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6 crucial KPIs to measure in B2B marketing

Data, data, data. That’s right, there’s literally tonnes of it. In fact, we have probably all become used to hearing things like “90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years” and that “2.5 quintillion bytes are created every day”.  By the way, that’s equivalent to 2.5 million terabytes. If you have a 1 terabyte hard drive, then that’s pretty huge. Today, we look at data, strategy and 6 key performance indicators to help navigate the complexities faced by the modern B2B marketer.

Data, what’s the big deal?

Well, if you are not using data or not using it in the right way, you are potentially leaving opportunities on the table. For example, the C-Suite may want to know how their marketing investments are paying off. Also, customers want personalisation and efficient interactions, not to mention simply keeping track of what you are achieving.

A great place to start your C-Suite conversation is with data. Of all departments, marketing has the most potential to generate terabytes of data. In that data, with the right analytics, strategy and KPIs, there is opportunity to upsell, cross-sell, attract and retain customers.

Strategy, we have one already

A data strategy makes sense when you think about it. From your CRM to your website analytics and other martech, there is ample room for data to build up in silos. Within the ‘noise’ generated by so much data, you have to find the value within it and that requires a single view of the truth. So, where do you start?

Ideally, your data strategy should support your marketing strategy and what you are going to measure to know if it’s successful or not. Taking the pool of ‘big data’ and making sense of it across multi-discipline teams takes the work of a Marketing Operations expert or team. The overwhelming amount of data from different sources and systems means that there often isn’t a single view of the truth for many b2b marketers. The simple fact is that the expenditure to bring all the disparate systems together doesn’t generate return on investment today. This leaves the CMO with a headache of how to be both creative, customer-centric inspirer coupled with technical, data-oriented provider of insight.

In fact, this challenge is now so acute that there is a school of thought that marketing has become too heavily reliant on data and technology to be managed by one CMO. Ultimately, the breadth and depth of the role now means that there is scope for a CMO and CMIO (or equivalent) in some large organisations.

The 6 crucial B2B marketing KPIs

Now, you have your data sources, you know what your strategy is and now you need to make sure you have the metrics to gauge success. So, what do you measure? There are literally dozens of possible metrics, even for one channel like paid advertising.

Here, we pulled together what we think are the 6 crucial b2b marketing KPIs:

  1. Revenue – Ah, this old chestnut. As a minimum, we should look to attribute revenue to marketing activity. Yes, revenue is often called ‘vanity’ but it is often the simplest baseline from which to measure marketing contribution.
  2. Traffic to leads – Make sure that your website generates leads and that your landing pages are in tip-top shape to convert. Better check those web analytics.
  3. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) – Following on from traffic to leads, CPA is also known as cost per lead and indicates which channels are giving the biggest bang for buck. Let’s hope that only one of these two is in need of improvement.
  4. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) – To some extent, this is the holy grail of marketing KPIs and is often fiendishly difficult to calculate and attribute. For this to work, you need to track from first interaction right through to customer loss and it is a great tool to point to profitability.
  5. Campaign ROI – In a similar way that CPA does, campaign ROI indicates what is working and what isn’t. Put simply, the higher the better and accurate monitoring will help you best allocate that budget and keep the CFO happy.
  6. MQL to SQL – The ratio of marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads implies lead quality. The higher this is, the better quality the pipeline that comes from marketing.

Get that data working for you

Alright, so it’s hard to cover all the elements of data, strategy and b2b marketing KPIs in a single article, but we tried. The crucial points to take away are that you need to make use of your data to find opportunities (ideally, with one view of the truth) that inform your strategy and then you measure it with some corking KPIs.

In conclusion, the big data revolution shows no sign of slowing down and it increases the strain on b2b marketing and the CMO. Analytics, martech and cloud solutions all need to come together to support delivery of a strategy based on insight that you can measure. The CMO has their hands full for the foreseeable future and this asks questions about marketing operations and even dual-roles.

See what a data use case could be in this related marketing orchestration article

Propolis: Data Strategy Intelligence and Insight

Want to know more about data strategy in B2B marketing? Check out Propolis to find out research, first and third party data, analytics, AI and marketing insights.

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