In the early months of 2020, businesses of every size got rudely shoved into the deep end of the pool with regard to the need for marketing data collection and analysis. Up until that point, many looked at their online presence as an extension of the in-store experience. Foot traffic slowed to a crawl in the wake of a worldwide pandemic. Many business owners and managers responded by taking a sudden, intense interest in the world of data analytics.
Many small business owners previously viewed marketing data analytics as a realm in which only Big Business was able to make a decent showing. Though that was never truly the case, a forced transition to online shopping brought with it newer and better tools that could scale up or down as required. Today, small businesses are poised to play an increasing role in the amount of data collected, stored, and leveraged.
Regardless of how well your business fared these past 18 months, you owe it to your bottom line to develop a robust data center marketing strategy.
1. Unique Online Visitors
Some businesses prefer to track the total number of visitors to their website. However, that often can be attributed to simply liking to have a larger number to insert into the monthly spreadsheet. For those of us who prefer accuracy, “unique visitors” is probably a more meaningful metric. Do you really want to know how many times a specific user hits your site? Wouldn’t you rather know how many people are represented by the traffic you received? Tracking unique visitors will prove far more helpful when you start to analyze marketing costs and ROI.
2. Time Spent on Website
When you begin to break down the analytics for your online presence, it often becomes obvious not only where most of your visitors land but where they tend to stick. It might help to think of your website visitors as gymnasts in this regard. Some land badly; they hit your homepage and click away at lightning speed. Taking a close look at your bounce rate statistics can clue you into areas of your site that need some help. Positively, though, using “time spent on-site” and “time spent on page” numbers will let you know what’s working well.
3. Number of Likes, Shares, and Comments
Have you ever liked or even shared a piece of online content without first bothering to read it? Don’t feel guilty, this sort of thing happens all the time. Many of us forward things on to others just because we know they’ll find it interesting. Sometimes we like something just because we feel like we have to. The point is not that likes and shares are meaningless. Include these numbers in every marketing report. Even so, your marketing people should pay particular attention to comments. Comments represent a significantly increased level of engagement, whether positive or negative.
4. Qualified Leads
Anyone can purchase 10,000 leads from a digital marketing agency. However, you’d hardly classify those 10,000 email addresses as “qualified” leads. Qualified leads have set themselves apart from the masses by demonstrating at least some level of interest in what you have to offer. The key distinction between the two is that qualified leads have voluntarily offered their information. They might have done this by completing a web form, sending an email, or making contact with one of your social media accounts. Most marketers would take 100 qualified leads over 10,000 paid leads any day.
If “number of leads” gets the bronze medal and “qualified leads” takes the silver, “opportunities” wins the gold. Not only has the opportunity been pre-qualified as someone who voluntarily provided information or actively sought you out, but they have also been further identified as someone in need of the product or service your company offers. An opportunity can be thought of as the pinnacle of interest from a potential customer. This number, in particular, will prove most useful when assessing how well your people are managing their very best shot at making a sale.
6. Conversion Rates
Of course, the conversion rate is a marketing data measurement of how many people actually made a purchase or agreed to sign a contract. However, your company might define a sales conversion differently. The point is to keep an accurate record of the number of conversions and compare it to your other numbers. Specifically, you’ll want to set this number next to your qualified leads and opportunities. Doing so gives everyone operating in the sales funnels the chance to track where a qualified lead lost interest, where disconnects took place, and how those holes can be patched.
7. Net Promoter Score
The following question has become rather ubiquitous. “How likely would you be to recommend our products and services to a friend?” The answer to that question, spread across thousands of respondents and averaged, is your NPS. Your NPS falls somewhere between 0 and 100, but keep in mind that you’re not trying to get an “A” on a geometry quiz. Anything above 20 is pretty good. If your company has an NPS north of 60, it’s time to break out the champagne. You are operating at rarefied heights most companies can only dream of.
8. New Customer Acquisition Cost
Arriving at a number that truly represents how much it costs your company to acquire one new customer can be tricky. Some companies struggle just to keep track of how many new customers they get! On top of that, it’s vital you factor in the cost of absolutely everything you spend to generate interest in your products or services. Website hosting costs. Staff time. Loss leaders. The whole shooting match. It’s easy enough to do the simple math problem of dividing total costs by the number of new customers during the same period. The trick is to make sure that you truly are factoring in all costs.
9. Monthly Recurring Revenue
Many businesses operate on a contract basis. This means that they have a steady, reliable source of income (minus some small percentage of bad debt). Keeping the MRR visible and comparing it from month to month helps your marketing team gauge the success of various campaigns. At a minimum, a significant fluctuation calls attention to a shift that requires deeper analysis. Hopefully, your MRR is on a steady climb upwards and to the right. Whatever the case, keeping it in plain view is equally valuable for your sales and marketing teams.