As a student, I loved math and science. I was born with an inquisitive mind and a wicked streak of skepticism and found the requirements of mathematical proof and the laws of science just made sense. I could have ended up working in the technology world if I wanted to, but I loved the idea of marketing more. Where I ended up was probably the best of both worlds. Technology marketing.
I was also a devoted student of logic and had an attraction to using words, images, and stories to convince others to take action and follow the path I’ve constructed for them. Early on in my career, I learned that the power of persuasion could be highly addictive, and was hooked the day after I sent my first email campaign.
Interestingly, it wasn’t the construction of the campaign that excited me, or the email copy itself – It was the results. It was exhilarating to know that 200 people clicked on my email and the result was 10% better than anything we had sent before. And then it hit me…
Marketing is Math
Even if you go back to the first American marketing campaigns run in local newspapers like the Boston News-Letter; it’s always been math. What’s the circulation of the newsletter? How many issues do they publish per week? What’s the delivery radius? What is the demographics of the readers? How many subscribers on average viewed the advertisement? What was the ROI after running the ad? Math, math, math. So for all you marketers out there that say…
“I ended up in marketing because I’m terrible at math.”
Give yourself a pat on the back because you use math every day. We are all held to very specific metrics for the campaigns we run, and if you don’t know what ROI means, or how to track it, then you’re officially not in marketing today. So with all that said, here’s my favorite metrics to help prove marketing is math.
Sales Focused Metrics:
1: Average spend: Best to look at this by product, country and company size.
2: Average sales cycle/time to close: Best to look at this from the first touch (marketing or sales) to final close. This will help you set realistic expectations on how (and when) to look at the ROI from your investments.
3: Win/Loss rate: What percentage of pipelined opportunities converts to closed business.
4: Retention rate: What percentage of your customers renew when contract is up or upgrade is needed.
Marketing Campaign Focused Metrics:
5: Return on marketing investment (by campaign): How much did you spend, and how much return (pipeline or sales) did you see. Best to align these numbers with your average sales cycle. Marketo claims 5X pipeline is what they typically consider a successful investment from internal campaigns.
6: Return on marketing investment (total): Look at your staff cost, marketing investments and converted sales, all tracked to marketing efforts (even no-cost campaigns and social). In technology markets, it’s best to compare this data every six months.
7: Cost per new customer: What does it cost to acquire a new customer via marketing and sales efforts. Make sure you understand what the predicted future returns will be from new customers.
8: Percentage of new customers driven by marketing: How many deals with new customers can be tied to leads driven directly by marketing outreach and prospecting. This is why tracking all marketing touch points is critical.
Lead Tracking Metrics:
9: Cost per qualified lead: What does it cost to generate a lead. The minimum standard should be created MQLs.
10: Conversion by score: How are leads converting to sales or pipeline based on score. This will offer insight into the success of your scoring model.
11: Touches to sale: How many times do you have to interact with your leads in order to convert them into buyers.
12: First touch: What campaign brought this lead into the funnel.
13: Last touch: What was the last marketing influenced touch before lead was passed to sales for final conversion.
14: Time in funnel: How long does it take pipeline leads to move from the top of the funnel, to the middle, to confirmed pipeline.
15: MQL to SQL approval rate: What percentage of your marketing qualified leads convert to sales qualified leads. Make sure you have a clear definition of MQL and SQL that’s been agreed to and signed off from both marketing and sales leadership.
16: Open rate: Useful for comparing performance of email subject lines.
17: Click rate: Useful for comparing performance of email body copy.
18: Click to action: At what rate are those who clicked taking the required action (register for content, view product demo, request sales follow-up, register for event). Useful for comparing best offers and landing pages.
19: Unsubscribe rates: Are you really offering value for the contacts on your lists. Are you emailing too frequently? What are the worst emails you sent this year?
20: Percentage of target accounts with known contacts: How many accounts in your ABM list do you have at least one contact?
21: Percentage of nurtured ABM accounts: What percentage of identified contacts from your ABM list have engaged with your marketing (responded to email offer, attended event, spoke with BDR team)
22: Close rates from ABM accounts vs. non ABM: Do your ABM accounts close at a higher rate than accounts not on your target list? The most challenging aspect of account-based marketing is identifying the right accounts. This metric can help you understand if you’re fishing in the right pond.
BDR/Inside Sales Metrics:
23: Connect rate: How many calls does it take to get a prospect on the phone. According to a TeleNet and Ovation study, it currently takes eight calls to reach a cold prospect.
24: Time of conversions: Are there specific times and days of the week when your BDR team is converting the most prospects to SQL or opportunity?
25: Cost per quality call: How much does it cost you in resources (staff, salaries, benefits, time) per quality call. Quality call is a pickup and conversation.
26: Call to conversion rate: This one is very important if you’re buying very low cost leads/contacts. Low-cost lists will typically decrease your call to conversion rates and cost you more in telequal resources.
27: Cost per call conversion: How much does it cost to convert MQLs to SQLs. This is an excellent way to judge the overall quality of the list your team is calling into.
28: Percentage of event leads who convert into MQLs and SQLs: Large tradeshows can be a major boost to your contact list, but how many of them convert through to pipeline is what really matters.
29: Event driven ROI: Events can be one of the most expensive investments you make. Know your ROI.
30: MQL, SQL or ABM attend rates: If you’re putting on your own events and using your nurturing tools to drive people to them, what percentage of the people who attended are the target prospects you wanted there?
This is our list, but we’d love to know yours! What are the key metrics your team uses to judge the success of your marketing efforts?