How to report marketing performance


For more tips on marketing fundamentals, check out the rest of our Brilliant Basics series.

You can’t plan where you’re going without knowing where you are. That’s what marketing performance helps you do — see where your business is at. Once you define the areas that need to be monitored and track them, you can start improving them and boosting your performance. Here are a few key things to think about to get you on your way.

First, where are you?

The first step is knowing your current state. Start by mapping out your plans and process, digging into your existing marketing tech stack’s reporting capabilities to define what is a business process and what is solved by technology. Use your AdTech to understand the performance of top of funnel metrics like impressions, click-throughs, conversions. Then, your marketing automation system can fill you in on mid-journey metrics like marketing database size, email/mobile subscribers, message opens, clicks, and click-to-opens.

If you’re in a consumer-facing business, start looking at your digital sales channels like your website, apps, ecommerce platform. And don’t forget to understand abandons along with conversions — they’re just as valuable. If you’re a B2B business, this is when you look at your CRM or customer contact database and dig into the sales process. Look at customer movement by sales stage, all the way through to close won/lost.

What do you really need to know?

Take a step back. It’s easy to measure what’s easy to measure — but does that make it truly valuable? Define the areas where measurement is needed, choosing metrics that will lead to meaningful actions. You can easily get into (the famous) analysis paralysis; so again, be careful that your measurements will lead you to insights with which you can do something.

For B2C, this could be everything from engagement metrics (subscribes, opens, clicks, visits, bounces, etc.), to conversion metrics like purchases, abandons, velocity, or cart size. For B2B, this might look like marketing qualified leads (MQLs), sales accepted leads (SALs), sales qualified leads (SQLs), marketing-sourced opportunities, or marketing-sourced wins.

Now you can start defining where you might have gaps: What’s needed to enable measurement? Start putting the necessary technology and business processes in place to support those measures.

And always close the loop. After a “baton pass,” figure out what can be done to make that handoff and connection more effective.

What does this look like in B2B and B2C?

Any marketing team wants to create leads that turn into opportunities that can ultimately be won. So, let’s look at two approaches.

For B2C: 
Campaigns: What campaigns are most effective in driving new sales? Remember to evaluate the target audience and your offer, and then be prepared to optimize them as you measure.

Engagement: What are your best leading indicators for ultimate conversions? Is it high click-throughs on your ads? Do potential customers browse your site first? What is your bounce rate? What pages are being viewed the most and how might they be optimized even more?

Conversions: What marketing activity is driving the highest conversions? Is it coming from your email campaigns? Or your social ads with built-in purchasing? If your abandon rate is high, do you have cart-abandonment emails, SMS, or push notifications? If not, consider adjusting your purchase form to capture email, push opt-in, or phone number first.

For B2B:
Campaigns: Which campaigns are most effective in creating leads? Campaigns involve content and audience — and both need to be measured and optimized.

Leads: For the leads scored and passed to people who qualify them, how have they progressed? Not all leads will turn into opportunities. Where on the dial is it optimal, in terms of getting the right leads to their hands? Are there enough leads for them to qualify? Is load balancing required? Can data gathered by the qualifiers help to score the leads more effectively?

Opportunities: When opportunities are created, how has marketing affected the contacts associated with that account? What campaigns influenced the people involved with the decision?

Finally, remember that you’re not reporting in a vacuum. Communication of results is just as important as measuring them. Always ask key stakeholders which metrics they want to see, and the way they want to see them. Investing in reporting consolidation tools can help automate your reporting process too.

For more tips on marketing fundamentals, check out the rest of our Brilliant Basics series.

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