4 Marketing KPI’s Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know
KPIs should not be mistaken for metrics. While a metric refers to something than can be measured, a KPI must also provide or contribute to providing a competitive advantage and offer relevant information toward future performance. While KPIs vary by industry, there are some common KPIs businesses can watch to assess their marketing.
Cost Per Conversion/Acquisition
The cost per customer conversion or customer acquisition refers to the total amount of money spent in marketing to turn a person in the target market into a paying customer. This performance indicator bears scrutiny because many products and services yield small profit margins. If, for example, your business makes an average of $200 on every new customer, but spend an average of $205 to convert those new customers, the marketing efforts do not serve the larger business goal of profitability. You may also break this KPI down according to communication channels such as TV, print ads and web advertising, even going down to the level of pay-per-click and organic traffic, to see which channel produces highest conversion at the lowest cost and refocusing marketing efforts in that channel.
As businesses increase the number of services customers can access and use online, that usage information itself becomes a KPI. Unlike traditional approaches to gathering usage data that customers can opt out of, such as surveys, this type of usage information provides information about all customers employing the online services or products. In many cases, the information exists on servers owned by the business, which limits the costs to analyzing the data. If, for example, the business uses an online feature that lets customers schedule appointments and that service receives exceptionally high usage, the business can include that service as a key feature in future marketing materials.
Revenue, of course, hinges on a variety of factors beyond marketing, ranging from market conditions to materials quality. Expensive electronic equipment sales may take a hit in an economic downturn, even with brilliant marketing, and make an upswing in during an economic recovery, in spite of mediocre marketing. There should be, however, a demonstrable connection between marketing efforts and a percentage of revenue. This connection may take the form of either marketing-influenced revenue or revenue directly attributable to a marketing effort.
Sales numbers can provide important information when examined before, during and after promotional events. In particular, low sales during a promotion can indicate the marketing approach to the product does not appeal to the target market. Sales numbers, however, can indicate problems beyond the control of the marketing team. Low sales may indicate that salespersons do not fully understand the product or do not have effective information to make the product appear relevant to the target market.
Watching these marketing KPIs can provide you insight into what elements of your marketing efforts work and what elements need to be dropped. The information can also offer insight into how to structure future marketing efforts in terms of content, which can help to enhance your customer retention and conversion rates.