Is Your Digital Marketing Performing Up to Par? Three Numbers Tells Whether You’re a Leader or a Laggard
Do you remember the days when website and digital campaign successes were measured by views and visits? That would be similar to a car sales representative measuring success by the number of people walking around a showroom. But, instead, the car sales representative engages a customer to select the car that fits the customer’s needs, sit in the car, take a test drive, and finally, negotiate pricing.
B2B lead generation is similar. Once you have an interested visitor at your website, you want to nurture them along the buyer’s journey from lead to marketing qualified lead (MQL) to sales qualified lead (SQL) and then ultimately, a customer.
In fact, that’s the purpose of good digital marketing today. We’re past the idea of generating leads – lead gen is simple, well understood and hardly the true barometer of success. Effective digital marketing’s role is to generate SQLs and opportunities, real prospects who are in the buying process now and can be quickly and efficiently converted to a customer. It’s time to move beyond just generating leads.
Most B2B marketers have these programs in place, of course. Few are just beginning to do digital marketing, but are looking for ways to measure, benchmark and improve what they’re doing.
So other than comparing your past results to current, how can you determine whether your program is doing well compared to others? We look at three key indicators to measure a program’s effectiveness and diagnose what’s working and what’s not.
The First Number – 2%
Here is your organization’s first metric – 2%. This is the number of anonymous visitors to your website that should convert to a lead. First, let’s go over what a lead is. A lead is when a customer values your information and is willing to give their contact information in exchange. This can be on any Contact Us/Quote form, chat, or any type of gated content, such as a white paper, podcast, webinar, eBook or blog/newsletter signup.
Where does that come from? That’s not our number, it’s a HubSpot benchmark they publish based on the tens of thousands of websites on their system.
Some companies are above the 2% benchmark, and if so, congratulations. You can move on to other areas to improve. But many struggle to reach the 2% metric. If so, what are the levers for improving? It’s a combination of different tactics. So let’s look at them more closely:
- Search Engine Marketing
Getting more leads is directly tied to getting more quality traffic. You need to be searchable on Google so you can not only attract visitors to your website but also the right visitors. The more effective your SEM, the easier it will be to get to the 2%. This means more than just high rankings-you need the right keywords and the right meta descriptions to get the right visitors.
- User Experience (UX)
Once they get to the site, you have to convert with a strong website experience. User experience is a combination of easy navigation and engaging content. It also is a mix of having the right forms throughout your website with call-to-actions (CTAs). You can’t just have one Contact Us form and hang all your hopes on it. You need to have CTAs at different places–including your blogs -- where you’re engaging your customer with the information they are looking for and find valuable.
- High-value content
Say you have a webpage about a specific industry your organization targets. This is a great place to insert high-value gated content, such as a white paper with an in-depth report about that industry’s problems. Your visitor might not be ready to talk to a salesperson in a “contact us” format, but they are prepared to exchange their information for quality content.
You can’t put a form in front of all content. For example, we’ve learned throughout our 30 years with engineers and technical B2B buyers that they expect immediate access to data sheets or videos without a lead form. But engineers will fill out a form to gain access to white papers, handbooks, webcasts, ebooks, CAD or 3D files. That’s one example of how high-value content will help you get to that 2%, and then you can start your nurturing process.
The Second Number – 10%
Now we get to the second number of the buyer’s journey – converting an early stage lead into something of value by pushing them down the funnel. At a minimum, you’ll want to see no less than 10% of all leads convert to an SQL, Contact Us or Quote form.
For every company, in every funnel, some portion of the funnel is in the buying process RIGHT NOW. It’s the job of marketing automation workflows with engaging, persuasive content to help identify and uncover those active buyers -- those ready to buy with the BANT we need – Budget, Authority, Need and Time. Before this point, it’s far too inefficient to hand every lead to a salesperson. That original 2% includes interested parties doing early stage research at the beginning of their discovery journey. It’s far too time-consuming and expensive to use valuable and scarce sales resources to filter through early leads with those that are “sales-ready.” However, now your content, marketing automation workflows, lead scoring and CTAs have uncovered that lead is actually ready to be contacted or call your company directly. Remember that prospective customers do their own research and vet you as a vendor without you ever knowing. This is why nurturing workflows and emails are so important – to move them through the funnel and be there when they are ready to purchase.
Source – This 10% benchmark is from our 30 years of experience tracking various campaigns. The 10% is the minimum conversion your organization should have. However, some industries and companies have as high as 40%; the critical step is to establish your baseline and then use these techniques to improve your conversion performance.
The Third Number – ROI
ROI – the holy grail of B2B marketing performance measurements. In every survey, measuring ROI rests atop the list of priorities for B2B marketing leaders. The calculation is simple -- the sales amount divided by the amount spent on marketing. We want to be able to report that for every dollar spent on marketing, you’ll be able to generate $X in sales – not clicks, not leads, not website visits or other vanity metrics that make us feel good – but actual revenues.
This is the most difficult number for any marketing department to achieve, typically because advanced tracking software, tight processes, and seamless technology integration are required to pull this information together. Your Martech Stack – web analytics, marketing automation software like HubSpot or Pardot, CRM and even ERP in some instances -- is going to provide this for you if you complete the proper integrations.
While companies have invested in their IT Stack for many years, it’s time to get serious about investing in your Martech Stack with the same sense of urgency and priority. You can learn more about our picks for top Martech solutions and tools in our blog Building Your Martech Innovation Stack.
Source – This is another number from our 30 years of experience. Some of our customers have as high as $25 ROI depending on the product. Your company should at least have $5. Keep in mind that 60-80% of the sales process is done by the time a prospect reaches out to the company looking to talk to a sales rep. Before that, it’s passive communication in SEM, content, UX, gated content, email and nurture programs. Making sure your company is the one that gets to that contact is a mix of various digital marketing activities. The metrics above help you evaluate how your digital marketing is performing. We also use other metrics such as bounce rates, opens, click-throughs and more for insights on how to improve these metrics. If you’d like to learn more about how to improve your B2B lead generation, contact us, and we’ll be happy to discuss what Goldstein Group Communications can do to drive performance for your organization.