As the saying goes “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”. An effective marketing dashboard keeps your team focused on what matters most, business outcomes. Often B2B marketers report on program statistics, activity metrics and so-called “vanity metrics”. While these are often easy to capture, they do little to inform future marketing investments. This post is the first of a series of three that highlight the most valuable reports for marketers to track and use. These three posts will cover the following business questions:
3) Where should we invest our money and time?
This first post has the CEO and board of directors in mind and asks….
HOW ARE WE DOING?
These types of reports establish performance benchmarks for use in progress tracking. Highly functioning marketing teams are fast learners that are continuously improving. In other words they are ‘good at getting better’. Here are the key reports that we recommend:
1) Funnel Stage over Time
The first report tracks “Funnel Stages Over Time”. In order to report on this, you need to have team alignment on definitions of each stage. This also requires clear criteria for placing someone in a particular stage along with rules for progressing them from one stage to the next. You’ll want your trends lines to be up and the the right for each funnel stage. Any different slope indicates a problem that needs fixing.
2) Pipeline Sourced by Marketing Over Time
Successful marketing teams are aligned with sales goals. Tracking pipeline that was sourced by marketing keeps the team focused on the same metrics as the VP Sales, CEO and Board of Directors.
3) Return on Marketing Investment Over Time
ROMI is where the ‘rubber meets the road’. If Marketing can’t demonstrate a positive return on investment, then Marketing’s priorities need to change. Tracking ROMI over time keeps the team focused on programs that work and helps jettison those that don’t.
4) Cost Per Sales Accepted Lead Over Time
ROMI may be a difficult metric for the marketing team to use on a daily basis but cost per lead is something everyone can understand. We recommend using either Cost per Lead or Cost per Sales Accepted Lead. Cost per lead (CPL) is readily understood and easily measured thanks to tools like Google Analytics and Adwords. Cost per Sales Accepted Lead (SAL) is better aligned with the Sales team and prevents Marketing from ‘buying a bucket of unqualified leads’. In either case, as Marketing gets smarter about effective lead sources and programs, the cost per lead should drop over time. Eventually it will plateau once Marketing hits its stride.
This post covered the top 4 reports that CEO’s and CMO’s should use to track marketing’s performance. The next posts in this series shows how to improve Marketing’s performance. We start by identifying which revenue leaks to fix.