It can be difficult to know exactly which marketing stats and KPIs you should focus on to ensure success. That is particularly true when it comes to engineering and manufacturing businesses who typically rely on more traditional marketing techniques such as events and have longer buying cycles than most.
At a very basic level, digital marketing comes down to three essential questions:
Sooner or later, most other questions will circle back to that trinity. But you’ll need to delve into much more detail when you examine your web stats. Your marketing will get expensive if you don’t.
By far the biggest gap for many marketers is their conversion rate. Or rather, their conversion rates – plural.
Sure, they see the conversion rate in their digital advertising. But often that’s as far as it goes.
They fail to ask:
Ultimately, your marketing budget will be based on your:
It should not be difficult to measure. Various digital tools or even a simple spreadsheet will do the job.
And from there you can measure return on investment (ROI) based on e-commerce sales and/or enquiries for each channel and campaign.
Let’s break it down and look at it step-by-step in the traditional marketing funnel…
Here is the marketing funnel with the three stages of the buyer’s journey (Awareness, Consideration, Decision)…
Let’s look at the metrics you need to monitor and record for each stage…
People who’ve just become aware of a problem are in heavy research mode. They’re looking for answers – fast. They want to see unselfish content that isn’t a sales pitch. They want content that’ll help them to diagnose their problem.
That content could be blog posts, social media posts, white papers, checklists, ‘how to’ videos, tools or kits, ebooks, tip sheets or educational webinars.
You need to monitor the web traffic that all this content generates. And not just headline-level numbers of sessions/visits. You need to monitor engagement levels. Look at quality – not just quantity.
In this TOFU stage, you’re trying to turn casual content browsers (identity unknown) into leads; you’re trying to capture their names and email addresses.
So you need to know:
This is very much a marketing rather than sales stage but the two departments should always work together to ensure alignment. They need to pull together to reach the overall business goals.
Key TOFU (Awareness) stage metrics you should measure include:
For your potential customers, this mid-funnel stage is all about options: they’re weighing up possible solutions. But they’re still far from ready to buy. They still don’t know for sure what they want…let alone who’ll provide it.
So they need lots of information that’ll help them to compare the various ways to tackle their problem. Which solution would be best for them? What are the pros and cons for each one?
They’ll still be consuming content voraciously: comparison blogs, videos and ebooks…guides, tip sheets and checklists…slideshares/PowerPoint presentations…anything that helps them decide which solution will be the smartest, most effective and best value.
At the MOFU (Consideration) stage you’re trying to sift through the leads gathered at the TOFU (Awareness) stage to decide which of them are marketing qualified leads (MQL) – ie, leads that are good enough for the marketing team to pass on to the sales team.
Your sales team then needs to sift through all these MQLs and qualify them to see which are most likely to go on to the Top of Funnel (TOFU/Decision) stage to become opportunities and then customers.
MOFU stage is where marketing and sales teams will be working particularly closely to ensure the perfect handover.
In an ideal world, every single marketing qualified lead would be perfect for the sales team. So there’d be a 100% conversion rate from MQL to SQL. Sadly, the world is far from ideal…as 2020 proved.
In terms of measurement, you’ll want to be sure that the consideration stage content you shared was doing its job in helping people along the buyer’s journey. That means measuring the traffic that it generated, the conversion rates and the cost of gaining each MQL and SQL.
Key MOFU (Consideration) stage metrics should include:
This is where it gets even more serious. At this point, every one of the people you’re talking to at the Decision stage will be an exciting sales opportunity.
Marketing and sales have qualified them as MQLs and SQLs respectively. They’re serious potential customers who know the solution they want. Now they want to nail down the fine details and find a provider who’ll do a good job at a great price.
They’re ready to buy. So don’t falter at the finish. Don’t get over-excited and lapse into pushy 20th century sales tactics. Your intended customers will still be consuming content: they’ll want to know how you helped other companies with similar problems.
They’ll want to see white papers, case studies and testimonials. They’ll want demonstrations, free trials and incentives to buy. They need to see hard facts and numbers proving how you regularly deliver solid value and ROI before they’ll sign up for your product(s) and service(s).
Again, you need to measure the impact of that BOFU (Decision stage) content: traffic numbers, conversion rates, cost per conversion.
Key BOFU (Decision) stage metrics should include:
It doesn’t end when a customer signs on the dotted line.
In the great game of Attract-Engage-Delight, you must wow your customers and turn them into brand ambassadors who’ll recommend you to future prospects.
So the traditional marketing funnel is now a flywheel, a never-ending cycle that harnesses the energy and power of your marketing and sales. The wheel spinning faster and faster to generate more referrals and future business.
And you need to measure those referrals…
If you'd like to learn how other engineering and manufacturing businesses measure their marketing, download your free copy of the Marketing In Manufacturing Report. You'll learn: