Improve these three metrics and your pipeline will take care of itself...
Throughout my career, I must have been asked at least a hundred different variants of the same question, “How do I know my marketing is working?” People are hungry for a silver bullet that validates their programs and quantifies their contribution.
Classic case of bad news/good news. The bad news is, there is no single measurement that can carry all of that water. The good news is, you only need to pay attention to three to get 95% of the way home. To make things even easier, they all happen in the same place and they can all be tracked free of charge. So, if you want to know if you’re winning, keep your eye on these three things:
1. Site traffic. If your traffic is increasing, that’s a good start. But keep in mind, you need to be growing visits to your site at least at your industry’s growth rate if you want to be taking market share. Organizations with well-funded marketing budgets can buy this traffic by ramping up their ad spend. Smaller companies with more modest means can drive an increase in traffic by optimizing their website SEO. Regardless of how they are getting there, increasing visits is a powerful predictor of pipeline health.
2. Engagement. Driving more people to your site is great, and required to drive more marketing sourced revenue, but if you don’t have anything interesting for them when they get here, they won’t engage. The two most important metrics to consider are time on site and pages visited. If your visitors are spending 4-5 minutes and viewing 8-10 pages on average, you’ve created an extremely compelling and engaging environment that will build affinity and preference that can be turned into revenue downstream.
3. Conversions. Is your content compelling enough that visitors convert on your CTAs? Do they watch the video all the way through, and then click on other content? Have they found enough value that they complete your form, including providing their personal contact information? Have they signed up for your newsletter? If the answer is yes, you’ve created a relationship, one that can be cultivated and nurtured into a loyal customer.
More good news. This data is easily measured using free analytics software and is not overly complicated to use. Anyone can set up real-time dashboards that give accurate reports on how many people are coming to your site, what pages they’re visiting, what content they’re viewing, and are they showing purchase intent.
The best part is, as you increase your familiarity with the tools and the behaviors of your visitors, you can start doing some really sophisticated programs to increase each of these key metrics. A/B testing your advertising or email campaigns can help you optimize your outbound spend to those channels that deliver the most visitors. Measuring what content is resonating with your visitors can show you what to build next. The same is true for conversions, the first stage in your funnel. Guiding visitors to your highest converting assets increases efficiency and accelerates pipeline growth.
Let data be your guide! You’ll be surprised at how quickly exploitable patterns will reveal themselves, and soon you’ll be delivering better qualified leads at higher velocity and in greater volume, all of which will translate into increased revenue contribution from your digital channels.
Measuring these key metrics gives you almost everything you need to answer that pesky question, “How do I know my marketing is working?” If you’re driving more visits, increasing engagement, and improving conversions, the simple answer is yes. In fact, it’s safe to say that if you’re taking care of these three metrics, the rest of the pipeline will take care of itself.