B2B Marketing Blog

Marketing Operations: The 3 Classes of Performance Metrics

By Andrew Nguyen
Jan 29, 2018
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At Bizible we love measuring marketing performance, despite how difficult it can be working with data. Building reliable datasets and running analyses takes time and often comes with moments asking, “what exactly are we looking at?”

Over the past few months we’ve gathered some questions our customers are asking around measuring the business value of marketing. Through these questions we’ve come up with with three broad classes of B2B marketing metrics to help marketing operations focus in on the best metrics to generate from their marketing data.

The three classes are:

  1. Customer journey metrics: Understanding the customer journey in terms of content preference and velocity

  2. Go-to-market metrics: Understanding personas and the market you serve

  3. Growth metrics: Understanding how much business value and growth is generated by marketing

In this post we’ll dive into each of these classes and provide examples of their associated metrics, and how to generate them using touchpoints data.

Touchpoints Data as Raw Materials

Most of us understand what a touchpoint is, but let’s dive a little deeper to prime us for thinking about how to generate useful metrics.

A touchpoint is an engagement with your organization. It can be a phone call, web visit, form submission, or webinar attendance. It’s also a measure of value because touchpoints are assigned a dollar amount based on a marketing attribution model (link).

From a data perspective, touchpoints incorporate a lot of information, i.e. data that is quantitative, qualitative, temporal, and binary true/false.

Touchpoints data tables tell us everything we want to know about a touchpoint. For example, its date, dollar value based on various attribution models, whether it is a conversion touchpoint, the funnel stage for the user, type of engagement (form fill, web visit, phone call), and content consumed.

Touchpoints data includes account and person data as well. For example, persona group, account grade, market segment, and job title information. This identifying information helps marketers better understand the buyer and their customer journey.

This is quite a laundry list of variables and they serve as the raw materials for answering a lot of questions. So with these raw materials in mind, let’s discuss how we can transform it into business intelligence.

Generating Customer Journey Information With Touchpoints Data

With the customer journey class of metrics we uncover details about the sales cycle, the effectiveness of content, and the influence of channels and campaigns.

Velocity metrics are popular as indicators for growth. If marketers can increase the velocity of leads progressing through the funnel then they are having a positive impact on growth rates (assuming marketers are filling the funnel to keep up).

Velocity metrics include: Average number of days between stage transitions by channel, campaign, or segment. To generate velocity metrics, you can choose combinations based on the question you want to answer. It’s a lot like building your own burger, simply choose the ingredients you want.

  • Velocity by channel

  • Velocity by campaign

  • Velocity by segment

The above metrics can be tracked in a time series, for instance, average velocity by week, month, or quarter.

Content metrics by stage are metrics which tell marketers what content is popular or influential while a prospect is in a particular stage in the sales funnel.

You can hone in on specific stages for further study as well. For example, what content gets the most engagement in the MQL stage? Does this change by segment or persona?

For example:

  • Content interaction or web visits by stage

  • Form fills by stage

  • Content interaction or session duration by stage

Here’s an example of Bizible reporting on content performance based on lead stages. This shows the count of stage transition touchpoints, i.e. content interactions that are lead transition touchpoints. It shows which content prospects viewed during important stage transitions like First Touch (brand discovery), Lead Creation, and Demo Scheduling.

content performance by stage marketing operations

The chart above only shows lead stages, leaving out opportunity stages. With Bizible’s full-funnel tracking, marketers can discover content popularity and influence at every stage of the buyer journey.

Content viewed before stage transition. These metrics vary slightly from the ones above because we are focusing specifically on touchpoints that happen right before a stage transition. This is in contrast to pages viewed while in a particular lead stage or opportunity stage.

For example, what content is viewed before an account transitions to becoming an opportunity?

The Bizible product adds a timestamp to touchpoints if it is a stage transition touchpoint. And because all touchpoints have a date and time associated with it, you can study the touchpoints happening prior to important stage transitions. Here, you’re also looking at content.

Number of sessions before lead or opportunity creation. With Bizible’s all session tracking, marketers can understand how much engagement or effort is needed to create a lead or opportunity.

Go-to-Market Intelligence With Touchpoints Data

The Go-to-Market class of metrics help business leaders define and improve their go-to-market strategy. This class of metrics uncovers traits and preferences of persona groups. It also uncovers traits around accounts within your market segments. For example:

  • Content engagement by market segment is one of several go-to-market metrics

  • Content engagement (web visits or form fills) by persona

  • Content engagement by account

These metrics help marketers decide what content to create, and where to invest more to reach those personas or accounts. How are people interacting with your content? What are they interacting with? How long are they interacting with it? These are questions that can be answered by tracking this class of metrics.

Here's an example of a persona chart for B2B marketing operations leaders. 

Landing page web visits by persona group chart marketing operations-1(Click image to enlarge)

Anonymous tracking metrics

With all sessions data, Bizible helps marketers monitor brand awareness and indicators around market penetration. These are great leading indicators for leads and revenue.

For example, if you’re entering a new market, in a new region, then you can track the volume of anonymous visits from that region as a measure of growing awareness. 

As these visitors convert into MQLs and opportunities, that anonymous tracking provides further intelligence on the market. Questions like the following can be answered: What’s the channel or content is driving net new contacts or net new accounts? What are the top landing pages visited by contacts/accounts in a particular segment?

  • Number of anonymous first touch sessions by channel

  • Number of anonymous first touch session by region

  • Number of anonymous sessions by channel/region

These metrics, again, can show market opportunities, brand awareness, and market penetration when entering a new market.

Account level metrics

For businesses heavily focused on deepening relationships with accounts and measuring performance based on net new accounts, the following metrics are useful.

  • Content engagement by accounts (graded by readiness to buy) (or existing customers)

  • Net new accounts by campaign

  • Net new accounts by segment

Account level metrics can help marketing leaders understand the health of a market. Are they getting buyer readiness signals from key accounts in a segment? Are they maintaining the right amount of engagement with web content, emails, and phone calls with sales?

Growth and Revenue Performance Measurement With Touchpoints Data

This class of metrics provides information on how much growth the marketing function is influencing and driving.

pipeline generated by channel marketing operations chart-1

Marketing attribution models are highly important for each of these metrics. Attribution allows for the creation and tracking of the following growth-focused metrics.

  • Average ROI: This metric describes marketing’s contribution to the bottom line of the business and proves the marketing function is not a cost center.

  • Average ROI by channel: When tracked over time, this metric allows marketing leaders to monitor the health of their marketing channels.

  • Pipeline generated by channel (time series): When a lead is converted into an opportunity, pipeline value gets distributed across the touchpoints based on the marketer’s chosen attribution model.

  • Revenue generated by channel (time series): When a deal is closed, marketing revenue credit (in ARR or MRR) gets distributed across the major touchpoints.  

  • Net new opportunities by campaign: When accounts convert into opportunities, marketing credit is distributed as fractions of an opportunity to estimate the contribution of marketing in driving that opportunity conversion.  

  • Conversion rates: This is a catch-all and refers to conversion rates across the funnel. Improvements here have a major impact on growth.

Conclusion

This isn’t an exhaustive list but is a useful start for those trying to understand how best to tell a bigger story around the business of marketing and using data to improve ROI. For more information on how Bizible supports the marketing operations function, download the guide below.

Core Competencies of the Marketing Operations Leader  The frameworks every marketing operations leader needs  Download Now

Topics: marketing operations, marketing metrics

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