The next 5 measures you should be reporting on in your marketing

Sherlock Holmes once said that, “it is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

As a noted private detective, Sherlock was particularly good at digging into the information that was presented to him. Marketing works on a similar principle.

The problem for marketers, however, is that there can be a lot of noise obscuring where you should be looking.

Your goal as a marketer is to get the maximum bang for your marketing buck. So, to finetune your process, we’re looking at the metrics you should record to make your life easier. A digital marketing dashboard is the first step - but here are the figures you should be noting on the dashboard.

1. Cost of customer acquisition

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. Henry Ford once said that, “it is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”

Calculating how much it costs your business to acquire a new customer isn’t as difficult as it sounds. You divide the amount you spend on marketing with the number of new customers you’ve acquired – and there you have it.

Let’s assume you are spending a total of €10,000 this month on marketing and you gain 200 customers – then it costs you €50 to acquire that new customer. If you need to attract 2,000 new customers this year, you will need to spend €100,000 to do so.

2. Lifetime value of the customer

So, you’ve established in the above example that it costs you €50 to attract a new customer. If they only spend €10 with you, that’s a shortcut to bankruptcy for your business. If they are spending over €200, it’s pretty good value. But rather than relying on guesstimates around the initial spend and leaving it at that, it’s far more beneficial to calculate what this customer is going to be worth for your business over the long-term.

To calculate this lifetime value, you need to multiply the amount of an average transaction by the number of transactions a customer makes per year by the length of time the average customer spends as an active customer (in other words, the retention rate).

It’s a bit of a mouthful, so let’s say that your average customer spends €25 with you and buys from you four times a year. Your customers stay with you for an average of four years. This means that the average lifetime value of a customer is €25 x 4 x 4 = €400. That’s a solid return on investment against a cost per acquisition of €50.

A good digital marketing dashboard will keep track of this for you.

3. Click-through rates

Your digital marketing efforts should all have some sort of call-to-action (CTA). It’s pointless to spend marketing budgets on campaigns with no discernible goal. Instead, you want to drive customers to your site, social networks, or blog.

Regardless of funnel positioning, the click-through rate is the most effective way of seeing what content your customers are engaging with.

Finding the CTR of your various sources means that you can mine into your CTAs. What’s working? What isn’t? A/B testing is vital too: make small adjustments and compare your results before or after. Maybe changing text from ‘download’ to ‘get it’ could see an increase. Maybe the copy needs to be expanded or reduced.

CTA optimisation is almost a science in and of itself, but there is a lot you could be doing to better optimise your conversions.

Let’s imagine you have a CTA asking customers to download an infographic that is performing very well. And you also have a bad click-through rate (less than 5 percent) on a CTA that leads to a fairly academic white paper.

Beyond the obvious difference in formats, what are the differences in the CTA or the landing pages? Is one more informal? Are you targeting your content to the right audience? Does your audience prefer more informal, snackable content?

This is where analytics and testing will truly come to the fore.

4. The source of your traffic

It may seem super-obvious but the source of your website traffic is vital to your success.

While many marketers might think that more traffic is always paramount, this isn’t necessarily the case. You want the right traffic – from the right source, with the potential to convert. Sure, getting loads of traffic from Facebook might cause a heady rush, but it’s only useful if this same traffic is converting reasonably well, instead of landing on your site and bouncing right back out again after 20 seconds.

To properly analyse your sources, you’ll need a sources report. (As it so happens, our Statwolf dash provides a pretty nifty one.)

Your sources report will tell you your organic search traffic, your referrals from other sites, your visits from social media, email marketing, paid search, and direct traffic.

A consistent rush of traffic from organic means your content strategy is working. Traffic in from social can pinpoint what’s working in that regard too. ‘Consistent’ is the key word here though – one-off spikes shouldn’t be relied on.

The main benefit of your sources report is that it allows you to put more resources behind the channels that are working.

It also helps with the previous metric of click-through rates. Let’s say you get a decent chunk of traffic through LinkedIn, but your visitors aren’t converting on the CTA on the landing page. Why is that?

Is LinkedIn the right source of traffic? Is your CTA working? Is the CTR low or high? Do you need to tweak text, colour, or content? It’s a lot of work, sure, but making these changes (and testing them) could mean a lot for your business. A digital marketing dashboard means you will have all these sources at your fingertips whenever you need them.

5. The ‘money’ stats

While you might be tempted to report on vanity stats that’ll make the marketing team look good, your boss will want to know the hard stats. Conversions. Goals. Sales. ROI.

So what are the vanity stats you should avoid?

  • Twitter Impressions: These are next to meaningless. It just means how many people scanned over your tweet. Instead you should concentrate on link clicks on your tweets – which actually suggest engagement.
  • Email open rate: It’s not about how many people read an email. It’s about how many people act on it and interact with you. Opened emails just shows that you’ve come up with interesting subject lines.
  • Facebook Likes: Only one percent of the people who ‘like’ your page are ever likely to visit your site – let alone become a customer.Again, engagement rates are where it’s at when you are reporting to your higher-ups!

The bottom line is all-important when it comes to reporting marketing analytics. That’s why it pays to be able to present your facts and data in the most effective way possible. Following those quick tips should set you well on your way to marketing glory.

Need help with reporting on your marketing metrics?

If you are looking for a way to streamline your marketing analytics, we have the answer. Statwolf provide a cutting-edge marketing analytics dashboard that integrates all your data and presents it to you in the most intuitive way possible – leaving you free to concentrate on marketing.

Get in touch today to see how we can help you increase the ROI of your marketing efforts with a digital marketing dashboard. Feel free to check out our solutions for digital marketers too.

Want to know more? Download our free eBook 'Your Ultimate Guide to Analytics Dashboards'.