As marketers, we spend a lot of time tracking and analyzing countless metrics to help determine the effectiveness of our activities. We use them to defend our resources, identify areas for improvement and determine our competitive position in a crowded environment.
But as many of you know, it can be difficult to hunt down relevant campaign benchmarks specifically for B2B to help answer the question, “Is that good?” And moreover, how you make real use of so much raw, unfiltered data.
The first steps in measuring marketing success is to identify what “success” looks like and what you’re going to measure. It’s important to be intentional in determining what indicators are both relevant and measurable during the initial planning stages of any marketing activity because it’s not one-size-fits all.
Take impressions for example. Impressions, or total number of times your content could have been seen, might make sense to measure when a business’s objective is brand awareness. But what if the objective of a campaign is lead generation? The impression number is not nearly as important as, say, engagement rates.
And beware of vanity metrics. These are reporting measurements that don’t add any depth to your understanding – they do little to prove ROI or measure company growth or positioning. Instead, they’re just those “nice-to-know” stats that might help you fill up a PowerPoint slide. One good example of a vanity metric is advertising value equivalency (AVE). AVE helps the PR industry monetize their activities by multiplying the length of a printed article or broadcast spot by the advertising rate. Often a multiplier is used to account for perceived credibility and validity of the editorial coverage, as compared to advertising. This all sounds good, but AVE can be very difficult to calculate effectively. Not only do AVEs ignore the tone of the coverage, but there’s no industry consensus on the multiplier, so marketers can be calculating these figures very differently.
See below for a list of common business objective, and a sampling of best-fit metrics to measure success.
LinkedIn Ads Manager
Google Search Console
NOTE: In March 2020, the COVID-19 global pandemic sent billions into lockdown all over the world putting normal life as we know it on hold. More time at home means more people checking emails and interacting on social media throughout the day and evening. These major shifts in daily life can be observed in metric trends, so we recommend updating all campaign benchmarking information to account for these changes.