visible and noticed your brand is.

If leads are falling off, you might want to work on building awareness. Some campaigns, such as advertising in industrial e-newsletters, offer the benefit of raising visibility by connecting with an audience you might otherwise find hard to reach, and also lead generation benefits if you make an offer in your ad.

Do you want to know what other industrial marketers are doing to measure ROI? Access the latest Marketing Maven research for the answer.

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How Industrial Marketers Track ROI

roi-tracking-measuring

More and more, marketers are being tasked with proving the return on investment (ROI) of their marketing initiatives. This can pose a challenge, because there are many ways to determine the results and value of each campaign. For our most recent Marketing Maven survey, we wanted to know more about how industrial marketers handle proving ROI and what challenges they encounter.

For our most recent Marketing Maven survey, we wanted to know more about how industrial marketers handle proving ROI and what challenges they encounter.

First, we asked them for which marketing channels they measure ROI. Traffic to the company website was the most popular answer, with 62 percent of respondents measuring ROI. Other popular answers are email marketing and tradeshows. 12 percent of respondents don’t measure ROI at all. Only 22 percent track ROI on webinars, 19 percent track e-newsletter advertising, and 17 percent track display advertising.

Industrial marketers that measure metrics focus on clicks first and foremost, with 60% reporting that they look at that metric when comparing the performance of their media spend and making purchasing decisions. Engagement rate (CTR) was the next most popular metric, followed by cost per click and cost per lead. Acquisition channels and cost per sale were the least commonly tracked metrics.

The majority of industrial marketers (53 percent) run campaign performance reports monthly. 19 percent choose to run them quarterly, and 10 percent check every week. Two thirds of respondents don’t have an outside partner that handles any part of their reporting and tracking.

When it comes to challenges in reporting, industrial marketers report a variety of issues. 24 percent of industrial marketers say their greatest struggle is that their data is too siloed. 21 percent have trouble showing ROI for their investments/marketing programs. 12 percent aren’t sure which factors to pay attention to.

Overall, these results show us that many industrial marketers aren’t digging extraordinarily deep into their metrics. Only three marketing channels are tracked by over half of respondents. In the same vein, clicks are the only metric that
over half of marketers track. Additionally, ROI might not be top of mind for all marketers, who tend to run reports monthly. We understand that marketers today wear many hats, and tracking analytics can be overwhelming and easy to put on the back burner. However, tracking the ROI of your marketing programs will only lead to more successful and efficient portfolio of campaigns. Consider transitioning some of your programs to a media partner that can help you track and interpret their results.

Marketing Measurement Marketing ROI

How to Increase and Measure Marketing Visibility

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Increasing your company’s visibility in the marketplace is essential to capture the attention of your target audience. High visibility equates to high brand awareness, and potential customers want to do business with brands they recognize and trust.

Additionally, high visibility helps your company get discovered by engineers and other technical professionals in the early stages of their buying process. Because engineers prefer to search and research independently and wait to contact vendors, you must be seen early and often in the marketplace to have a chance at the sale.

Programs and Channels that Increase Visibility

Marketing visibility is a function of three variables:

  1. Reach—are you using marketing programs that allow you to be discovered by your target audience?
  2. Frequency—are you maintaining a regular presence on your marketing channels?
  3. Timing—are you reaching your target audience when they are actively searching for products and solutions?

You can increase marketing visibility by choosing marketing programs that help you optimize these three variables, such as:

  • Company website—Your number one brand ambassador, and always on so that your audience can always find you
  • Email—allows you to stay in touch with your house list and keep your brand top of mind with customers and prospects
  • E-newsletters—Advertisements in industry-focused e-newsletters can extend your reach to new markets, build brand awareness and drive qualified traffic to your website.
  • Social media—Regular updates on social media channels that your target audience prefers (LinkedIn, Facebook) help keep you front and center with engineers. Relevant posts can be easily shared by users, helping to further increase your reach.
  • Display advertising—Used on a network of targeted industrial sites, display ads offer high visibility and brand awareness.
  • Industry-specific websites—Directory listings, content hubs and online catalogs offer you an opportunity to level the playing field with companies of every size and reach potential customers during their search process.
  • Media relations—Public relations efforts such as pitching stories, writing by-lined articles, providing expert opinions on newsworthy topics, and sending press releases can increase the number of mentions your company receives.
  • Webinars—Whether hosted by your company or with an industry partner, webinars are powerful branding opportunities that deliver a captive audience.
  • Tradeshows—Still an effective way to increase visibility –  choose the one or two events that are most important to your company.
  • Video—One of the fastest growing marketing tactics for manufacturers, watching video is soaring in popularity among engineering and technical professionals.

Metrics that Help Measure Visibility

All the above-listed marketing programs can help increase your visibility. The challenge is to track the relevant metrics so that you can measure performance. The most important factor about metrics is not what they reveal in a single snapshot of time, but trends over time. If your results increase month over month and quarter over quarter, you’ll know that your visibility is increasing as well.

Another point to keep in mind is that measuring visibility is a lot easier if you use technology. According to the Content Marketing Institute the top technologies that manufacturers use to help manage their efforts are social media publishing/analytics, email marketing software, and analytics tools.

Key metrics to track include:

  • Website traffic: Measuring new vs. returning visitors gives a sense of visibility with a new audience. If the percentage of new visitors rises in relation to returning visitors, your visibility is increasing because new audiences are discovering you.
  • Search volume of your brand name: How often users type your company name into search engines is a good measurement of brand awareness.
  • On industry-specific websites, the number of visitors to your directory listing or content hub measures visibility; additionally, the number of click-throughs to your website measures engagement.
  • Social media metrics such as the number of followers, shares and retweets all measure visibility. Shares and retweets, along with comments and likes, also measure engagement.
  • The number of times a user sees your display ad or page, measured by impressions, is a simple metric that is easy to measure and provides a strong indication of visibility. Clicks on display ads measure engagement with your content. These metrics hold true for e-newsletter advertisements as well.
  • Video metrics are available through video sharing platforms such as YouTube. Number of views measures visibility. Length of view and comments measure engagement.
  • To measure the impact of media relation efforts, use the free service Google Alerts, which will notify you of specific keywords mentions such as your company name, product names or other relevant keywords in news articles, blog posts web pages.

Visibility and Engagement are Both Important

As some of the metrics above demonstrate, you can measure both visibility and engagement. Both are important. Visibility is exposure, but engagement goes one step further and indicates audience interest. To increase both factors, stay active with your marketing programs, produce and deliver content that is relevant to your audience, and make your content easy to share.

Marketing Measurement

5 Tips for Measuring Marketing ROI

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Marketers of all kinds agree that they’re under pressure to demonstrate ROI on their investments. While this is necessary to avoid wasting resources, marketing ROI can be difficult to measure, even in today’s digital-centric world.

To improve your ability to measure ROI—and to gain the insight you need to make meaningful adjustments to your marketing programs—follow these tips:

Define what marketing ROI means to your organization

Every marketing organization has its own unique vision for and definition of success. The first thing you must do is agree upon and document your key performance indicators (KPIs).

Even within your organization,  definitions of success may vary. For example, the chief marketing officer may be interested in cost-per-qualified-lead, whereas a content manager might define success by the number of downloads or shares of content. When having the ROI discussion, make sure multiple stakeholders have their voices heard.

Use marketing automation

If at all possible, take advantage of the low-cost marketing automation solutions on the market today. They will help you keep much better track of campaigns and prospect activity, making ROI measurement a lot easier and your overall marketing efforts more efficient.

You can still get the ROI job done with spreadsheets if you keep your definition of success and metrics simple. However, your task will be more manual and cumbersome and your results perhaps less accurate.

Beware of the single attribution methodology

The simplest and easiest way to measure ROI is to assign the revenue from a deal to the first point of contact a customer had with your company, and then calculate ROI from there Here is an example of single attribution: A prospect downloads a white paper and you add that lead source to their record. Eventually they purchase. The sale is then attributed to the white paper campaign.

Another method is to attribute revenue to the “last click” a customer has or the last action they took before buying, under the reasoning that this is what finally motivated them to buy. But single attribution, whether it’s first touch or last touch, has severe shortcomings, including:

  • It doesn’t account for the way most engineers and technical professionals engage in the buying process. Engineers typically have multiple contacts with a company over a period of time, with each touchpoint helping the buyer move closer to making a buying decision.
  • Single attribution gives too much credit to lead generation programs and not enough to lead nurturing touches or individual contributions from your sales team.
  • Results can be skewed by deal size or time. A particularly large deal would make the attributed source appear wildly successful. A long sales cycle might diminish the importance of the single source.

Account for multiple touches

A more accurate and defensible method of measuring marketing ROI is to account for multiple touches with a prospect over what could be multiple different campaigns. Here’s where your marketing automation helps a lot, as complexity of measurement increases.

In multi-touch attribution, you track every touch made with a prospect along their buying journey. For example, Prospect A from Company X may have attended a webinar, clicked on an e-newsletter ad, watched a video, and downloaded a spec sheet. That’s four distinct touchpoints before a purchasing decision was made.

You could attribute one-quarter of the revenue to each of these four campaign tactics. More likely, you might choose to weight some touches over others based on when they occurred in relation to the sale or the action that delivered value—but beware the “last click” mistake.

You also might give more weight to programs that touched the key decision maker than programs that affected other influencers.  Or you might choose to weight certain types of touches more heavily than others based on the level of engagement. For example, attending an hour-long seminar may have more impact than a simple website visit. How you weight touches is entirely up to you.

Multi-touch attribution for calculating ROI offers a number of benefits:

  • Accounts for longer-term nurturing touches as well as lead generation.
  • Especially useful for long buying cycles that include multiple prospects and many touchpoints.
  • Focuses on all contacts and touchpoints associated with a deal, not just the first or last.

While multi-touch attribution for calculating ROI has significant advantages over single attribution, you should be aware of potential pitfalls and how your findings might be challenged:

  • You have to make assumptions based on weighting touches, and your assumptions could be wrong. On the other hand, if you weight all touches equally, you run the risk of over-crediting low impact touchpoints.
  • It’s still difficult to account for “hidden” contributors, including sales activity and unattributed online activity.

Accept a learning curve

It’s a challenging task to measure marketing ROI, but you must do it in order to justify budgets and optimize expenditures. It will likely take time to get good at ROI measurement, but you are not alone. According to a MMA/Forrester/ANA study, 87 percent of senior marketers did not feel confident in their ability to impact the sales forecast of their programs.

The most important aspect of measuring ROI is to get everyone on the same page in terms of how you define success and what measurements contribute to determining your level of success. From there, move forward as your skills and tools allow, always focusing on improving your methodologies, increasing your confidence in your results, and adjusting programs based on data.

 

 

 

 

Marketing Measurement Marketing ROI Marketing, General

Four Guidelines for More Effective Marketing Measurement

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More than ever, executives are demanding accountability for marketing expenditures.

The need to show return on marketing investment (ROMI) often leaves marketers dwelling on questions such as: How much did this email campaign contribute to the bottom line? How much revenue did that banner ad produce? However, these might not be the best questions to be asking.

It’s highly unlikely that any single campaign or tactic can be correlated on a one-to-one basis with a sale, especially in industries with long and complex buy cycles, and in an environment where your customers use a wide variety of digital tools and information resources to research a potential purchase.

As you begin planning for next year, you might be tempted to drop a marketing program that doesn’t have sales directly associated with it. This may be a mistake, and may lead to abandoning programs that are making real contributions to your overall marketing effectiveness.

Here are four guidelines to help you improve your marketing measurement and ensure that your integrated, multichannel marketing strategy is delivering a positive ROMI. For a more comprehensive analysis of marketing measurement, please download a complimentary copy of the 2018 Marketing Planning Kit.

1. Measure Engagement at Individual Touchpoints

Sixty-two percent of technical professionals wait until at least the Comparison & Evaluation stage of the buy cycle to make contact with a vendor (Digital Media Use in the Industrial Sector). They may have already downloaded a white paper, clicked on a newsletter ad, watched a video, explored your online catalog—and finally decided to reach out. Each of these marketing touchpoints exists as parts of an entire ecosystem of campaigns and they all contributed to this engagement opportunity. Since it’s difficult to match a specific campaign to a sale, try measuring activity and engagement at each touchpoint: clicks, downloads, forms completed, etc.

2. Measure Awareness that Leads to Later Sales Opportunities

Multiple touchpoints—especially early in the buy cycle when prospects are assessing their needs—can help your company establish credibility and be considered when it comes time for engineers to make contact with vendors.

Maintain a broad and consistent presence on the channels that your customers use to help you get noticed early in the buy cycle. You can measure brand awareness by tracking metrics such as impressions, page views, social media shares and mentions.

3. Measure Two Types of Leads

There are two types of marketing leads that can turn into customers: the marketing qualified lead and the marketing influenced lead.

The marketing qualified lead is a lead that marketing has generated through one of its campaigns and passed on to the sales team after qualifying it. Qualified leads are gems. You’ve generated interest from a potential client, and routed that prospect through your lead qualification process. Your sales team wants qualified leads that require less effort and are more likely to convert into customers.

The marketing influenced lead is sometimes overlooked because this lead hasn’t gone through the qualification process and been handed off to sales. It’s less visible than the marketing qualified lead.

However, the marketing influenced lead is any person who engaged with your marketing content before becoming a customer. If these future customers haven’t filled out a form (such as a registration), you may not even know about them yet—but they know about you, and they are being influenced by your marketing content. When they eventually make a buying decision and become a customer, your marketing efforts helped define their path and contribute to their decision, and marketing should get credit for this marketing influenced lead.

4. Don’t Measure Only the “Last Click”

The “last click” attributes a sale to the last marketing-related touch point a customer has before making a buying decision. Last click attribution is a mistake because we know the buy cycle includes many campaign touches that cumulatively add up to help achieve a sale. Today’s path through the buy cycle crosses multiple devices, platforms, sites, and user needs and behaviors. Last click ignores the many supporting tactics that help drive a purchasing decision.

Find out more about marketing measurement, plus gain access to tools and recommendations to build a stellar marketing plan, in the just-published 2018 Marketing Planning Kit. Download your complimentary copy today.

 

 

Industrial Marketing and Sales Marketing Measurement Marketing ROI