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Being a marketer in today’s increasingly data-driven world is no easy task. There’s gigabytes of data coming your way every single day - data that is transformed into insights, and insights that you then have to decide whether to focus on or not. In making that decision, you first need to set yourself clear marketing objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs), which will help you ask the right questions of your data.

To give you a boost in this process, we’ve put together a list of the most important KPIs that we believe every marketer should be tracking.

1. Sales revenue

Let’s start with the basics: Making sales is perhaps the most obvious proof that your marketing strategy is on the right track. There’s nothing better than seeing customers respond to your social media or email marketing campaigns after weeks of hard work.

To stay on top of such success, however, you need to constantly evaluate your marketing activities, understand which generate the most income for your business, and focus on them. After all, no company wants to spend time and resources on something that isn’t bringing in money.

2. Cost per lead (CPL)

Getting a relevant lead (which, put simply, is an individual that has expressed an interest in your product or service) is the first step to acquiring a potential new customer. Clearly, a very important step, too.

But do you know how much it costs you to generate such leads? The CPL metric helps you understand how cost-effective your marketing activities are when it comes to attracting potential new customers. It also enables your sales team to determine how much money is appropriate to spend on gaining new leads.

3. Customer acquisition rate

Acquiring new customers is the direct result of getting relevant new leads through your marketing. The customer acquisition rate is an important metric, as it helps you establish your lead generation goals and allocate a budget for them. You can also use it as a guideline for future marketing campaigns, comparing their effectiveness to what has already been set as a standard.

4. Customer value

While it’s important for you, as a marketer, to design campaigns targeting potential new customers, it is just as important to keep your existing customers happy, too. Dedicate part of your time and resources to creating campaigns that increase the value of your brand for the customers you already have.

Keep them informed and engaged by telling them more about new products and services, ongoing deals and discounts, and more. After all, it’s much easier to retain an existing customer than acquiring a new one from scratch.

5. Marketing return-on-investment (ROI)

Your marketing ROI is closely connected to many of the above-mentioned metrics. The main reason you’d want to measure your ROI is to avoid spending money on marketing activities that don’t generate enough leads and essentially revenues.

Evaluate your performance on a regular basis and adjust your budget accordingly: Increase it for marketing activities that are effective and help you reach your goals, and minimize it for activities that cost your company money.

6. Traffic sources

Multi-channel communication is the norm for most brands nowadays, and yours is surely one of them. To get the most out of your marketing activities, make sure to monitor where your website traffic comes from - is it from social media or referrals, is it organic or paid.

Understand the different characteristics of your traffic to gain insights into who your customers are, how they got to your website and what pages they visited once they were there. That, as well as what channels led them to it. And remember: steady or increasing traffic is good, but it’s not everything. For your marketing strategy to be performing well, you need to make sure that your website traffic results in conversions, too.

7. Social media traffic (and conversion)

Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine doing marketing without the help of social media. While not all social media channels may be relevant to your business, one or several of them surely are. Track the performance of each of the channels you utilize, and measure anything from the amount of traffic to your website, to the leads and conversions generated by your social media activity.

8. Email marketing performance

Alongside social media, email marketing is yet another way for you to communicate with your customers and maintain an ongoing relationship. Monitor and analyze the performance of each email campaign you send out - from open, click-through and conversion rates, to the number of people who unsubscribe (as undesired as that may be).

9. Organic traffic

Organic traffic should be - and likely is - the main goal of your inbound marketing strategy. After all, having people come to your website on their own, without the need for you to spend resources on attracting them to it, is any marketer’s dream. Yet, getting to that point is often long and difficult process.

While keyword performance is key to driving more organic traffic month over month, providing your customers with relevant and useful content is just as important. Ranking in Google’s top 10 search results is not the only way up. Here’s a blog post that can shed more light.

10. Keyword performance - a.k.a. SEO

Building on the previous point, while search engine optimization (SEO) may not be the only way for you to drive steady organic traffic, it is still crucial for you to master. Identify the keywords that you want to rank high for, analyze their impact on your marketing strategy over time, and optimize the ones that make the most sense for your business.

Identify, analyze, optimize, repeat.

11. Landing page conversion rates

Getting steady or increasing traffic to your landing page is the first step of turning leads into new customers. If you have that going for you, that’s great! Yet, for potential new customers to become paying ones, you need to make sure that your landing page is not just well-designed, but helpful and easy-to-navigate, too.

Monitor what users are looking for, and how quickly and easily they get to it. If necessary, try A/B testing to find out what features best resonate with the majority of those visitors. Gain insights and act upon them. Remember: you may have the most beautiful landing page, but if it doesn’t convert leads into paying customers, it’s a lot of beauty simply gone to waste.

12. Blog post performance

Having a strong content component to your marketing strategy can significantly boost your brand’s image in the long run. Track the performance of your blog posts to find out what people like to read, for how long (monitor bounce rates!), and at what time of the day. Encourage comments to gain qualitative input as well.

Having a strong blogging strategy will not only help you gain more insight into your customers’ wants and needs, but will also give you a chance to respond to them directly, and if you deem it necessary - in near-real time.

Those are some of the most important KPIs that we believe marketers should be tracking. Have we missed any? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by Eugen Knippel

Passionate marketer and traveller. Loves sports, Thai Food and spending time with friends and family. Talk to him about videogames, datadriven advertising and internet pop culture on Twitter @euglilcious

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