You probably know that the measurement possibilities in the digital world are endless and that there’s a ridiculous amount of data generated by being present online. With that in mind, it can be difficult to navigate the jungle of charts and sheets when analysing your marketing actions and monitoring your business progress. ‘Why am I looking at this number and what do you want me to do based on that!?’ Let’s take a look at 4 areas you should prioritise when reporting Inbound performance to management.
Regardless of which reporting tool you use, there’s typically standard reports on visits, Page Views and Conversions, but have you segmented it on the different phases in the journey towards becoming a delighted customer. This is where the Inbound methodology comes in hand. By using Attract, Convert, Close and Delight phases, you will get much more relevant reports based on people’s mindset and stage of the decision process.
Use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for this part:
Number of Subscribers—people that know about us and have opted in to hear from us periodically.
Number of Leads—people that have shown more interest in what we offer than our subscribers have, e.g. by filling out a form to download a content offer.
Number of Marketing Qualified Leads (known as MQLs)—people who have raised their hands (metaphorically speaking) and identified themselves as more deeply engaged, sales-ready contacts than your usual leads, but who have not yet become fully fledged opportunities.
Number of Sales Qualified Leads (known as SQLs)—those contacts that we have accepted as worthy of a direct follow up from our sales team.
Number of Sales Opportunities—contacts who have become real sales opportunities in our CRM system and are actively being pursued by our sales team.
Number of Customers—people who have become actual, paying customers.
Number of Evangelists (Promotors)—contacts that are advocates for us and who recommend us to others. Satisfaction from target groups is typically measured by our NPS (Net Promotor Score).
Let’s do a quick exercise. If you would stop paying for your marketing activities today, what would happen with the KPIs above? Have you built an audience that will go away when you stop paying for advertising or will they still be there? If the source of your KPI performance is a paid source, you must consider shifting it towards a non-paid source, such as organic search traffic and offsite (social media) traffic.
The next question to ask yourself is: Do all the parts of the funnel work or does it break down somewhere? I.e. is the top-of-the-funnel (attracting visits and converting leads) working? Is the middle-of-the-funnel working (qualifying leads and generating prospects for sales)? Is the bottom-of-the-funnel working (closing customers and creating promotors)?
If some part of the funnel is underperforming compared to the other parts, that’s likely where you should focus your efforts.
In the end, it’s all about the money. John Wanamaker once said ‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half. ‘ Today we can get hard facts on which of your marketing activities gives the most revenue.
Questions to answer:
Inbound is about remarkable content. So, if you want a successful lead generating flow, there are some Content Reports to add to your portfolio.
There’s a variety of tools you can use to get the necessary data, each with its own pros and cons (that might actually be a great blog post in the future, so stay tuned). And in the end, reporting is about story telling. You need to get the relevant figures that ends up in actions.
So, if you, for example, have doubts about which figures to report to management, the above reports is where you should start.
Do not hesitate to talk to us about Inbound reporting!