For the ones who came in for the Infographic only, it’s at the very bottom of the page.
First off what are marketing KPIs? It might be obvious, but let’s get the definitions right first and then move on. After all, I still remember my early days in marketing when I had to Google what ARPU stands for during a meeting…
Anyways, what is a Marketing KPI? A quick Google search (and we know Google never lies) returns the following “A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a metric that’s used to quantify progress towards important business objectives.”
You can go deeper and have Output KPIs, which would measure your business performance or specific activity, for example: revenue, leads, traffic, etc…
Then there are the Outcome KPIs, which would measure the impact of specific projects and tasks tied to individual performance. So for example: # of sales meetings booked, # of published blog posts, # of growth experiments conducted, etc…
However, overall Marketing KPIs tend to be more on the Output side (leads, traffic, etc.) whereas Outcome KPIs
*btw for the curious readers, ARPU actually stands for Average Revenue Per User 🤦♂️
Define Success – The KPIs will follow
What marketing KPIs should your team track and act upon? Which are the most impactful ones?
Now, those are questions we get quite a lot. We’ve worked with all sorts of clients, anything from large corporations to early-stage startups, and each and every one of those clients ask these questions within the first 30 minutes of our initial meeting with them.
So what do I usually tell them?
“I got no clue, man! How should I know, I just met you!”
Okay, maybe I don’t really say that, but you get the idea, nobody can know what MUST be tracked before answering some other questions first. 🤷♂️
For example, you might want to start defining what an “impactful metric” would be to your business.
Then you also need to understand that there’s simply no metric that can single-handedly tell you the truth about your business performance. (Okay, revenue is always the end goal, but it also doesn’t tell you a lot, does it?)
Example: You want to double your sales totals per annum? Then you probably shouldn’t really care about # of blog posts published too much. (or should you? 🤔)
So let’s get into it, how do we usually handle situations like this?
Build your funnel. Define your funnel. Measure your funnel.
As growth hackers by trade, we are fans of the AAARRR funnel. It’s just really useful when you want to define only a few main KPIs that you really need to boost.
Wait what is an AAARRR funnel? What are pirate metrics? –> you can read about how our friends at ActiveCampaign define it here.
So, let’s take an example with a use case we’ve faced in the real world!
Let’s assume we are looking to help a B2B SaaS company.
Using the AAARRR funnel we want to naturally set a goal KPI for each funnel stage. Now you need to sit down and think what KPI would precisely measure success within each of those stages. This is relatively easy and what it would look like is something like this:
Okay, those were pretty straight forward, right?
Now, obviously, we need to come up with all sorts of different ways to boost those KPIs. This is also where you can throw Outcome KPIs in the mix.
The next step in prepping & later on executing our Growth Plan is to define the metrics that could impact our main KPIs per stage (e.g. Acquisition – # of leads). This is also the moment where you need to sit down and answer quite a few “obvious” questions.
“How do I drive more traffic?”
- “I can run ads on Google”
- “Oh wait, then I need to also measure the effectiveness of my ads”
You can now probably sense that this could go much deeper than just 1 main KPI per funnel stage. And so it should. Otherwise, you won’t really know if you’re progressing or not.
Funnel Defined & Measured? Measure What Impacts Your Funnel.
So you’ve defined what KPIs are key to each of your Funnel stage & you’re also actively measuring each of those KPIs.
Now you need to also define & actively track everything you know impacts those funnel KPIs.
Of course, nowadays that’s all made easy with the help of all sorts of different tools that throw all sorts of data at you.
Prepare your growth backlog with your funnel KPIs in mind. If you want to run Google Search campaigns, for example, do it because it will impact the number of leads you get (Acquisition) & not because you heard that it’s the best place to reach people with actual buying intent (even though that’s kind of true 🤷♂️)
So, by now you get the idea, right?
- Properly analyze your past performance
- Use this knowledge to find out which metrics really more your business forward
- Use the AAARRR funnel to attach a KPI goal for each stage
- Within each stage, track all other sub-metrics that impact your main KPI
- Track, track, track!
- Eliminate guesswork, you should clearly know whether you’re moving forward or not
Improving each main KPI within your funnel (AAARRR) will surely require different teams to work together. That means your team of nerdy SEOs and performance marketers, for example, will have to work together, but they definitely will not need to track the same metrics.
To make it a bit easier, and to give you a good base to start with, I’m including the top 10 metrics different teams should definitely track. Don’t be afraid to throw in some extra metrics in the mix if you think it helps you. This is by no means definitive, it’s simply what we at Hackabu have seen to be true for all different projects we’ve been involved in.
We will cover:
- B2B Marketing KPIs
- Product Marketing KPIs
- Email Marketing KPIs
- Social Media Marketing KPIs
- Content Marketing KPIs
- SEO KPIs
B2B Marketing KPIs Your Team Should be Tracking
Before we dive into the numbers, I’ll include some knowledge gained from different B2B projects we’ve been working on at Hackabu.
For B2B top management, the one metric always stood out was customer LTV (lifetime-value).
It’s pretty simple, straight away you know what your CAC (customer acquisition cost) target should be, and those two metrics are crucial to all B2B businesses (in all fairness, I believe they are crucial to whatever sort of business really✌️).
Product Marketing KPIs Your Team Should be Tracking
This is usually a tough one because product marketing is usually responsible for quite a lot. Some product marketers go directly for NPS (Net promoter score) as it should indicate how happy a customer is using your product. However, isn’t that more relevant to the Product Owner rather than a Product marketer?
Others would argue feature adoption is the holy grail in product marketing, but again, does it directly indicate your commercial success or does it indicate that a great product was greatly communicated?
What do I think?
I believe in simplification. Product marketing is responsible for the products commercial success. Thus, revenue is the way to go.
So let’s get to the top 10
Email Marketing KPIs Your Team Should be Tracking
Email marketing is one of those areas where you can really simplify things (which is why I freaking love it btw 💌)
In essence, the main questions you need to answer are:
- Are your emails being sent to everyone you want to reach? (delivery rates)
- Are they opening your emails? (open rates)
- Are they responding to those CTAs once they open the email? (Click-through rates)
However, Email is a funnel of its own in many ways. You need to first make sure your emails are being delivered (so no delivery issues) → you then can start working on your open rates (subject lines make or break your open rates!) → only then you can start thinking about optimizing your CTRs within the email.
So with that in mind, let’s dive into the top 10 for Email Marketing KPIs:
Social Media Marketing KPIs Your Team Should be Tracking
“Organic Social media is dead.”
“Organic Social media is pointless.”
“Who’s still even investing in organic social media?”
Don’t look surprised, you’ve seen those sentences around the internet. (well if you haven’t, now you have)
Even if people say it, they still end up posting, sharing, engaging, etc.
So not that dead after all?
Social Media has been a beast of its own ever since it became a “thing”, so you need to track quite a few metrics to make good sense of it. At the end of the day, it’s not just an isolated case of “do ads → acquire accounts” or a “content graveyard” for all of your blog posts shares. Once you as a brand go deeper into it, you see it can become much more than just an “acquisition/retention / etc.” tool. Believe it or not, you can still use Social Media to be a “trendsetter”.
To help you out –> Learn the CEEPIT formula for Social media & always “CEEPIT” real!
So let’s get into it, the top 10 Social Media Marketing KPIs you need to track:
Content Marketing KPIs Your Team Should be Tracking
Content is like diamonds! It’s forever! (okay forever might be a bit exaggerated, but you get the point, right? 🤔)
Content’s longevity is what also makes it so complex to properly measure sometimes. It’s by far the area in which you can get lost when trying to find metrics tied directly to revenue.
It’s also ridiculously hard to attribute conversions to content as most people still use last-click attribution models. We’ve been involved in projects where clients come in and tell us “Yes, content is great, but it doesn’t convert”.
“It may not directly convert, but it definitely influences.” (it did not sound as bad*ss as this in real life though 😔)
So if you want to measure the influence of your content, obviously your first step would be to switch to the Multi-touch attribution model.
Just FYI: Last click attribution will always favor, well, the last click. Therefore it will likely uplift SEO, but downplay your ads in a very common and likely scenario of: user sees ad → clicks ad → consumes content → comes back later through search / direct session to convert. A last-click attribution model will 100% benefit your SEO or Direct channels but hurt your ad reporting, even though the ad was the one activity bringing this customer to you in the first place.
But well, you can now see how a Multi-touch attribution model will help you get a clearer picture.
With this out of the way, let’s dive into the top 10 KPIs we have prepared for Content Marketing teams:
SEO KPIs Your Team Should be Tracking
By far the place where one can get lost in metrics. Let’s just take a moment to remember the times when all you needed to do is keyword stuffing (those were the days 🙏).
Now, what do people really care in SEO?
According to clients we’ve worked with, some of the following:
“High SERP ranking is key”
“Traffic – whether directly from search engines or referrals, doesn’t matter”
“Quality traffic – I don’t want people to come and bounce right away”
“Revenue. Margins would be greatly improved if SEO works”
As you can see all of them wanted more revenue, just phrased it differently at the end of the day. They want their content to influence people, but first, they need great SEO so that people actually get on a page where they can be influenced.
So what and why do you track in SEO? Honestly, I could list around 50 metrics in here & they would all be relevant. However, I’ll try to keep it simple and give you a good basis to get you started.
To improve SEO performance –> Learn what tools can help you improve SEO rankings
Let’s dive in then, top 10 SEO KPIs that should give you a good basis for your goal setting & reporting:
What you need to take home with you
As you can see, there’s quite an overlap in all of the areas we covered, which makes sense as well (btw here’s the whole table> so you can really see the overlap). After all, each and every one of us is not in business just because we “like it &; are passionate about it”. We all want to boost revenues at the end of the day (otherwise there’s nothing to “be passionate” about).
What KPIs your team tracks will definitely come from the goals you set in each of those funnel stages. So think twice, thrice, etc. when you set your goals and stick to it. All those metrics are useless on their own. You need a goal to actually take something away from any report.
I hope this gave you a good basis to start with & in case you’re still feeling lost, feel free to connect on LinkedIN and ask me anything.
For the ones who came in for the Infographic only, it’s here:
- [INFOGRAPHIC INSIDE] Marketing KPIs your team needs to track at all times - February 28, 2020