Over the past several weeks I’ve had multiple conversations about DailyStory and our vision for helping in the evolution of digital sales and marketing.
One of the consistent topics that keeps coming up is: the struggle many leaders have of connecting the investments made in marketing to the results achieved in sales.
Digital, as well as many offline channels, now provide data that gives us the ability to track behavior, interactions and outcomes directly back to customers. These customers can then be tied directly back to the marketing activities that originated them, enabling marketers to optimize and refine their investment.
Unfortunately, as simple as this sounds this is incredibly difficult for a variety of reasons: from vendors refusing to share data and internal political road blocks. But in more commonly, organizations don’t have the time or capital to make the technology investments required to bridge these divides.
Measure campaign effectiveness
If you’ve used any marketing technologies, such as pay-per-click ads, it is really easy to get excited about the conversion rates. For example, running a pay-per-click ad on Google and reading the reports on “conversion rate” of your landing page or the clicks on your ad.
For B2C these kinds of metrics are invaluable, but for B2B these metrics simply represent the very top of your sales funnel.
Most commonly referred to as Marketing Contacted Leads, these leads may never become qualified. They may only be taking advantage of a tripwire offers such as a white paper or other incentive, or worse, reacting to misleading copy, e.g. running ads on keywords that fit your target but are too broad.
Instead, measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns on Sales Qualified Leads.
Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS)
We recommend keeping your marketing funnel categories as simple as possible. For DailyStory, and our focus on B2B, we’re using the following categories:
- Marketing Contacted Lead (MCL) – people that have responded to an offer and completed a landing page, scanning their badge at a booth and so on.
- Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) – refining the contacted leads based on defined criteria, e.g., region, title, company and so on.
- Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) – once a marketing qualified lead is given to sales and the lead is not rejected, it is considered a SQL.
When measuring the effectiveness of your marketing investments, focus on the number of SQLs generated by each marketing campaign.
Let’s play this out in a scenario:
Amy runs marketing for Chat Tech, Inc. (a fictional enterprise software company). Her digital marketing budget is $120,000/year and she allocates a portion of that to run an ad for a collaboration white paper on a popular professional networking site. People interested in the white paper click through, complete a form, and receive the white paper via email. Amy is focused exclusively on conversions, i.e. the number of people that complete the landing page.
Conversion is roughly 8% on a spend of $12,000 and this yields 108 leads (cost-per-click of $9 and cost-per-lead of $111).
Sounds pretty good, right? Most organization would react this way, “how can we spend more on this campaign to generate more leads?”
But how effective was the actual campaign?
The scenario above is actually based on real data. With a little (ok a lot) of work it was eventually determined that no new customers originated from the campaign. So 10% of Amy’s marketing budget was effectively flushed down the toilet after running the campaign for 6 months.
For B2B, or any organization with a semi-complex sales process (here’s the give away: you have sales people) measure your digital marketing campaigns against the number of leads that make it to the sales qualified stage (SQL) of your pipeline.
You may not win 100%, but at least you’ll be investing in the digital marketing campaigns that create the most opportunities for your sales organization.