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So you’ve got a marketing funnel.

You’ve outlined the steps involved. You’ve defined the expected outcome for each step. You’ve even invested your department’s budget, time and resources into optimizing the results from your funnel. You’re certain that your department contributes to the company’s bottom line, and you’re determined to prove it.

But how do you know your marketing is actually working?

The answer is simple — measure the results.

This begs the not-so-simple question: Which results do you measure?

We’ve put together this article to help you identify the right figures to look at to measure ROI (return on investment) and show top management that you’re contributing huge value to your company’s overall goals.

Vanity vs. Actionable Metrics

  • Vanity Metrics

    • Numbers that make you look good but do not accurately represent your business performance in a meaningful way

    • Can be used to measure intangible goals, such as brand awareness or popularity, and provide insights into your audience’s interests

    • Do not answer the question, “Is my marketing making money?”

Examples: Likes, Comments, Shares, Followers, and Impressions

  • Actionable Metrics

    • Data that captures your actual business output (such as product revenue or even operational efficiencies) and offers valuable information to shape future decisions around business strategy

    • Can provide feedback on whether current marketing efforts are successful in achieving tangible results

    • Can be used to identify strategic changes to make for better results

Examples: Number of Sales, Revenue, Conversion Rate, Time on Site, and Customer Satisfaction 

The Risks of Using Vanity Metrics

  • Give a false impression that marketing efforts offer immediate value, even though there is no monetary outcome. 

  • Without proof of value, it is difficult to gain buy-in for further marketing efforts and budget because there is no data to back the decision.

  • Glaze over important information about how customers interact with your brand

  • Lead to more energy, time, and resources wasted on chasing hollow metrics that do not result in revenue instead of optimizing efforts that produce real revenue.

  • It can be misleading if used to determine the next steps in business strategy.

Visualizing Metrics in Action

Let’s say 100 people visited your landing page. While it looks great to say you have traffic on your website (a vanity metric), there is no proof that value was captured in the end. So how do we measure your output in a more meaningful way?

 Suppose the objective is to get someone to start an auto or home insurance quote once they hit the landing page. As a marketer, you want to measure when someone starts a quote (page views) and measure the conversion rate through each step, i.e. the completed quote and then to a sale. 

Suppose the objective is to get someone to purchase a product from the website. The number of shoppers that land on the product page doesn’t tell us much, but we could learn a lot from someone who has put something in their shopping cart by measuring the conversion rate through the cart journey, ultimately until the checkout process is complete.

How to Use Actionable Metrics

  • Start by defining your business goals (e.g. define target sales revenue) 

  • Outline relevant, actionable metrics to monitor (e.g. bounce rate on a specific step of the buyer journey)

  • Assign an owner, making them accountable to action based on the results gained

  • Measure performance using actionable metrics and use data acquired to understand what is working well and what needs to be improved (e.g. you notice customers drop off your landing page before reaching the CTA)

  • Optimize efforts to make decisions around where to allocate resources, budget best, and time to promote growth and generate revenue (e.g. reevaluate the landing page content to make it more engaging and move the CTA higher on the page to convert sooner)

 The Big Picture

  • Tangible and increasing ROI will demonstrate your department’s contribution towards bigger organizational goals

  • Let the data prove the success and tell a story that will help you gain valuable buy-in from executive or peer groups

  • The results of actionable metrics will help you determine which part of your marketing funnel to prioritize, optimize and focus on, especially when resources are stretched

Next Steps

You’ve defined your actionable metrics.  

Now it’s time to go back and answer that question: Is your marketing working for you?

What you need to consider next is speed to the numbers.

If you’re tracking these manually in a spreadsheet, you’re likely:

  •  slowing the process down;

  • creating room for human error; 

  • and making decisions reactively. 

This isn’t sustainable, and depending on resource availability, it can take weeks or months to run the numbers, impacting the speed to make a decision when you quickly need to.  

Wouldn’t you rather spend your time looking for new opportunities and testing new initiatives to increase your conversions instead of the repetitive, mundane, and tedious process of having to gather data?  

Instead, consider exploring AI-driven marketing intelligence, analytics and data visualization tools such as Datorama and Tableau that enable you to maximize your time to look for revenue-generating initiatives. 

Let us guide you — we’ll provide strategic recommendations to solve your manual processes and gain faster insights, empowering you to make business decisions faster and help make you look like a rockstar faster via data analytics platforms, such as Salesforce Datorama and Tableau.  

We’re here to help. Contact Bubblebox today!


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