5 marketing metrics to track (2023)
Don’t be overwhelmed by marketing
The 5 metrics to marketing success in 2023
What are the five essential marketing metrics small businesses must monitor in 2023? It all comes down to customers. Attract customers. Retain customers. This is solved using marketing math to align results and revenue, entirely focused on the customer journey.
Marketing has changed drastically over the last decade. In 2011, there were just 150 digital marketing tech tools. It now exceeds 9,000! It is overwhelming in choices and often underwhelming in value.
For both B2C and B2B marketers, this resource investment comes with substantial performance expectations. Marketing must not only test, integrate, and train on these technologies, but also become power users, while connecting results to revenue. Small businesses don’t have the time and resources to keep up. You need to drive sales, not learn another tool. Yes, there are fantastic tools out there – just choose wisely.
What your company focuses on is the same as everyone else – getting customers and keeping them happy.
Build your brand awareness
Metric #1: Strive for 7X Impressions
First, track the number of digital eyeballs that are viewing your business. Prospects need to see your business seven times before they can remember you. For parents with young kids, consider how many times you ask, cajole, demand, and threaten to clean their room? Same thing. The easiest way to achieve the 7X is keeping track of your impressions (aka imps), or digital eyeballs, as we refer to them.
Add up all of your organic impressions from Google Search Console and any paid advertising impressions. To determine if you’re achieving a 7X success rate, divide total impressions by your target audience size.
Why are impressions so important? If prospects don’t see and recognize your business, it will never lead to sales. There are many other ways to measure awareness, such as searches, users, conversions, cost per acquisition, goal completions, etc. But, people’s eyes glaze over when you explain this to your board, your customer service staff, or your sales team. People can understand “digital eyeballs” and you’ll know quickly if you’re on the right path. If you’re off track, then fix it!
The one thing you can do to get more leads
Metric #2: Strive for 10x leads
Leads are the second most important marketing number you should track. How often have you said, “If we only had more leads!” Every business needs more leads, but how do you decide how many leads you need, and what is a good lead?
What usually happens is marketing hands over marketing qualified leads to sales. However, marketing gets upset when sales doesn’t do anything with the leads. There are zero conversions, and no increased pipeline. No new revenue. The result is a weak marketing funnel and sales is unhappy that marketing gives them crap leads. This conflict doesn’t bring people together, and it’s a common occurrence. Many companies spend too much time defining and measuring the process. This includes lead definitions and scoring, demand generation templates, and predictive investment attribution.
What’s missing? What’s the one thing that we haven’t covered? Customers!
It is the person who has seen your message seven times or more times (the previous marketing metric!), If your message resonates with them, they will raise their hand and say “tell me more!”
It will take effort to determine what a good lead is for you. A lead could be clicks on your website for a flagship product. It could be people calling your business, or it could even be free trials. It could also be the number of online appointments set, possibly an eBook download, or even referral leads.
How to set a smart target for lead generation
The metric that matters is to aim for 10x leads. Let’s say you need 10 new retainer clients this year. Doing the math means you’ll need 100 leads (10 multiplied by 10). Not every lead will result in a sale. If you do this consistently, you’ll get some leads, some you won’t. You can track your progress easily on a monthly basis.
Are you on track to get 100 leads this month? If not, bring your sales and marketing team together to work on it and improve.
Double down on customer satisfaction
Metric #3: Track, measure, and improve customer satisfaction
Most people associate the previous two customer acquisition metrics, generating awareness and leads, with what a marketer does.
Customer retention is an even more important marketing indicator to monitor!
Double-down on customer satisfaction. Do not give them a reason to choose a competitor. Duh, we all know how important it is to keep customers happy. However, satisfaction is at most risk after a sale. Why? You have YET to deliver anything.
Measure customer satisfaction with the Net Promoter Score (NPS)
It is essential to plan how you’re going to measure, monitor, and improve existing customer satisfaction. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the easiest way to get started. NPS is a proven method to predict customer loyalty and future buyer behavior. We’ve all received NPS emails. “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to family or friends?” The “Nine” ratings are the happiest, those are the “promoters” of your business.
Your customer’s loyalty is in your hands
We recommend sending a survey that asks only three questions:
- How likely are you to recommend us?
- What can we do better?
- What do we do well?
This should be done immediately with new customers when you are in the greatest risk of losing them. Do the survey at least once per year, or whichever frequency is best for your business. Soon you’ll have quantitative data to show a quality score and how you’re performing over time versus “I think we’re doing okay.”
The NPS scores range from a minus 100 to a plus 100. Typically, B2B businesses range in the 50s to 60s range.
Pay close attention to your detractors. These are your 0-6 scores, unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth. Find out the reason and fix it. It is equally important is to keep your promoters happy. They should be protected and nurtured.
Are you losing customers after they buy from you?
Metric #4: Keep and eye on your customer retention rate
Your repeat purchase rate is the fourth critical metric to track. This number, of course, will vary for every business. Repeat purchases directly correlate to the previously mentioned customer satisfaction measurement. If customers aren’t satisfied the first time and you don’t know why, or didn’t ask, repeat purchases will decrease. This is easy to overlook, especially if you just received another big order or signed a contract with a new customer.
Get your customers to come back for more
However, it is crucial to analyze purchase data for all clients. If you are a high transaction business, you may not notice the declines until it’s too late. Are your biggest customers ordering significantly less over the last three or six months, or even a year ago? You may not notice the decreases, particularly if you successfully launched a new product, yet your flagship product revenue has dropped. If you look closely at engagement metrics, you may find that repeat purchases have fallen considerably. If you are a single transaction business, then assess your repeat referrals. Is their trust in you still strong? Referrals are the cornerstone for many businesses, so show them some TLC and not only during the holiday season! Monitoring your NPS will also assist with understanding your customer lifetime value.
How to get more Google Reviews in minutes
Metric #5: Get.More.Reviews.
The quantity and quality of customer reviews that you receive is the last important digital marketing metric. Google considers reviews a major factor in your rankings. You should therefore be focused on obtaining more reviews from customers. Why? Because people read them and make purchasing decisions based upon reviews. Bad reviews happen, but don’t be overly concerned. However, be sure to respond quickly and courteously because Google also judges you on this.
Your review process should be simple and easy with multiple options for customers to complete reviews.
A proven, tested marketing strategy that works for local businesses
One proven tip is to create a QR code for the back of business cards, thank you emails, retail counter, and on your website. However, this is not an easy task for some businesses, especially for clients who don’t want anyone to know they used your services (e.g., mental health services, lawyers, or fractional marketing like my company). Instead, concentrate efforts on securing testimonials. You could even write a testimonial for them. “I took the liberty of drafting a testimonial for you. Will you approve it?” Then post it on your website, collateral, retail store, and social media. Another tip is to include a line item in your client master services agreement asking for testimonials, success stories, or case studies.
In closing: The 2023 marketing metrics to help make your marketing efforts AND business a success
Marketing metrics are essential to any business, but particularly for small businesses that don’t have the financial resources of Fortune 500 companies. While some consider marketing a flair or art form, it is much more complex than deciding on stock art photos or copy for your next email campaign. When you look at marketing performance through the lens of measurements, marketing investment and analytics instead of intuition, you’re looking at your marketing efforts through the eyes of your customers. This gives you the opportunity to see is most important and how satisfied they truly are with your product or service. If there is a gap between what you think your customers want and what they actually want, this will allow you to create more effective marketing – and content – that speaks to your customers. By tracking the above marketing metrics, you will be able to gain a better understanding of your business, which can help you improve sales and increase customer satisfaction. (And stay away from vanity metrics too!)
Additional authoritative marketing strategy resource: The True Measures of Success (HBR)
Jessica Kelley is a seasoned leader with more than two decades of marketing and finance experience in B2B and B2C channels. She has worked extensively within healthcare, consumer, commercial, and software industries in diverse environments ranging in size from a $200 billion corporation to a startup firm. Her company, HPZ Marketing is an interim CMO and fractional CMO business and is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as a Women’s Business Enterprise and Women Owned Small Business (WOSB). They provide interim and fractional executive marketing services to help businesses achieve marketing ROI with executable strategy and a relentless focus on customer acquisition and retention. Learn more about hiring a fractional CMO for your business.