How do you measure marketing success? When marketing for manufacturers, your sales lead numbers are only one possible indicator your efforts are working, especially if you don't know where those leads came from.
As you know, the industrial marketing journey is becoming longer, more complex and more digital. If you’re not tracking your customers’ entire digital journey, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to see when a customer first becomes aware of your products and services, how he or she engages with you online and when that engagement turns into a viable lead.
In this article, we’ll dive into some key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can use to better gauge your digital marketing efforts, as well as the marketing analytics required to measure your success.
So what should manufacturing marketers measure? The easy answer is: It depends.
An appropriate answer is that marketing metrics are designed to be in line with your company’s goals, short range and long range. Yes, we are talking about B2B marketing fundamentals:
- Identify the specific metrics that matter to those goals
- Develop a strategic approach
- Assign tactics and associated metrics to track your progress
- Based on analytic insights, adjust tactics
Let’s look at some of the nuances that can help your integrated marketing approach achieve outcomes to ultimately drive profit and growth.
Brand Awareness and Converting Revenue Opportunities
Both brand awareness and inbound marketing are critical to achieving a return on your marketing investment, so activities that support these initiatives should be measured and shared with stakeholders. Each can factor into the more sophisticated areas of marketing for manufacturers – marketing attribution (understanding the touch points), and lead scoring (what makes for a high-quality lead).
What distinguishes the two areas in terms of what you should measure:
- BRAND-ORIENTED METRICS: Social engagement, website traffic, branded search volume and impressions can help measure awareness, relevance and differentiation. Yes, this is a broad look. The key to brand awareness is targeting the right people so that they are aware of your product or service at the appropriate points of their buying journey. This might be a click-through rate or spending more time on your website.
- REVENUE-ORIENTED MARKETING METRICS: Conversion metrics are just a piece of the long process that marketing-derived leads go through before being turned over to sales. But sales metrics are important, too, such as customer acquisition cost, cost of sale, and customer lifetime value.
Process for Determining What to Measure
One approach to determining what to measure for your manufacturing marketing is to flip a traditional funnel upside down. Start with a business objective and find definable and actionable paths to reach it.
- What is your goal?
- What are the paths to success?
- What has to happen in order to accomplish that?
You work from that to include stakeholders from different levels and areas of the business to determine a strategy (or strategies) and tactics. You can drill down into numerical targets for what it will take to achieve your collective definition of success.
This should emerge as:
- GOAL: What do you want to accomplish (e.g., lead generation)
- OBJECTIVE: A specific action related to the goal (e.g., more requests for quotes)
- KPI: A metric to help you gauge success (e.g., filling out a form on your website)
- TARGET: A quantifiable value you want a KPI to achieve (e.g., 25 online RFQs per month)
- SEGMENT: This is a group of people or behaviors (e.g., engineers, or former customers)
A process like this will help your stakeholders engage, chart progress and stay focused. In this example, you could use A/B testing for the wording on your landing pages or the structure of your RFQ forms. Track your marketing analytics so that you are in a position to adjust your tactics. Do not hesitate to move away from what isn’t working and double down on what is. That might mean less top-of-funnel paid media in favor of re-targeting prospects who downloaded a whitepaper.
One of the challenges in marketing for manufacturers is the reliance on new sales leads. In fact, 73% of manufacturers measure their marketing success based on new sales leads. But generating all the leads in the world won’t matter if the martech systems those leads pass through don’t facilitate the right types of engagement. How often do you hear, “We get plenty of leads, they just aren’t good leads?”
You do not want to be in a position of having 50 new sales leads and no idea how you got them or if they are any good. Consider:
- You may be buying leads via email lists and not generating them organically
- You may not be scoring leads
- You might not be trying to reach leads at different stages of the buying journey
One of the key aspects of knowing what to measure when it comes tomarketing for manufacturers is having the right analytical tools and measurements. With the proper foundations, your efforts become automatic, consistent and reliable. You will be able to measure the ROI of your marketing efforts and the effectiveness of your marketing spend.
Talk to Us For Help With Your Integrated Marketing for Manufacturing
Putting a B2B integrated marketing plan into action includes a lot of moving parts, but when everything comes together, revenue will grow. Visit our integrated marketing services webpage to learn how we can help you plan, launch — and measure — your industrial integrated marketing program.
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