Marketing KPIs You Should Report to Leadership
There are so many metrics out there for marketing to report on, it’s overwhelming to decide where to begin. And what frequency to look. And who you provide the information to. And what format. And how you trend it. And how to convey what it means in layman’s terms.
Sometimes, we spend so much time putting out fires and planning for the next campaign or event that we don’t take enough time to debrief. But, it’s imperative to know whether or not the fruits of your labor are driving results, or if you’re doing it just to check the box.
Whether you are in a service industry, selling a product or doing B2B, what you report out on will vary. Regardless, what your CFO is going to want to know remains the same: How much did you spend and what revenue is it generating?
A lot easier said than done - especially if you think about the goal of the campaign. If it’s brand awareness or industry expertise, you can’t really tie a dollar amount to perception. Fortunately, in this digital era, we can provide a whole lot of numbers though that can tell the story of how your online performance is improving over time.
It’s information overload.
Does the c-suite really care about how much time you spent on inbound linking, meta descriptions and updating open graph data to help clean up your SEO? No, and you already knew that, didn’t you? But what they do want to know is why you’re not the first search result when you type in [insert keyword or phrase here] in Google and that you have a remediation plan in place to address it.
Does your CFO really care about the amount of impressions your display ad saw last month and what the CTR is? That’s great, but again, probably not. Unless it generated a conversion or a sale.
In hindsight, I used to blast out these numbers all of the time, but for what value? Just because I find marketing analytics fascinating and could spend hours researching doesn’t mean that A) everyone understands it or B) has the time to fully digest it.
I challenge you to take a step back and evaluate what would make their lives easier by knowing what are the most pertinent KPIs impacting the bottom line.
What to Share
How many qualified leads were as a result of your marketing tactics? What source did they come from? How much revenue did they bring/do you anticipate them generating? Trend this month over month.
Any conversion rates you can provide are huge and where the conversions are coming from. Are people calling as a result of paid search? Are they filling out a form coming from a sponsored social post? Do they RSVP to an event from your email? If you utilize the same tactics each month, conversions are easy to trend and from a seasonality perspective, it’s easy to gain insight as to why there may be dips in volumes - i.e. winter is your slow season, so obviously numbers are going to trend down.
In regards to consumer retention, they want to know how your existing customers are interacting with your brand and where is the opportunity to cross-promote. If you have a great relationship and they are a net promoter, it’s easier and more effective to up-sell to an existing client than to gain a new one. Keep this information high level and provide top five accounts and what service/product they’re engaging with.
Also, track complaints and compliments. If you’re receiving a ton of negative feedback, this is the time to bring it up so leadership is aware and can operationally address what’s hurting the brand reputation. Marketing somehow always does a great job of uncovering operational flaws. You have the power to escalate these because operational leads don’t always get to see this feedback in real-time.
If you have a paid content strategy, it is helpful to note website engagement on your blog or your social videos/posts/stories. While this doesn’t show an exact return on investment, you can position yourself as an expert and trend newsletter sign-ups, social interactions, blog page views, etc. Provide top three emails, top three social initiatives and top three performing blog posts. Again, keep it high level.
For events, find a way to keep track of how many people attended and how many follow-ups were verbally confirmed or scheduled.
If you have a media/public relations strategy, provide what your advertising dollar equivalency would have been had you secured a buy from their media kit. How much would it have costed for that air time? Or if that was a quarter page ad-size amount of text, what’s the going rate? Media relations takes a ton of time - so prove that the hours you’ve spent nailing down the interview and coordinating with reporters adds value to the organization.
How You Say It
Any time you can provide detail in charts, graphs or lists, do it! Don’t just pull screenshots from Google Analytics or copy and paste paragraphs from an article. Put thought behind how you structure the information. I recommend top XX lists for keywords, website pages, news articles and social posts. Hyperlink to the source if they want more information and you’re emailing them the information in a .pdf or PowerPoint.
Batch like-content with one another so the flow makes sense. All paid tactics should be on one page and organic efforts on another. Start with the most important information first - anticipated revenue generated. Then, break it down by tactic.
Also, end with recommendations or what is coming down the pike. And feel free to put any problems in there too. If something is not performing well, this is the time to note discrepancies and if you plan to pull back on low-performing initiatives.
Include photos or powerful quotes. Make it visual!
Lastly, ensure that it’s not too lengthy. Would you want to scrolls through 15 pages? They should be able to glance at everything and after 15 - 20 minutes, have a rough landscape of what’s going on in the marketing world.
You’ve got this you marketing rock star! If you need help gathering marketing KPIs or figuring out what is important, let’s connect.