Measuring customer success is the key to any successful campaign or even task, regardless of what it is that you do in business, there’s nothing which could be more important than the definition of if the outcome has been a success or not. Before beginning your journey into marketing, it’s important that you have understood what success means, what variables matter and how you’re going to measure your progress.
Our role as marketing managers and agencies is to make sure that we share the relevant information back to key stakeholders that demonstrate to them the performance of the campaign and give them a clear indication of if the KPIs are going to be met. There’s no point in reporting on metrics that don’t add to the overall business goal of the activity you are running.
What metrics of success are the most important for a margin business?
For a margin business, sales must come through fast, often to cover the cost of other business expenses. Best suited to these quick returns are services such as PPC, where you can correlate spending directly back to ROI, and Paid Social, where you can run remarketing campaigns as well as lead gen campaigns to collect details, fast forwarding the consideration phase of the buyer journey.
So, these are the best channels, but what success metrics would you use on these channels to see if you’re achieving success? The most common is ROAS, which is a return on advertising spend. This metric will tell you how much you make back for every £1 spent on advertising. If you’re running a lead generation campaign, then instead of a ROAS number, your main metric will be CPL, Cost per Lead. This will tell you much much it is costing to acquire a customer’s details and move them down the conversion path.
In addition to these very top-level stats, which are the main considerations of the success of a margin business, you may also have targets and goals that add context to these numbers that you want to report on, these could be Conversion Rate, Cost per Click, Number of Clicks, Number of Impressions, Top of Page Rates and Top Keywords. All of these metrics will add more context, and regularly you will find correlations between these metrics and your overall campaign success, so always step back from just the top level, as these metrics matter just as much when adding an explanation.
If you’re a new business or startup, perhaps you’re more interested in disruption than you are in immediate return, so what metrics can you use to judge this success?
If you’re new to the market, perhaps with an investment, or even just a desire to get your name known amongst a community, then your success metrics will look different to those which are outlined above.
The key tools we would use for promoting either a new brand or product are paid social, which is great at showing your offering to new people using detailed interest targeting, or Digital PR, which will get your name out in high-level publications, letting your name resonate with the public and giving your URL a boost in authority early on, if coupled correctly with a strong SEO strategy.
So building awareness, what are the key things to look at? As this is much more top of the funnel, the metrics are more above awareness and interest, than consideration and purchase. For paid social, you will look at metrics such as impressions, how many times the ad has been seen, and reach, how many individual people saw the ad. In addition to this, you will also consider metrics such as frequency, that is how many times the same ad or variations of the ad have been seen. Digital PR is much the same in terms of key metrics, though with 1st party data not being available, the report back on what matters here are the readership of the publication and the domain authority of the link secured in the piece. In addition to the readership, this exploration sits well so will often gain impression figures into the millions if the story resonates with the story.
Measuring brand awareness even with all of these tools and metrics can still be a struggle, as it’s not a tangible metric itself that can be recorded in any format. But building a brand that becomes known in a community is easy to scale, and the first few years will always be the hardest, so keep looking at the reach and mood around your product or service, it will become invaluable even if it isn’t turning into sales right now. There is a handy list of other things that can be measured in a blog post here.
Now we know what to measure directly, it’s a good idea to look at success in a few more dimensions than just x = y. Introducing, lifetime value success.
Important to consider with both of the above is the lifetime value of a customer. For the bottom of the funnel, you can pull in a customer with a promotion or a loss-leading product. This gets people into your marketing system and allows you to sell more in the future if they need additional items or services, or if the product is perishable. Measuring this is something which is best done by a CRM system, when it may have cost £50 to secure a customer that spends £50 on an item, but if they return directly for 4 more £50 purchases, then suddenly the story is very different. Always important is to make sure you use marketing to attract new customers primarily and nudge those who already love you to return and show some appreciation every once in a while.
The real measure of customer success. Do they stay, or do they go?
The last one from me, and I think one of the most important metrics to look at not only for customers to clients but for an agency to consider with clients, is retention. It applies across all marketing success metrics, but the ultimate measure of how you are doing is the retention of those you have attracted. Depending on your industry or service, retention may be more difficult to measure, but ultimately the best way to keep your business profitable and make sure you get the most out of your marketing investment is to retain those customers who love you.
If you’d like to learn how Embryo can help you focus your marketing efforts, and talk to you about the metrics which are important for you to measure, get in touch now to speak to a dedicated advisor who will assess your needs, advise on channels and get you started on your growth journey.