There are many different forms of advertising that both B2B and B2C marketers can use to promote their brand, their products, or their services: print, media, digital, and so on.
As a general trend, more and more businesses are opting for digital marketing as their clients and customers are typically accessible through online channels.
However, there are multiple channels and platforms to choose from. This is where things can get a little tricky.
Unfortunately for businesses, there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to marketing strategies, and the right distribution channels for one may not be the most effective or efficient choice for another.
There are many different techniques that could prove to be beneficial, so the big question on everyone’s lips is: ‘How do I know what strategy is right for me?’.
Creating the Right Marketing Strategy
Reports show that only 38% of B2C marketers have a documented marketing strategy, which suggests that many businesses have not been successful in finding the right strategy for them. And it’s not hard to see why. After all, creating the right strategy can be challenging.
The problem, of course, is that while the success of a campaign can accurately be determined at the end of the operation, measuring success throughout the initiative can be difficult.
Quite simply, businesses don’t always know if their strategy is working for them. So how can businesses accurately measure success midway through their efforts?
The answer is key performance indicators, or KPIs, which can be great at giving businesses an insight into how their campaign is getting along.
There are many different KPIs that can be taken into consideration, but in terms of digital marketing (particularly in terms of areas such as lead generation and link building), here are 5 specific key performance indicators that should never be overlooked.
Site traffic is certainly a KPI to consider, but without assigning context this metric does little to demonstrate success. Instead, it is often more beneficial to look at site traffic alongside leads and customer statistics. If an increase in site traffic is not directly correlating with an increase in leads and conversions, it suggests that on-site customer experience is failing at some stage of the process.
This highlights the importance of on-site marketing and on-site user experience, showing how essential it is for this part of the strategy to succeed. When analyzing this particular KPI, businesses will want to see that their marketing efforts are not just leading to increased traffic, but also to a larger customer base.
While site traffic statistics are an essential consideration, they are not the only traffic-related KPI that should be taken into account.
This is because not all traffic is equal in its value, and good marketing isn’t just about generating more traffic – it’s about generating the right sort of traffic.
Ideally, analyzing this KPI should show that most of the traffic arriving at your site is organic traffic (traffic that is directed to the website as part of the natural search process). This is different to inorganic traffic, which is actively encouraged by the business through typically less cost-effective methods such as paid ads.
If your traffic-based KPIs aren’t looking too good, spend some time tweaking your existing SEO strategy.
Once again, a successful marketing strategy isn’t just about increasing the number of leads; it’s about increasing the number of the right sort of leads.
It is generally a good sign that your marketing strategy is working if the majority of generated leads are categorized either as sales qualified leads (SQLs), or marketing qualified leads (MQLs). This is because these types of leads are statistically more likely to take action, or convert.
MQLs are considered to be leads that possess the right characteristics of the business’ target audience, while SQLs take things one step further and are typically already in a position to demonstrate intent to purchase. Essentially, MQLs and SQLs are seen to be ‘ready-made’ customers.
Cost Per Lead
The average marketing budget has been steadily increasing over the past few years, and now stands at 11% of total business budget. However, despite the fact that many businesses are now in a position to spend more on their marketing campaigns, it is still important to strive to get the most value from your money.
Therefore, cost per lead can be an important KPI to consider.
Cost per lead varies significantly by sector, ranging from an average low of $11 per lead in media to a high of $100 per lead in the financial industry. It is important to note that overall high lead costs can be detrimental in the long term and could hinder success of a marketing strategy. Ideally, businesses should try to utilize low cost-per-lead channels when possible.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Looking again at finance-based KPIs, return on investment is well worth considering. Businesses should always be striving to see a positive ROI from their marketing efforts, and this is one of the most promising signs that a campaign is succeeding.
Ideally, profits from newly acquired customers should be greater than the amount that the business invested in its advertising strategy. A negative marketing-related ROI suggests that you are failing to derive true value from your promotional activities.
What you should never forget when calculating ROI is that different marketing methods require significantly different time to show their true value. It all depends on the channel of promotion you are using.
For example, paid methods like PPC usually have a quick ROI while some content marketing techniques like editorial-link building take a few months before you see positive return on your investment but in return have longer-lasting effects.
Just one more reason why you need to have a strategic approach to content marketing.
Whatever you decide to measure, try to ensure you have the most accurate data available and that you are reviewing the metrics in the right context.
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