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Your marketing strategy forms the foundation for a successful year, but how can you tell whether that strategy is going according to plan? No matter how great the idea seems on the drawing board, blindly staying the course throughout the year isn’t the way to go.

Instead, you need to keep track of key marketing metrics so you know if you’re meeting your goals. Remember, goals need to be SMART–and that “M” stands for “measurable.” Here are the most important numbers to keep track of so you’re confident you’re meeting your benchmarks.

Key Marketing Metrics for B2B Marketers

The key marketing metrics that will be most important to you will depend partially on what your goals are. Are you looking to boost conversions? Get more social followers? Increase website traffic? Prioritize these metrics according to your goals:

Total Website Visits. Your website is the primary point of contact for current and potential customers, so understanding how much traffic you’re getting is important. You’ll also want to pay attention to how many visitors specific pages or areas are getting, and where these visitors are coming from (i.e., from pay-per-click campaigns, social media, etc.)

Unique Website Visitors. Just like a traditional storefront, you’ll want to know how many of your visitors are returning guests and which ones are new to you. For example, if you have lots of unique visitors but very few repeats, then your off-site efforts to generate traffic are probably working, but you’ll need to work on your web pages to make them meet expectations better.

Bounce Rate. This number is related to the first two; it tells you how many people leave your website without looking at any pages other than the one they landed on. For example, if a visitor follows a social media link to a landing page and then leaves without taking any action, they have bounced. Generally speaking, the lower the bounce rate the better. However, in some cases, a slightly elevated bounce rate can indicate that unqualified leads aren’t wasting their time–or yours.

Landing Page Conversions. This is a big number that most marketers pay close attention to as it measures the profitability of your marketing efforts. What a successful conversion is will depend on your pages and goals, but typically include a completed form, a request for a consultation, or a completed online purchase. In other words, this metric tells you how many people have taken the action you wanted them to take.

Customer Retention. This number measures the amount of repeat business you’re getting. For some industries, it might be less critical, especially if your purchase cycle is long or if your products are big-scale, one-time purchases. For everyone else, especially those in service or subscription-based businesses, this number can be everything. After all, no matter how successful your marketing is, if customers aren’t sticking around, you’re not making money.

Social Interactions. While social shares, likes, mentions, and comments don’t seem to directly correlate to real dollars, they can be a measurement of how well your outreach efforts are working. Today’s buyers like to work with companies and people they like and trust, and social media is often the vehicle for meeting those expectations.

Cost of Acquisition. How much are you spending per lead or customer? To find this number, total up how much you’ve spent on advertising, and add in salaries, overhead, and other expenses. Divide that number by how many new customers you’ve acquired and that’s your cost per customer.

Return on Investment (ROI). Often touted as the most important metric, your ROI is similar to the cost of acquisition, but from a different angle. Where the cost looks at how much you’ve spent to gain a customer, your ROI looks at how many dollars you’ve made as a result of that spending. These are very big-picture numbers, however, and will only inform overall success rates. You’ll need some of the finer metrics to improve your strategies.

Beyond the Basics

These 7 key marketing metrics are far from a complete list. How closely you want to observe visitor and customer activity depends on your industry and what you’re trying to achieve with your marketing.

For example, if you’re jumping into marketing automation and you want to use email to nurture your leads, then it will pay to keep a close eye on metrics like unsubscribes, opt-outs, opens, and clicks. If email isn’t expected to drive a significant portion of your revenue, then there’s no need to sink resources into weekly reports.

Putting the Numbers to Work

While a pretty graph or tasty pie chart is a great companion for your quarterly meetings, the numbers alone won’t tell you anything. First, be sure to measure these metrics before you put any plans into action so you have a baseline. During your campaigns you can see what’s working and what needs attention. That way, you’ll not only be able to demonstrate that you’ve met your goals, but you’ll also be able to make course-corrections along the way.

Are marketing metrics making you see double? We’ll help you find out which metrics are the most important for your business, and then help you understand what to do once the numbers are in. Call New Perspective to get started today!