Building a demand generation program is like building a house, build a strong foundation and hire the most expensive general contractor. That second part isn’t true. But what is true is that demand generation is about building a strong foundation and being able to plan ahead.
Good B2B marketing metrics allow you to do just that.
In our previous post, we reported a few ways to build successful B2B demand generation programs if you’re starting from scratch.
In this post, we show you the metrics that allow demand generation marketers to measure their impact and identify opportunities to generate revenue.
Use MoM Revenue By Channel To Track True Performance
Month-over-month (MoM) revenue by channel allows marketers to track short-term performance and can clue them in on performance during months when conversions are expected.
As marketers scale up or experiment with new channels, this metric describes the percentage change of revenue compared to the previous month.
For example, events and conferences are a big area for us. We’ve been tracking the performance of the events we’ve sponsored over the last year for one reason. We want to know whether the events draw qualified prospects and whether the rate at which leads convert to opportunities and customers is high.
While sales cycles are longer than a month, building out an events marketing program relies heavily on being able to predict when deals from an event will close. We can use MoM Revenue By Channel to track when deals close from events.
Lastly, marketers can use year-over-year (YoY) and quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) revenue by channel to see trends. Once we scale our events marketing program, you can be sure we’ll use these marketing metrics to forecast and track the performance of our events and conferences.
Use MoM Opportunities By Channel To Track Lead Conversions
Similar to the previous marketing metric, MoM Opportunities by Channel helps marketers understand how well they are generating qualified leads.
The days of generating leads, tossing them over to sales, and never looking back are over. Getting lead to opportunity conversion rate is a metric that marketers collect after the hard work of lead generation is over.
As my colleague in Pipeline Marketing @DrewHarris puts it:
While revenue is still king, opportunities generated is an important metric. For example, opportunities by channel can help you project new revenue and new customers.
And because there is generally more data for sales opportunities compared to revenue, you can do a granular analysis and see the touchpoints and channels associated with the contact.
Quarterly Revenue By Websource Eliminates Guesswork
As a marketer you’re experimenting with different online campaigns, from paid search to content syndication. Budgets aren’t limitless and at some point the unavoidable question surfaces, Which of these damn online campaigns worked?
Quarterly Revenue by Websource helps marketers identify which sites or platforms were involved in closing a deal. The attribution model you use will determine how revenue is distributed to these websources.
This metric is especially helpful if you do content syndication and want to track whether your content that appears on other websites eventually translates into revenue.
This metric is also helpful if you’re listed in directories or review sites. You can see how much value these sites generate. It’s also valuable if you’re doing PR. So basically, this is a metric you shouldn’t leave home without… thinking about on the way to work.
Depending on your average sales cycle length, you may choose to look at Weekly or Monthly Revenue by Websource.
Here’s a portion of our revenue by websource data (listing all of them created a messy chart):
If you're building up a demand generation program then this metric can help you discover websource referral traffic that generates revenue. For example, we discovered that Quora.com was contributing to our business via referral traffic. Answering questions on the Quora platform was doing more than helping users!
The attribution model you choose has big implications for your reporting, so be sure to check out this post on mastering attribution modeling.
For the above chart, we used the W-Shaped Attribution model. The W-Shaped Model gives revenue credit to the three major stages of the B2B marketing funnel. These are the first touch (anonymous touch), the middle touch (lead created), and the last touch (hand off to sales).
Next, we'll talk about a more granular metric for the data junkies out there.
Getting Into the Weeds With Revenue by Keyword
Revenue by keyword is a very granular metric. It’s nerding out on paid search data and having Eureka moments that no one understands -- because you’re the only one in charge of paid search.
Revenue by keyword is important for finding optimization opportunities, tracking keyword performance, testing new keywords and scaling up a paid search program.
Marketers access these metrics by connecting their paid search to their CRM.
Seeing Into The Future With Projected ROI
No one likes surprises. No one likes uncertainty, at least in the work environment. And no one likes being the person who doesn’t have an answer. Projected ROI estimates when campaigns will make money.
Investments aren’t made based on revenue alone and ROI projected can help you understand the long term returns for your marketing campaigns and channels.
If Content is King, Content Engagement Metrics Are Political Advisors
Content is king, and promotion is God. Or maybe the saying goes, Content is king, and distribution is queen and she wears the pants.
Whichever way it’s said, content makes up a big investment so it’s important to make sure it resonates with your audience.
Starting with the top-level metrics on the distribution or promotion side, click-through rates on your paid social ads are a good indicator of whether your content is performing well. It tells you whether headlines, images and CTAs appeal to a wider audience. It can measure whether you're getting better at creating click-worthy content, which is the first step in getting strangers to discover your brand.
Can you capture broad appeal and then nurture qualified buyers so they connect with the sales team? Content engagement metrics answer the first part.
A good set of content engagement metrics include click-throughs on social platforms, time on page and number of social shares.
If you’re using LinkedIn Ads check out what we learned after spending $50K on LinkedIn.
There is a lot of conversation on the value of a social share and it’s a great metric for your content team to keep in the back of their minds. They should strive to create content that people bookmark and want to associate themselves with.
A social share is a vote of confidence. People share articles that will make them look smart, up to date, and knowledgeable. It’s not easy to continuously create engaging content, but content engagement metrics will clue marketing leaders in on the kinds of content that succeed.
There are many more marketing metrics that demand generation marketers use but the ones covered here are the ones that are relevant, interesting, and useable. Stay tuned as we cover offline metrics for measuring event and conference performance, and top-of-funnel metrics around lead generation.