A look at the important marketing metrics that will help you focus on growth goals, where to find them on your dashboard, and what to do with them.
Metrics are your marketing roadmap to the future. Marketers need to measure what we do to identify areas for improvement and to understand what works and what areas need refining. There is a range of analytics available to measure marketing dashboards and your analytics dashboard will give you a host of actionable insights. However, before you commit resources to putting a marketing dashboard in place, first ask yourself five simple questions:
- How engaged are customers, fans, and prospects with my brand?
- How many website visitors are taking the actions I want them to take and how often?
- Is my organic site traffic trending up?
- Who is talking about my brand?
- Am I getting the best and most relevant results from my investment of time and resources?
Determining the best set of metrics to focus on will depend on your company and your goals and objectives. The key is to track the metrics that give you concrete, actionable information and insights you can base your decision-making on, to continuously improve the results from your marketing initiatives.
There are five major classes of metrics many Marketers monitor on an ongoing basis:
- Customer Activity
Traffic is one metric that is a lead indicator of future revenue as site traffic multiplied by conversions = revenue. There are six core traffic factors to consider:
- Visitor numbers
- Visitor sources
- Cost of acquisition
- Average time on site
- Bounce Rate and Pageviews per Visit
- Returning Visitors
Top-level traffic statistics such as daily/weekly/monthly site visits are standard part on many marketing dashboards. However, these metrics often fail to factor in the cost of driving that traffic or the resulting volume of traffic by source. These statistics should be complemented by a cost-per-visit metric. Average time on site is a useful indicator of how engaged your visitors are with your content as is your bounce rate or high-interest. High bounce rates indicate a problem with your content while high pageviews show visitors’ high-interest levels. The rule of thumb with returning visitors is to strike a balance between 50:50 or 60:40. Fewer new visitors represent a ceiling on your business’ growth prospects, while a low returning visitor indicates a potential failure to engage with your visitors.
This metric illustrates how customers interact with your brand once they are converted. Combined they provide insights into your business’ likely repeat purchase propensity.
- Social Media Engagement
- Email Engagement
- Onsite Activity
Monitor how your customers’ use your social media to stay current with your brand. Similarly, track mentions and shares of your social media pages and brand-related hashtags for insights into how effective your social media campaigns are. Flag your customers on your email database and monitor how frequently they open your emails, click through to their links or unsubscribe. Another key indicator is whether customers continue to visit your site. Are they reading your blog or checking out new content or product pages.
A conversion page views as being; ‘when a visitor completes a goal.’ Goals may be purchase-related or a subscription to your newsletter or email updates. Conversions offer a window onto how productive your traffic is:
- New versus returning visitor conversions: Measures which types of traffic converts more frequently.
- Acquisition: Identifies the channels your conversions are sourced from.
- Cost per conversion: Gives you actionable insights on the channel efficiency your conversions are sourced from.
- Conversion value: This is both a measure of the sales revenue and targets such as email list subscriptions.
Email marketing is a core part of any marketing campaign and still has one of the highest ROI rates of any marketing tool. Three core metrics frequently provide the most actionable insights for your business’ email activity:
- Open rate: A must know, this measures the number of people on your email list who open your emails.
- Click through rate: Refer to the percentage of email recipients who click through on the email link to view your offer.
- Unsubscribe rate: A high unsubscribed rate indicates a problem.
Every good analytics dashboard tracks the financial performance of your campaigns. The revenue section of your marketing dashboard should track revenue from customers, advertising, and affiliate marketing. Your costs section should show direct costs and indirect costs such as time for a snapshot of how much time your team is spending on individual campaigns. Your analytics dashboard should also give you a feel for the profitability of your campaigns.
Five Success Indicators
To round out your analytics dashboard, here are five additional indicators, which are useful sources of actionable insights:
- Traffic To Lead Ratio (New Contact Rate)
- Lead To Customer Ratio (Measures content effectiveness)
- Landing Page Conversion Rates
- Organic Traffic volumes
- Mobile Traffic & Leads (+Conversion Rates)
Once you have decided what to measure, you need to acquire tools to build out your marketing dashboard. The following is a short list of sources for your marketing dashboard:
- Traffic & Conversion Rates: Google Analytics & Google Analytics Conversion, VWO Rates, Clicky, Mixpanel, KISSmetrics
- Website & Blog Traffic: Google Analytics Dashboard
- Engagement Metrics: BussSumo Content Analysis
- Customer Activity: ActiveCampaign, Infusionsoft CRMs
- Email: Mailchimp, Vero
- Financial: Baremetrics (SaaS) Pulse
Always establish a baseline performance measure to use as a benchmark moving forward with subsequent performance. Establishing a performance baseline before rolling out your initiatives allows the impact of your marketing strategy to be measured.
A marketing dashboard is a fundamental part of your business environment. Great marketing combines creative flair, great ideas, and a real passion for customers. Becoming a data-driven marketer in today’s intensely competitive marketplace involves tapping into actionable insights; understanding your key marketing metrics, but also being able to innovate with imperfect information.
A great place to start is your revenue growth metrics and an understanding of how and what visitors to your website and social media feeds are doing. These metrics will help you improve your visitor experience, enhance conversion rates, and nurture loyalty and advocacy. You can implement additional metrics into your analytics dashboard as you evolve.