But as many of you know, it can be difficult to hunt down relevant B2B benchmarks to help answer the question, “Are these results good?” In this guide, we help answer that question and offer a framework to turn raw, unfiltered data into insights that guide action.
The first step in evaluating marketing performance is to identify what success looks like and how it is measured. It’s important to be intentional when determining what specific metrics are both relevant and measurable during campaign planning, because it’s not one-size-fits all.
Take impressions for example. Whether measuring on social media, advertising or website, impressions are the total number of times content could have been seen – a useful measurement when the campaign objective is brand awareness. But what if the objective of a campaign is lead generation? In that case, impressions are 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.
See below for a list of common business objective, and a sampling of best-fit metrics to measure success.
The difference between a year’s worth of data versus just one month can be huge. When analyzing campaign metrics, longevity and consistency are key to a full, rich understanding of performance. For example, the number of website visitors or page views mean very little on their own, but when you view this data over time, it can reveal trends, shifts in usability, company growth and industry buying cycles.
If there is a significant spike or dip in a particular metric, that is often a sign that something has changed. You must determine if it’s a good change or a bad one, and how to either ride the positive wave or steer the ship in another direction.
Although benchmarks are helpful for setting an initial bar, performance metrics vary widely by specific industry, calculation methodology, company size and campaign goal. We caution companies from getting too hung up on broad benchmarks and recommend comparing against your own past performance and that of close competitors when possible.
So how do you do that? Consider using a trusted third-party tool like one of the following to help you monitor performance and keep tabs on your competition:
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.