How to Track the Right Marketing Metrics (to Move the Needle) in 2016

Written by Chris Lucas on December 15, 2015

Posted in Analytics, Lead Generation

Is it just me, or does it feel like the Earth took a shortcut around the sun this year? In a flash (it seems), we have reached the last few weeks of 2015. And that means marketers everywhere are thinking ahead and refining their strategy for the new year.

If you want to ensure your marketing team has momentum going into 2016, figure out what worked this year and plan to do more of that. Easy, right?

Wrong. Determining which of your marketing efforts proved most successful in 2015 involves taking a close look at data, which can be overwhelming.

We all know data insights are crucial for evaluating, optimizing, and scaling marketing campaigns, but we have to look at the right key performance indicator (KPI) metrics to get anywhere.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few steps you can take to get your team ready for a profitable 2016:

Step 1: Define KPI.

Before you start diving into numbers and crafting big plans, make sure you understand what KPIs are and why they are important to track.

Key performance indicators are metrics that help you evaluate the performance of your campaigns against specific objectives. In other words, they measure your company’s progress toward achieving key business goals. For example, your company might have a goal to increase the number of demo requests it gets per month and a corresponding KPI to track demo request submissions.

Tracking KPIs is especially important in marketing because KPI numbers can help you make informed decisions about future projects. Using the above example, you might see that your demo request KPI numbers are dropping and decide to run an A/B test on your request form to increase its conversion rate.

Step 2: Determine Appropriate KPIs for Your Business.

When tracking KPIs, you should focus on just a few key metrics. It’s easy to get overloaded with campaign data, so paring down your reporting to core performance metrics is best.

But what are the core KPIs for your business? That depends on your company’s top goals. Do you want to increase overall website traffic or brand awareness? Are you looking to raise your lead conversion rate or build a more robust email list? Figure out the key areas of growth for your business, and set up corresponding KPIs.

Note: Some marketing metrics may be really specific to your industry or company, so make sure everyone on your team agrees on the top KPIs to track. For instance, if your company sponsors a lot of conferences or other events, you will likely want to report on qualified leads captured at those events.

Step 3: Identify Benchmarks for Selected KPIs.

Once you’ve decided on a handful of KPIs to measure, pull some data to see where your current efforts stand in those areas. This will give you a baseline for formulating a plan of action to reach your target numbers. Often times, to develop a good plan going forward, you will want to take a look at year-over-year growth and establish some trends. Try using data from at least two years, if you can, to really see what a trendline looks like.

Analytics software to measure KPIs

Additionally, comparing performance numbers to established benchmarks is a great way to quickly see if a campaign or effort is succeeding. If you watch and report on KPIs on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, etc.), you’ll be able to iterate on projects with confidence and effectively drive revenue for your business.

Interested in learning how Formstack can help you capture and track data in 2016? Click below to sign up for a free trial!