5 Marketing metrics to start tracking

When it comes to measuring impact, marketing is elusive. Tracking and demonstrating your return on marketing investment (ROMI) isn't a straightforward process. If you don’t know where to look, even the numbers can lie to you.

In our article, 5 marketing metrics to stop tracking, we discussed some of the more misleading data out there. This time we'll be covering the other side of the coin: relevant metrics that give you real insight into your contribution to the demand waterfall (the shared pipeline that makes up a customer’s journey through marketing and sales) and the framework you’ll need to put in place to accurately track them.

Here are the metrics you’ll want to get your hands on:

1. Conversion rate

The percentage of your site’s visitors who actually took enough action to become a customer or lead.

2. Number of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and/or sales qualified leads (SQLs)

These are the people moving their way through your demand waterfall. At each stage, your understanding of their needs deepens and the opportunity for sales to close a deal increases.

3. Marketing contribution to pipeline and/or total revenue

This is your bread and butter metric. It’s your department’s impact on both sales and overall business goals.

4. Cost per lead

How much you’re spending to get each MQL into the pipeline.

5. Readiness

A suite of metrics that combine to demonstrate just how prepared your department is to perform well. Depending on your organization, these can include marketing skills, quantity and quality of content created and contact database size—all of which help inform you about what types of campaign your department can launch in a given timeframe.

Combining these numbers can give you a great picture of your ROMI, and that’s a huge accomplishment. But the thing is, simply showing how well your department is performing isn't enough. You also need to use that information to improve your results. By diving deeper into the metrics listed above, you’ll detect the areas that need improving.

Let’s say your cost per lead is too high, resulting from a slow response to inquiries (or “velocity”). By making it easier for your site’s visitors to convert to leads, you can help solve both problems. Once your metrics tell you that your cost per lead is decreasing, you can reallocate funds from conversion-based campaigns to one that drives attention to your landing page, further increasing your effect on the demand waterfall.

Once the right system is in place, you should have an at-a-glance understanding of your demand waterfall, actionable metrics and a clear picture of your ROMI. Not only will you be tracking the metrics that matter, you’ll be doing it from the helm of a more agile marketing department.

For a deeper understanding of the systems and metrics mentioned in this article, check out this white paper, The essential guide to aligned marketing measurement, developed by Microsoft in tandem with the experts at SiriusDecisions.