Archive for May, 2013

Three big marketing metrics Managing Directors care about

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Have you ever presented a marketing report to your Managing Director filled with great looking graphs and stats only to be greeted with a look of scepticism and doubt? Was the report filled with terms such as engagement, reach or eyeballs? These are some common metrics that marketing has dealt in for years but they don’t reflect an understanding for what senior management, especially managing directors and chief executives, care about. These are three of the big metrics that marketing teams should focus on when presenting to the board:

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

In the simplest form, this metric concerns itself with answering one question: when all costs are considered, how much have we spent acquiring each new customer. It’s a simple metric and one that is critical to understanding the effectiveness of sales and marketing programs.

How to work it out
Choose a time period, say the financial year 2012/13, and add up all of the sales and marketing costs. Be sure to include salaries, bonuses, media buys, agency fees and any other associated costs. Now take the total number of customers gained in this period and divide the total costs by the number of new customers.

Sales and marketing costs ÷ total new customers = customer acquisition costs

Example

Why do bosses care?

This tells you the average amount you are spending on acquiring new customers. Monitoring this over time allows your boss to see how effective sales and marketing is and whether the standards are slipping or if the market is becoming increasingly competitive. A low average CAC is good for business and shows the sales and marketing teams are doing something right.

Marketing % of Customer Acquisitions Cost (M%CAC)

This is where the boss gets to see the value of the marketing team specifically within the customer acquisition process. It is good to monitor this for your own department’s sake as you can quickly identify whether your sales team are letting the side down or whether your marketing department is in itself spending too much for too little in return.

How to work it out

Take all of the marketing costs and divide them by the total sales and marketing costs used to calculate the CAC. This means including all of the media buys, the salaries of the marketing team and the agency fees but removing the sales team costs such as salaries and commissions.  To get the percentage of CAC, multiply this figure by 100.

Total marketing costs ÷ total sales and marketing costs x 100 = M%CAC

Example

Why do bosses care?

It shows how the marketing team’s performance impacts the overall customer acquisition costs. While we are not in the business of trying to pitch sales and marketing against each other, this metric can help to identify which team is letting the side down. High M%CAC can imply several things such as an investment phase involving lots of media buying (something that should be planned for and expected) or it can suggest the sales team are under-performing as their commissions have been lower in this period.

Marketing Influenced Customer (%)

In order to effectively measure this metric you have to have two things: a clear method on tracking marketing generated leads (such as with inbound marketing) and a process of asking all new enquiries where they first heard about your business. By tracking this you will not only gain insight in to which channels produce the strongest leads for your business but also just how effective marketing really is in the sales process. One of the biggest gripes amongst executives about marketing is that they struggle to demonstrate it’s effectiveness. This metric helps to address that issue.

How to work it out

Take all of the new customers generated in a specific period and identify how many of them had an interaction with marketing while they were a lead. Divide this figure by the total of new customers in that period and multiply by 100.

Customer who interact with marketing at lead stage ÷ total new customers x 100 = MIC%

Example

Why do bosses care?

This gives a clear indication about how important marketing is to the buyer’s decision making process. When the percentage is high, senior decision makers will be reminded of the importance of spending that extra money creating compelling content for marketing campaigns rather than cutting budgets back.

Conslusion

When speaking to the senior decision makers in your business you have to speak to them on their level. Understand their motivations (revenue and profitability) and make your reports relevant to that. Speak their language and show that you are working to the same goals as them and don’t convince yourself that the light, fluffy metrics such as likes, shares and retweets will be enough to satiate the demands of managing directors or shareholders.

By Martin Broadhurst








Infographic: What is digital marketing?

Friday, May 31st, 2013

This handy little infographic gives a simple breakdown of what is involved in digital marketing including on-page SEO, search engine marketing and content creation. (more…)

4 Free tools for measuring social media marketing campaigns

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Finding the right tool to measure the impact of your social media marketing can be difficult especially if you don’t use a dashboard with integrated reporting tools such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social or HubSpot. Use these tools in order to help get useful data that is easy to interpret and free to access.

Visual.ly Facebook Insights

Visual.ly is a great social platform where infographic designers and publishers can share their latest creations (you can see Katapult designed infographics here). The site really excels though, in allowing people to create their own infographics based on data from social networks, such as Twitter or Facebook. The most useful of these from a business perspective is the Visual.ly Facebook Page Insights tool. It uses data from your Facebook Page Insights to create a great looking bespoke infographic detailing the activity on your Facebook Page.

Social mention

Social mention is the Google Alerts of social media. It allows you to monitor online chatter and, if used in a clever way, it can be used to create an online share of voice report. Social mention coupled with Google docs spreadsheets can provide some really useful data allowing you to track your brands’ online share of voice over time. That’s a feature you pay a lot of money for in other software packages. Speaking of Google Docs…








Google Docs

Using Google Docs to measure social media activity requires a bit of effort to get up and running so it isn’t for the faint of heart. You don’t have to be an advanced software developer but a bit of familiarity with spreadsheet formulas is required to get them working. Mashable compiled a list of different ways to use Google Docs for social media analytics.

Simply Measured

The social media analysis specialists at Simply Measured have provided a selection of free tools for monitoring your social media activity. For those wanting a more comprehensive social media analytics platform, they can sign up for Simply Measured’s services which start at $500 per month. Those that need something a little lighter can get the free reports in exchange for following the company on Twitter.

It’s all so simple, you see.

By

The best examples of B2B firms using Pinterest

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Pinterest Header
There are many great examples of businesses using Pinterest with great success. One need only to look at the major US retailers such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens and Home Depot to see how to do it well. While Pinterest might not have such a direct win for B2B firms using it (few B2B purchasing decisions are likely to be made off the back of a repin), there are still some big B2B firms using Pinterest to great effect.

General Electric

Ok, calling General Electric a B2B firm is like calling Leonardo Di Vinci a scientist; it is accurate but it doesn’t tell the whole story. GE work in both B2B and B2C fields and their Pinterest boards reflect this. They share fascinating, insightful content that inspires and educates Pinners while helping to reinforce the GE brand.
(more…)

Social media marketing tools: Video showcase

Friday, May 24th, 2013

These are some of the best YouTube videos from some of the greatest social media marketing tools on the market. If you’d like to see any other tools or videos featured here, leave a note in the comment box below.

Hootsuite

Authenticity still matters in B2B social media marketing

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

When it comes to business use of social media there are two types of players: organisations and individuals. Organisations and individuals should both approach social media as authentically as possible. While I’m aware the word “authenticity” has been thrown around a great deal by social media experts, almost to the point where it has lost all meaning, the truth is authenticity matters. (more…)

Data mining B2B website analytics for increased leads and sales

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Data. That’s what everybody is talking about. Not just any old bit of data either. No, the data that people are talking about is big and complex data. Do a Google news search for articles mentioning big data from the last 24 hours and you will get over 10 pages of results, but the big opportunity for many B2B firms remains in small data such as website analytics. This blog focuses on those opportunities and how B2B firms can mine that data for quick wins and increased lead conversions.

Landing page metrics

In front of every great piece of B2B marketing content sits a data capture form waiting to be filled in. It is the landing page that turns an ordinary brochure website into a lead generating marketing asset. With that in mind, you need to consider the following metrics when reviewing your landing page performance.

  • Call-to-action click-through rate: A landing page is only effective when people actually land on it. As such, you need to make sure the pathways to the landing page, i.e. your calls-to-action, are actually driving people to the landing page in the first place.
  • Visitors-to-lead conversion: A landing page that gets 1,000 hits a month but only converts in to 1 new lead a month would politely be referred to as under-performing. Monitoring your visitor-to-lead conversion rather than simply the landing page traffic is vital if you are to be able to optimise your landing pages for lead generation.

Search engine optimisation metrics

One of the key goals of your ongoing digital marketing efforts should be to increase traffic to your website from organic search and to improve your search rankings for targeted keywords to get closer to that no. 1 spot. Along the way there are various different factors that you’ll want to measure in order to be able to measure your progression.

  • Organic search traffic: The most simple and fundamental of all the SEO metrics you should be measuring is, quite simply, the increase in organic search traffic over time. Did you get more people arriving on your website through organic search this month compared to last month? If so, well done. You’re doing something right.
  • Unique search terms: Aligned to the above metrics is the unique search terms through which you are being found. Are these terms increasing? Are you being found for more long-tail keywords than you previously were? Your ongoing blogging efforts should help build more long-tail keyword traffic over time.
  • Inbound links: Despite the importance of inbound links slowly diminishing as search engines continue to refine their algorithms, they do still play an important role in determining search engine rankings. They also help you find out if you’re doing something right insofar as if people are sharing and linking to your website, your content is probably well received.

Business blogging metrics

More often than not it is only when data is analysed that marketing directors and chief executives begin to take the company blog seriously. A well maintained corporate blog is often unrivaled as a means to growing brand reach, increasing website traffic and generating new leads. To ensure your blog is delivering on these promises, monitor the following stats.

  • Individual post views: Regularly checking the page performance of your blog posts is essential to finding patterns to help steer your content and help drive new leads. Why so? Because that blog post you published three months ago that still gets 50 hits per day could become a valuable source of new leads if you put the right call-to-action and content offer on there.
  • Blog traffic sources: If your content is resonating with your desired audience it will likely be shared into online communities that you didn’t even know existed. Monitor the sources of traffic and try to identify potential websites that you could be engaging with better to grow your presence.
  • Visitor-to-lead conversion rates: Blogging with the purpose of generating new leads requires that you monitor the sources of your new leads. After all, you want to know the people coming to your blog are the people you want to sell to. See which blogs are converting the the most visitors-to-leads, or, at the very least, which are providing the most click-throughs on your calls-to-action. Use this information and produce similar content in future.

By

Sales & marketing: Avoiding the break-up

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Bride & groom wedding cake figurines

The divide between sales and marketing teams can pose a major obstacle to lead generation. As is often the case in unhappy marriages, a breakdown in communication is often to blame with the two parties unable to reconcile the differences in their priorities and metrics. In many cases they’re talking different languages, add to that a lack of clarity and you have the perfect recipe for the inevitable mistrust and finger-pointing that ensues…and a relationship beyond repair. So, what can be done to get things back on track and lay the foundations for a loving, long lasting union? Well, a step change in marketing methodology can help:

To have and to hold

Buyer behaviour has changed and so it’s time to adapt, sales and marketing teams have the opportunity to change and integrate their approach. What Forrester describe as the new interaction model of ‘need-match-engage’ demands that sales and marketing teams work more closely together to respond effectively when buyers initiate interactions, engaging them with the brand when they are researching suppliers with a view to converting this initial interest into a warm lead. This is where inbound marketing can help.

From this day forward

Inbound marketing offers many opportunities for sales and marketing teams to work closely together from the off, day in day out. For example, who better for the marketing team to speak to when developing buyer personas than the sales team. In speaking to prospects on a daily basis, sales teams can provide invaluable intelligence to build profiles, understand ‘pain points’ and identify marketing preferences. Further, this can be invaluable in informing keyword research and developing engaging content.

For better, for worse

When it comes to leads, quality should always win out over quantity. Five great leads or 100 rubbish ones? It’s your choice but through techniques such as lead nurturing, the inbound marketing methodology focuses on moving prospects carefully through the sales funnel and delivering results in less time than a sales team can achieve through chasing tepid, low converting leads.

For richer, for poorer

Inbound marketing facilitates greater transparency between sales and marketing teams. For example, in producing sales ready leads, a more formal handoff can be established. This could extend to an SLA which defines expectations and sets out the responsibilities for everyone involved (Let’s call it the Pre nup) e.g. marketing get a target volume of warm leads to be generated each month whilst this also sets out a plan for sales on how to follow up those leads. And the benefit? According to HubSpot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing, the average cost per lead for companies with such a process in place generate leads at around 50% of the cost of those that don’t.

In sickness and in health

Is your database in good health? Aspects of inbound such as marketing automation help to deliver quality leads more efficiently and will also force an honest assessment of existing data. Again, it’s another opportunity for sales and marketing to work together to lay down the criteria for where the business should be focussing its attention. This might sound painful but happier times are around the corner in the form of a better bottom line.
(more…)

Google I/O: What you need to know

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

What a difference a year makes. In 2012, the Google I/O focused heavily on hardware: from the skydiving sequence introducing Google Glass to the launch of the Nexus Q and Nexus 7 devices, it was clear Google was looking to sell products. This year’s keynote set a very different tone and I had a lot of fun geeking out following the news while sat in the pub last night.

(more…)

What is inbound marketing? Get found, engage, convert, analyse.

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

“The process of helping potential customers find your company – often before they are even looking to make a purchase – and then turning that early awareness into brand preference and, ultimately, into leads and revenue.” – Jon Miller, VP Marketing at Marketo

Inbound marketing is a marketing methodology that uses content to position your company as an authority on a topic as early as possible during the buyer decision-making process. By providing invaluable content that answers your ideal clients most pertinent questions you can increase your visibility in search, build trust in your brand and, most importantly, start generating online leads.

Understand your buyers

In order to be able to create content that speaks to your desired audience you must first understand what your customers’ pain points are. What problems can your company solve for them? The best way of answering this question is to create a buyer persona. Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers and by going through the process of creating a buyer persona you will be better positioned to answer their most pressing problems by through informative and engaging content. (more…)