6 Key B2B Marketing KPIs to Measure
Every seasoned B2B marketer knows that launching a new campaign can be a venture into the unknown. Tuning in to the desires and priorities of potential future customers and delivering content that really captures their attention feels like more of an art than a science at times. But once your content is out there, you can start figuring how well it’s working towards accomplishing your marketing goals. The trick is knowing what metrics to identify and how to measure them.
Studies have shown that about half of all marketers are only using the most basic metrics to measure the results of their efforts. That might be a big reason why nearly 70% of B2B content ends up unused, because it doesn’t align with what buyers are interested in. All the time, labor, and creativity a marketing team pours into content creation is just a howl into the void if buyers aren’t noticing it, engaging with it, and moving closer to making a purchase.
With the right metrics, you can build more effective campaigns, budget more accurately, and correctly calculate your ROI. So what are the right metrics? It depends on what you’re trying to figure out.
Program metrics may be of the most interest to marketers. They indicate what kind of impact your content is making, where your leads are coming from, and how reliable your data is. But if you need to justify your existence to the C-suite, revenue metrics might be what you need to look at. Those metrics can show you how much revenue and profit your marketing activities are really bringing in.
B2B marketing is too high-stakes for any blind leaps of faith. Here are six key performance indicators that B2B marketers should be measuring.
6 B2B Marketing KPIs to Measure
1. Website Traffic
Measuring the number of people who visit your web page is one of the more basic metrics, but it’s still important. Your website is your home base. It’s the digital destination that’s fully under your control and home to everything that’s needed to inform, convert, and close a sale with your buyer. If your marketing campaign isn’t getting people to visit your website, then it’s leading them astray.
Google Analytics is one of the easier ways to measure traffic, and it can tell you your total traffic numbers, how many new visitors you’re getting, and also show you where those visitors are coming from. If you’re running marketing campaigns on different social media networks, you’ll be able to see which ones are effectively shepherding traffic your way, and which ones are failing to stir up any interest.
2. Conversions per Activity
Getting website traffic is great, but there’s a big difference between getting somebody to click an interesting link or check out an interesting website, versus getting actual potential buyers to take a serious look and move down your sales funnel. Measuring the number of conversions per activity can help you sort the leads from the looky-loo’s.
By setting up landing pages and confirmation pages, you can use Google Analytics to track this KPI. That way, you’ll be able to tell how many visitors took a specific action after being guided to your website by your marketing endeavors. For example, a really clever viral ad might get thousands of people to visit your site, but maybe only fifty of them filled out the registration form for product and pricing details. Those numbers are vital information for marketers.
3. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
Marketing Qualified Leads are leads who have taken an action that shows interest in your product, like filling out a form or downloading a whitepaper. The exact criteria that separate MQLs from SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads) varies from business to business. The general distinction is that MQLs are further up the funnel, less ready to convert, and will probably need more exposure to marketing content before they’re ready to be handed off to the sales team.
Separating your MQLs from your SQLs goes hand-in-hand with scoring leads to assess their quality. Scores are based on how likely a lead is to become a customer at some point in the future. MQLs from a company that closely matches your typical customer profile are higher quality leads than ones from a totally unrelated field. Identifying MQLs also enables you to measure the cost per MQL each campaign brings in.
4. Cost per Lead
If leads are the ultimate goal, then one of the most important things to evaluate is how much it costs to obtain each one. By tracking this KPI across different marketing channels, you can see how effective each one is at delivering potential customers to you.
Google Ads, and once again, Google Analytics can be your best tools for measuring this metric. When different marketing channels have big disparities between their costs per lead, it tells you that one of those channels is working much more efficiently than the others. Smart marketers want to know the best channels to invest their time and resources into.
5. Revenue Contributed
When all is said and done, brand awareness is great — but it doesn’t pay the bills. It doesn’t really matter how many leads visit your website, or how many actions they take to indicate their interest, if they don’t end up buying your product. At some point, somebody in the C-suite is going to want to know the actual ROI for your marketing efforts and budget.
Building attribution models that can measure the ROI of individual marketing campaigns accurately can be tricky. It sometimes requires you to step back, take the big picture view, and make the necessary determinations about how your marketing activities are contributing revenue to the bottom line. A multi-touch attribution model informed by the right software tools can be of great help here.
6. Engagement as Clicks
Counting clicks is a very simple but meaningful way to judge how effective a piece of content is at attracting and holding a viewer’s attention. Whether those clicks are taking them to your website, or a third-party website such as a social platform, they can serve as signals of brand awareness as well as purchasing intent.
Simply put, content that gets clicks is doing what it’s supposed to do — and content that nobody clicks on is dead weight in your marketing campaign. You can’t even begin to consider things like lead scoring or conversions if your audience is looking at the links to your content and saying, “no thanks.” Quantifying engagement as clicks is a crucial first step in ascertaining whether your marketing efforts are working or not.
Ultimately, your marketing goals are the deciding factor in terms of choosing what to measure, but the bottom line is the bottom line. Revenue metrics always have the last word on whether any B2B marketing campaign was worth it or not.
Once you know what KPIs you’re looking at and how to measure them, it’s essential to review them frequently and track how they’re changing over time on a regular basis. No matter how big or small your marketing team is, your relevant KPIs will tell you if you’re meeting your goals and help you make smarter decisions about when to revise, recalibrate, or change course. With reliable, pertinent data backing up your efforts, you can launch and manage your B2B marketing campaigns with confidence that they’re actually delivering the results you want.