The whole point of demand generation is there isn’t any guesswork – you can get reports that tell you what’s working and to identify and fix mistakes. But if you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips:
1. Plan what you’re going to track by setting objectives. That way you’ll know what your priorities are and what determines success.
2. Once you set goals, lay out a sample report that shows exactly what you want learn. I normally brainstorm on a whiteboard or spreadsheet first. Once everyone has signed off on a sample, you have something to program to.
3. Now, go get the reports you need. Good CRM or marketing automation should provide the reports you need and I strongly recommend you use those tools rather than a manual build. It’s almost impossible to sustain something that takes hours to create and you need to review reports regularly. This is not an area to compromise.
4. Once you get your reporting, look at it. A lot. And not just a quick glance while you’re on a conference call. This is your bread and butter. Make sure everything is being captured, learn what’s working and what can be eliminated. I recommend reviewing reports once a week.
5. Now, route your results. Create an executive summary to give stakeholders a quick glance into how things are working. Attach full reporting for more details if anyone wants to dive in. Welcome discussion, feedback and questions. In my opinion, someone who looks at the reports and cares about results is committed to success.
6. Don’t be afraid of mistakes and failures. Part of the magic of trackable marketing is the ability to find out what’s not working. If you can identify a failure, you can come up with a fix.
7. Also, don’t be afraid of sales/marketing metrics. If your lead scores and conversions are working, everyone is happy. If they aren’t there yet, you need to refine your process. Transparency in results and open discussion will let you do just that.
8. Here are my favorite things to track:
• Anything that tracks how you spend and make money – cost per lead, cost per sale, cost per anything. And growth metrics like average sale, deal size or revenue.
• Sources of things –like channel, specific media, event or offer. Anything that helps you see what’s working and what can be eliminated.
• Sales metrics that track leads down the funnel to conversion like conversions, raw leads, MQLs, Opps, days to close and closed/won.
• Customer metrics that show loyalty and engagement like lifetime value, retention and total purchases.
• Content and program performance. That way you can eliminate content or programs that aren’t working and expand the successful ones.
• Be careful of tactical metrics like email delivered, clicked, opened, etc. While they give you some good pre-success metrics, I don’t consider them as meaningful as metrics that show a revenue producing action. The one exception is unsubscribe since it tells you if your content is turning customers off, particularly in nurturing programs.
• And last, avoid vanity metrics. Things like rankings and impressions are not making you money.
Need more ideas? Let me know!