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Alistair Norman

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Alistair Norman

Aug 15, 2017

Marketing metrics: symptoms of poor b2b marketing campaign performance


Discover what your marketing metrics are saying about the performance of your B2B marketing campaigns, and why high numbers don’t necessarily equate to good news. 

High performance is the aim of every B2B marketing campaign and while some metrics, such as page views and social shares, are bound to indicate that your campaign is performing well, they could actually be covering up poor performance.

74% of businesses reported they were not keeping track of fundamental B2B marketing metrics like site visits and lead conversions. Metrics are only useful in the context of what they do for your business, so it’s important that you make a distinction between vanity metrics and those that are valuable. Of course, even meaningful metrics can reveal key symptoms of poor campaign performance. We take a look at both types, and what they reveal, below.

1. High levels of traffic to the blog but with low click-through rates to the offer

Is your blog generating a high number of page views? If so, that’s great news! It’s likely that your content is giving your target audience the information they need. But it’s also giving them enough information to leave, and never come back. Or, it’s not compelling enough for them to want to read more.

It can be tempting to focus on page views in isolation, especially if it’s a high number. However, without the accompanying number of click-through, this metric becomes meaningless.

Poor click-through rates can suggest weak or irrelevant call-to-actions that are contributing to a lack of conversion. More simply, it could  mean that the right people aren’t landing on your content, and that you need to refocus your promotional activities.

2. High landing rates on gated offers but with little to no submissions

Customers are on a journey. When they arrive at your landing page, that’s a great start - but that’s all it is: a start. If you’re measuring how many people land on your offer page, without any other context, then you need to think again.  

It’s seductive to believe the customer has been “won” at this point, and push hard for a sale in the copy. Crucially, your prospect may not be ready to complete a lengthy form or schedule a live demo just yet: they’re still digging and searching, gathering information on a business pain they need to solve. These prospects are unlikely to submit their details and will  bounce from your landing page.

Poor submission rates are symptomatic of prospects that need more nurturing, offers that are inappropriate for that stage of the journey, form fills that are too demanding, and even copy that is irrelevant to what you’re trying to offer them.

3. High email bounce rates causing a negative impact on overall delivery and performance

According to Mckinsey, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. Despite claims that email marketing is becoming ineffective, it still bolsters performance for many B2B organisations.

Measuring email bounce rates may feel like you’re sabotaging your performance, but the negative metrics are just as important as the positive ones. In fact, if your campaign performance is only positive, then there is very likely something amiss.  

High email bounce rates can indicate out-of-date data and wasted marketing efforts. You may be investing a lot of time in writing personalised emails for your target audience, but if you’re sending them to incorrect addresses or a list of people who have unsubscribed, your marketing campaign simply isn’t performing as well as it should be.

4.  High number of email click throughs to landing pages but a low number of leads from conversions

A lot of effort goes into your email marketing campaigns, with promotional and batch emails playing a crucial role in your overall campaign performance.  If your subject line, content, and offer is attractive then your click-through rate is likely to be high. Reporting on this number in isolation will certainly give the appearance that your campaign is performing well, but the real issue is still underlying.

Email marketing campaigns shouldn’t stand alone to the rest of the campaign. Your landing pages need to continue the messaging that was attractive in the first place and compel the reader to submit the form and download more of your content.

A low number of leads from your email efforts indicates that there is a disconnect somewhere in your B2B marketing campaign which is causing your audience to lose interest, ultimately damaging your campaign’s overall performance.  

5. Poor lead to close ratio or a number of leads turning cold

The purpose of any B2B marketing campaign is to turn prospects into leads, and leads into customers. Once you have captured the details of your prospects, it can be tempting to put them straight through to sales. Your hand off rates between marketing and sales will go through the roof, and your performance will look like it’s reaching dizzying heights.

But wait a moment. Just because your sales are talking to a large number of people doesn’t actually mean they’re closing any deals. You’ll also be in danger of measuring an entirely made up metric and promising the board you’ll deliver more customers than possible. Campaign performance isn’t just about what’s happening online - what’s happening after this activity is just as, if not more, important.

Poor lead to close ratio indicates that your sales team aren’t nurturing leads with the right follow up materials or discussions that are relevant to your campaign. The hard work to convert prospects, to leads, to customers, never really ends - regardless of how high some metrics may appear.

Conclusion

Continuous improvement is crucial to delivering a high-performing B2B marketing campaign, but you need to understand what your metrics are saying before you can get to work. Poor campaign performance is reparable, as long as you are able to identify the weaknesses while the campaign is going and create an actionable plan to optimise those areas.

In part two of our ‘Marketing metrics’ blog, we expand on the solutions you can put in place when your marketing campaign isn’t performing quite the way you want to, We look forward to helping you optimise your campaigns further so you can get those crucial results and achieve success.

Takeaways:

  • In marketing measurement metrics, a landing page is the start of the sale, not the finishing point.
  • Positive marketing measurement metrics are pleasant, but negative ones tell you more.
  • No marketing measurement metric is useful when it is measured in isolation to its counterparts.
  • Marketing measurement metrics are only effective when you have enough data to work on.
  • Your marketing measurement metrics must teach over time, not work as one-offs.

Want to learn more about what performance metrics are key to top promotional campaigns, read The CMO's definitive guide to high-performing promotional campaigns.

Topics: b2b promotional campaigns

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