Enterprise Inbound Marketing involves attracting consumers with relevant, targeted content to move them through the sales funnel from leads to customers and, ideally, to brand enthusiasts. You’ve already implemented what you think is a fantastic Enterprise Inbound Marketing Process. Now you want to know, is it working? Some key considerations and components to look at when measuring the success of your marketing efforts follow.
Perhaps the most important caveat to the discussion of metrics is that your business be an enterprise. An enterprise, as opposed to just a business, is an entity that is integrated across the board. This means that departments (specifically marketing and sales) are in agreement on specific areas such as:
- target markets
- communication channels
- sales cycles
- the characteristics of a good lead
- lead segmentation and appraisal
- when leads move from marketing to sales (MQL vs. SQL)
- methods for assessing and updating lead status
Plans should be integrated across departments to achieve the highest level of success. Marketing and sales should work together seamlessly, with common goals and definitions, to acquire customers and boost revenue. In this way, it isn’t about the separate parts, but rather contributing to the success of the whole.
Now, on to measurements. While departments should connect seamlessly and share common goals, different groups will find different measurements more meaningful than others. The following categories present an overview of what measurements marketing, sales, and the CEO will find useful in analyzing the success of enterprise inbound marketing strategies.
Marketing is all about getting the word out to potential customers. This means looking at two key areas: content and leads. In terms of content, channel and campaign-based metrics illustrate the benefits of different strategies. Look at number of blog posts and downloads, social media posts, and other content to ensure reach. Traffic, number of leads generated, and conversion rates signal whether inbound marketing efforts are effective. Social media differentiation (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) and reach are also important areas to consider when evaluating brand awareness and leads. Click-through rates and email open rates help you evaluate whether your message is being received and read.
The sales department is most interested in the quality of leads and the revenue generated from leads. They will want to look at conversion rates, lifecycle stages (how long leads spend in the funnel), the loss rate of leads, and the volume and quality of leads generated. Sales departments want to take full advantage of the quality leads passed on from marketing and keep a careful eye on close rates.
The C-suite is primarily concerned with revenue-based metrics and measurements that illustrate marketing’s contribution to the sales pipeline. Useful metrics for the CEO related to leads might include: total leads generated, lead velocity (how fast do leads move from interested party to buyer), conversion rates, lead loss rates, and the cost per lead. An important lead ratio is the number of sales qualified vs. sales accepted leads. Other important metrics include the amount of opportunities garnered from digital marketing efforts, the cost of acquiring a customer, and customer lifetime value.
The numbers associated with the various measurements discussed are evaluated based on previously determined goals or benchmarks. Big picture analysis allows for adjustments. Time sensitive benchmarks allow for analysis of data. Data is vital, but meaningless unless aggregated and analyzed. To determine whether or not marketing strategies are working, plot data month over month and segment it to prove the efficacy of various strategies (e.g. social media, email, search, open and click-through rates, etc.). Compare numbers to goals and benchmarks, and adjust accordingly.
About Digital Impact Agency
Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for manufacturing and technology companies, professional service firms (architectural, engineering, construction, legal and consulting), nonprofits and enterprise companies. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our clients.