How to Define the Metrics that Make Your Marketing Count

To help you plan your marketing activities, whether you're embarking on a new campaign or planning for a new fiscal year, we've developed a calculator that uses your goals and current activities. 

In order to get the most accurate output, we've pulled together some useful definitions and common places to look for the information requested as input on the calculator. 

When considering your marketing budget and activities, think about the terms and metrics below that will help you assess the effectiveness of your current marketing, determine your goals and make your marketing count.

Top-Line Growth

This term refers to the improvement your gross sales over a period of time. It is expressed in dollars and should be the difference between what you are currently making before expenses and what you hope to make going forward. Usually, you'll look at this amount for a comparable period of time like month-over-month, quarter-over-quarter or year-over-year. 

For the purposes of the calculator, consider how much your overall goal for growth is for the period. How much of that do you want or need to comes from marketing initiatives versus internal or external sales? Isolate the amount of top-line revenue you'd like to achieve from marketing and put this into the calculator to set your goal. 

Lifetime Value (LTV)

This metric is the average amount of top-line revenue you bill your customers throughout the time they do business with you.

To calculate this metric, you'll need some existing information about your customers. How much have you billed each customer in the last year? How long is the average engagement with your customer? Do customers return to you over and over again, or are your deals more one-and-done?

This infographic gives a great deep dive on how to calculate your average LTV. Rest-assured: this doesn't need to be an exact science--something close will get you enough detail to make your estimated activities accurate.

Marketing Qualified Leads

A Marketing Qualified Lead, or MQL, is a lead generated from the marketing funnel deemed to be more likely to convert into a customer than others. 

There are a lot of different ways to determine if a new contact to your CRM is an MQL or not:

  • are they a part of your target industry or market?
  • do they have a specific company email domain, or do they have a generic (e.g. GMail, Yahoo) email address?
  • are they a student or researcher, or do they have a title that fits one of your core personas?
  • have they looked into a lot of your marketing materials or did they come to your site and leave without exploring much?

The list goes on and luckily, can be quantified into a lead score based on those types of demographics and activities. Higher scoring candidates 

Sales Qualified Leads

We on the marketing team may have the ideal profiles and quantifiable scores to determine what a good lead looks like, but we all know that the sales team can identify a contact who is truly prepared to buy after a few short interactions.

This is where Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) come into play. Even if a contact appears to be a perfect fit as an MQL, they may not be ready to buy.

An SQL is a contact who is aware that they have problem and realize that your product or service may be the solution. There certainly will still be work to do to convert this contact into a customer, but they are further along in their buyer's journey than an MQL. 

Impressions

At the most basic level, an impression is when an advertisement (or any form of digital media) appears on someone's screen.

As you can imagine, this number can be quite high and does not necessarily mean that someone actually viewed or consumed your ad. This is why there are multiple layers that help us get closer to measuring the effectiveness of your marketing activity, such as Click-Through Rate. 

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

This number, expressed as a percentage, is a measure of how many users clicked onto the next step of your marketing message. This can be from seeing an ad to your website, from opening your email through to your online store. At the most stripped down definition, it is the number of clicks over the number of impressions you've generated. 

This can be a measure of the effectiveness of your messaging, calls-to-action or even targeting of your audience. Is your message getting through to the right people and is it compelling them to take the next step? It also gives us one of our best multipliers to determine how many impressions we'll need to generate to eventually convert members of your target audience to SQLs through the funnel. 

CTRs vary widely between different platforms and industries. There is a lot of good data out there to see where you fall compared to those averages, like this Hubspot report on CTRs across different paid advertising platforms. 

Click-to-Engagement (CTE) Ratio

Similar to CTR, this metric goes a layer down and is a percentage of how many people who clicked on your ad or marketing material and then asked for more information.

A simple way to calculate this is to look at the number of form submissions you received during a period of time and divide by the unique site visitors you received over the same period of time.

 

 

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