Simon Pilkington
September 12, 2022

9 Marketing KPIs You Should Be Tracking to Boost Your Marketing Performance

Whether you're planning the all-important key performance indicators for your next launch or reporting on them for your last campaign, every marketer knows that keeping track of KPIs is critical for achieving the next level of business success.

If you’re part of a sales and marketing team, you're probably already familiar with using key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your digital marketing strategy and campaigns.

Whether you're planning the all-important key performance indicators for your next launch or reporting on them for your last campaign, every marketer knows that keeping track of KPIs is critical for achieving the next level of business success.

Your key performance indicators are used to identify which of your marketing campaigns are having the biggest impact on your marketing efforts (and therefore on your brand's bottom line). 

But as technology has developed, so has the number of key performance indicators that marketers need to keep track of.

Before the internet age, tracking marketing KPIs was much simpler. 

Brands didn’t have as many platforms to promote their marketing campaigns on—and many of these didn't provide reliable performance metrics. 

But in a digital era where most brands have a robust multi-channel digital marketing strategy and an infinite amount of analytics at their disposal, there are countless key performance indicators for your team to keep tabs on.

While you should track a wide range of marketing KPIs, this doesn’t mean that the more you track, the better.

Knowing exactly which KPIs to track can save you an endless amount of time when it comes to reporting. 

It also ensures that you're measuring the key performance indicators that are truly beneficial for your brand's success.

With so many key performance indicators to track, knowing which ones to focus on can feel overwhelming. Luckily, that's exactly where we come in. 

In this article we'll discuss some of the most important indicators that you should be tracking, why you should be tracking them, and how to track them.

Ready to boost your brand's performance? Let's dive in!

First Things First, What Is KPI in Marketing?

If you've ever been in a job-related performance review, you probably already know what key performance indicators (KPIs) are. 

Key performance indicators aren't just used to track your job performance or your team's marketing efforts. They're so important to success that they're used in almost every industry and aspect of business.

​Why Should I Be Measuring Marketing KPIs?

A key performance indicator is a metric that demonstrates whether a business is successfully reaching its goals. 

You can think of them as your business's GPS navigator tool: without them, you won't know where you're going or how to get there.

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, keeping your brand's marketing KPIs at the forefront of your strategy ensures that your marketing team remains aligned on goals and ensures you're meeting your targets within the agreed time frame.

Tracking key performance indicators early can also help you ensure your digital marketing strategy is on the right track. 

If it is, you can keep doing what you're doing (and possibly even motivate for more budget to give a successful campaign an additional boost).

But if your key performance indicators show that your results are less than stellar, you have enough time to take on learnings and pivot your campaign until you manage to find the sweet spot for success.

What’s the Difference Between KPIs and Marketing Metrics?

KPIs and marketing metrics are often used interchangeably, so it's understandable if you get them mixed up. But there are some subtle differences between them that are important to note.

Marketing Metrics

Your marketing metrics provide valuable information that acts as an indicator of your brand's overall health.

For example, getting a large number of likes on social media platforms or a high volume of website traffic provides important data on the success of your marketing campaign. 

But if these metrics aren't tied to specific business outcomes (such as increasing the size of your mailing list by 20%) they're referred to as 'vanity metrics'.

While these metrics may make your marketing team look good, they're not necessarily accurate indicators of whether you're achieving your brand’s business objectives.

Key Performance Indicators

Key performance indicators are usually made up of multiple marketing metrics, and for them to be effective they need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.

For example, a key performance indicator to "increase qualified leads" would be an ineffective target because it doesn't follow the SMART framework. 

To ensure it's actionable, it would need to look something like this: “Run a social media campaign that helps us increase qualified leads by 15% by the end of our third quarter.”

With this framework in place your entire team will be clear on what your goals are, how they need to achieve them, and when they need to be met.

To ensure a comprehensive marketing strategy, teams should measure both their marketing metrics and KPIs. 

To keep it simple, you can think of it like this: marketing metrics track information (like website traffic), while key performance indicators track performance (like how many people who visited the website signed up for your brand's mailing list).

How Do I Choose Key Performance Indicators That Matter to My Brand?

Tracking key performance indicators isn't simply about the amount of data you collect—it's about how valuable that data is to your business. 

For example, tracking how many people liked your brand's post on Instagram isn't an effective key performance indicator if your brand's primary goal is to generate leads.

Knowing which key performance indicators to track can be tricky, and the stakes are high if you get it wrong. 

If you track the wrong key performance indicators, you won't be able to gather actionable insights that you can apply to your marketing campaign. 

The result of this? You'll have ineffective or insufficient data to guide your marketing strategy—which is every marketer's worst nightmare.

It's natural to assume that the more key performance indicators you track, the better. But this can lead to becoming overwhelmed and losing sight of your primary objectives.

For this reason, it's crucial to create key performance indicators that are linked to your brand's business objectives.

Here are some of the most important questions marketers can ask themselves to help them choose the right marketing KPIs:

  • What stage of growth is your brand in? A new brand may want to increase awareness before setting sales targets, while a more established brand may want to focus on increasing conversion rates.

  • How do consumers engage with your product? If you have an online store, increasing website traffic will be an important metric to track. But if you sell a service, increasing phone calls or emails may be more important than generating website traffic.

  • Where does your audience engage with your brand? A product aimed at senior citizens is unlikely to see a spike in sales based on a marketing campaign that solely takes place on a trendy social media platform like TikTok.

  • How will key performance indicators be tracked? KPIs should never be based on abstract concepts. Rather, they should be easy to measure and analyse.

  • Are your key performance indicators consistent with historical data points? To ensure sustainable growth and realistic expectations, your KPIs should be benchmarked against previous performance metrics.

9 Top Marketing KPIs Your Brand Should Be Tracking

Now that you know what key performance indicators are and have a better idea of how to choose the best ones, let's get into some of the most important KPIs you should be measuring.

Remember, this list is by no means exhaustive. 

The KPIs you should track are highly unique to your industry and business objectives, so don't worry if you’re closely tracking a key performance indicator that isn't on our list.

Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI)

Your ROMI compares the cost of running your campaign to how much revenue the marketing campaign is generating. 

Measuring this marketing KPI ensures that you're recovering the costs to run the campaign, and that your sales are greater than your investment.

While measuring your investment into the campaign is relatively straightforward, measuring your return on investment can be tricky. 

This is because the vast majority of digital marketers run numerous campaigns on different platforms simultaneously, so it can be challenging to stay on top of each campaign's performance.

To ensure you're measuring your ROMI effectively, you should compare data sets from a wide variety of sources in order to identify trends over time. 

Say, for example, you notice that increasing spending on your Google Ads correlates to an increase in website traffic. 

You can then use the analytics to show you your ROMI on each channel of an integrated campaign.

Lead conversion rate

Your lead conversion rate KPI shows you how effectively leads are being converted into actual sales. 

For example, a highly effective social media campaign may increase traffic to your website, but you might notice that the leads aren't converting once they're on your site.

To calculate your conversion rate, divide the number of leads by the total number of customers who visited your website.

From here, you can analyse various aspects of your campaign to identify why they aren't converting. Some questions you may want to ask include:

  • Is your social media campaign targeting the correct demographic?

  • Do you have enough sales-qualified leads?

  • Is your landing page interface intuitive and is your site loading fast enough?

  • Are there too many steps in the buying process?

  • Is your sales messaging effective?

  • Does your landing page and brand look credible?

  • Does your website contain relevant content?

Conversion rate by marketing channel

Similar to your lead conversion rate, your conversion rate by marketing channel shows you how many of your leads are making a purchase. 

This data is more granular because it shows you which platforms are most successful in helping you convert leads.

Some of the marketing channels you may want to look at include:

  • Organic traffic and SEO

  • Organic social media content

  • Paid social media content

  • Google Ads

  • Pay Per Click (PPC)

  • Email marketing

  • Outdoor advertising

Once you've calculated your conversion rate on each channel you can divert your marketing budget to the best-performing platforms to target sales-qualified leads, or analyse how to improve the performance of channels that are lagging behind.

Return on Ad Spend

Your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) measures your revenue for each dollar spent on advertising. 

While your ROMI measures the overall performance of your marketing investment, your ROAS measures how much revenue your business earns for the money spent on advertising.

To calculate your ROAS, divide the revenue attributed to a campaign by the cost of that campaign. 

But because marketing campaigns have so many different touchpoints, figuring out which touchpoint of your campaign led to revenue generation can be a little tricky.

There are three primary ways to determine your revenue attribution:

  • First-touch attribution: This method considers the first time your customer interacted with your brand to be the most important aspect of completing the sales funnel.

  • Last-touch attribution: This method considers the last (most recent) time your customer interacted with you to be the most important aspect of completing the sales funnel.

  • Multi-touch attribution: This method accounts for all touchpoints on the customer journey, designating credit to each step of the funnel. This is considered the most comprehensive and effective way to measure your ROAS.

Customer retention rate

Your customer retention rate measures how many customers your business is able to retain over a period of time.

While marketers usually focus on acquiring new customers, your customer retention rate is a vital KPI that can point to more serious business issues if your retention rate is low.

An important aspect of your customer retention rate is your customer lifetime value. 

Customer lifetime value shows you the worth that each of your customers brings to your business over a period of time. 

Because acquiring new customers needs upfront investment, your customer lifetime value helps you determine how much you should spend on acquiring new customers.

If your customer retention rate is low, some of the most effective methods of increasing your rate include:

  • Discounts for returning customers

  • Loyalty rewards

  • Building strong customer relationships

  • Creating upselling and cross-selling opportunities

  • Robust after-sales support

Marketing-qualified leads

A marketing-qualified lead (MQL) is a lead who has indicated interest in your brand by engaging with it at various touchpoints. 

For example, someone who visits your website multiple times or opts into your mailing list would become an MQL.

Before becoming sales-qualified leads, a portion of your customers will spend time as MQLs because they haven't yet made their mind up about whether to purchase your product or service. 

The good news is that they've shown interest in your brand, so it's just a matter of getting them over the finishing line!

What defines a potential customer as an MQL will depend on your business, but it's important that you don’t classify every potential customer that shows interest in your brand as an MQL. 

Someone who follows your brand on social media wouldn't be considered an MQL. 

However, someone who downloads your brochure from your website would qualify because they have expressed a high degree of interest in your product or service.

It's vital to track how many MQLs convert to sales-qualified leads, and eventually customers, because it can give you in-depth insight into the efficacy of each of your marketing funnel's touchpoints. 

For example, if you notice that people who download your brochure aren't turning into qualified leads, you may want to reassess the content of your brochure to make it more appealing to your audience.

Website traffic

While tracking your website traffic is a vital metric for your marketing department to keep tabs on, you'll need to dig a little bit deeper to turn this information into quantifiable measures you can take to improve your performance.

It's not enough to simply know how many people have visited your website. 

You also need to know what they did on your website and, most importantly, where (and why) they left. 

Some of the most important questions you should ask when measuring web traffic include:

  • Which pages do visitors land on?

  • Which pages do visitors leave your website from?

  • How many pages did each visitor view?

  • What is the average time a visitor spends on your website?

  • What are your most popular viewing times?

  • Which sources generated the most referral traffic?

When you answer the questions above, you begin to build valuable information about your visitors’ behaviour. 

Then you can modify your website or marketing strategy accordingly to keep them on your website for longer and drive them through the sales funnel.

Referral traffic

Your referral traffic analytics help you understand where your visitors are coming from. Say, for example, you run a digital marketing campaign on various channels including:

  • Social media

  • Google Ads

  • Email

  • PR

Your referral traffic metrics will show you which marketing platforms were the most effective in driving visitors to your website.

Most importantly, it shows you which strategies are ineffective, giving you the opportunity to divert your budget away from unsuccessful channels and into more successful ones.

Cost per lead

Your cost per lead (CPL) is determined by how much it costs your brand to generate one lead. 

Depending on your approach, you may define a lead as a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) or sales-qualified lead (SQL).

As mentioned earlier, it's vital that you know your customer lifetime value in order to set a realistic cost per lead. 

In general, the higher your customer lifetime value, the more you can expect to pay per lead.

Ready to Start Tracking Your Marketing KPIs?

Tracking your marketing KPIs is one of the most important things your brand can do to grow its audience, generate leads, and increase sales revenue. 

But it's not enough to simply measure KPIs in a random or unstructured manner.

To get the most out of your marketing KPIs, you'll need to measure them regularly and provide actionable recommendations to improve performance.

Most brands report on KPIs monthly, but a particular campaign may require weekly (or even daily) reporting to ensure it remains on track. 

It’s also valuable to measure your KPIs quarterly and annually in order to benchmark your performance at key intervals.

Measuring KPIs is a lifetime commitment to support your brand's health. 

But with so many different KPIs to track, it can feel overwhelming to get a handle on all of them—especially if you're simultaneously focusing on other business tasks and goals. 

Often, it's easier (and more effective) to leave it to the pros.

Our team of highly skilled marketers eat, breathe, and think in KPIs, ensuring your brand always has the all-important metrics it needs to grow to the next level. 

If you're ready to accelerate your brand's growth, drop us anemail or give us a call and we can help you create some attention-grabbing, results-driven magic.

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