It used to be that marketing was more of an art than a science. You created some ads, developed some data sheets, sent some direct mail and did the same thing the next budget year. Not anymore. Yes, there’s still an element of art, but there’s more science to it now because expenditures need to track to strategies. What’s working and what isn’t can’t be left to conjecture anymore.
This is especially true for industrial companies where budgets are carefully determined and sales cycles are dependent on the nature of the products. C-level execs expect to see that budgets for marketing initiatives are moving the needle on sales. There has to be a return on marketing investment (Marketing ROI) and measuring and monitoring campaigns and tactics is the only way to get there.
What can you learn from marketing analytics? Some of the high-level things you can find out from marketing analytics include:
- Marketing programs that worked and why they were successful
- Marketing trends
- Marketing return on investment (MROI)
- Future results forecasting
So, what are some of the most important analytics that industrial companies need to monitor?
Landing page conversion rates. One of the easiest factors to measure is a landing page conversion rate. If a visitor engages after landing on your site, that information can be captured to help you understand if your content is motivating visitors to act in some way—subscribe, purchase, download, etc. Successful conversion rates vary by industry, largely because of the nature of the engagement. Retail sites will have higher conversion rates because visitors can usually make purchases easily and quickly. With businesses in the manufacturing and industrial space, the sales cycle is longer and purchases more considered, so conversion rates will be lower. Engagements of 4% are considered average and revisions to content can be made accordingly to elevate the rate if it’s not working.
Use A/B Testing. As an extension of the landing page conversion element is the tactic of using A/B testing for web page content, navigation and structure. Essentially A/B testing consists of creating two different versions of the same web page(s) and then directing web traffic to those pages. After a pre-determined length of time, the conversion rates for both pages can be analyzed to see which pulled better. Testing variables will allow you to make appropriate changes so that your web pages are working as hard as possible for you.
Excavate win rates. Tracking win rates—the number of closed and won opportunities in relation to all closed opportunities—will provide a good view of behaviors within a designated time frame. Promotions, content changes, product offerings, etc. should all be factored in when determining an authentic win rate. It’s also critical to pay attention to any patterns in the customer journey of all opportunities—both won and lost—to correctly attribute marketing impact on their behavior.
Explore revenue analytics. Every marketing tactic and touchpoint should track ROI to all activities including trade shows, conferences and other events. In the industrial marketing space, events and conferences are great opportunities to engage with prospects and customers in considerable volume. However, events are one of the heaviest budget items to consider so it’s important to be able to show direct impact. Plus, not all leads are qualified leads so it’s critical to look at the analytics to make adjustments to their sponsorship or attendance at various industry events.
Using metrics and analytics to gauge marketing success for industrial companies is clearly important but ROI is definitely a moving target. Fortunately there is plenty of data as well as analytic tools to help make the job easier for marketers and more profitable for their businesses.