Analytics for Marketers: Goals, KPIs, and Metrics
With dozens of touchpoints along today’s online buyer’s journey, marketers are not at a loss for data. But, keeping up with the vast amount of data available through digital marketing channels can be daunting. The true challenge is turning data into actionable insights that inform decisions and lead to better results. In today’s fast-paced business environment, 75% of marketers look to marketing data and analytics reports to understand how campaigns directly impact revenue. There is so much data available that can give you deep insights into what’s capturing interest for your property or generating the most leads. Today’s marketers need to measure the right marketing metrics and use analytics to inform decisions and get better results. However, in order to make better-informed decisions, you need to know which metrics matter.
Metrics vs. KPIs: Knowing What to Measure
To keep it simple, focus on a few key performance indicators (KPIs) that tie directly to your most critical marketing goals. KPIs are often called “lagging” because they are measured after the fact, giving insight into the output of your marketing efforts. KPIs should reflect progress towards marketing goals. For instance, if the primary goal is to generate more qualified leads, then the KPI that measures this goal is the total volume of qualified leads. This is ultimately the number that will make it into your end-of-quarter reports.
Still, marketers often need to know before the end of the campaign whether things are on track. And KPIs measure the final, or lagging, outcome. This is where “leading” indicator metrics come in. Leading indicators give immediate insight into performance and can be a beacon for tracking KPI progress. These metrics are critical for getting a pulse on whether your KPI is on track.
For instance, if your KPI is more qualified leads, you can look at any number of metrics — including website session durations, clicks, or inquiries — to understand whether you are tracking toward your goal and then identify opportunities to adjust your tactics. Likewise, if your goal is to build awareness for your property, your KPI might be to increase website sessions. But, you might want to look at other metrics — like traffic sources — to get some insight into why your website traffic is not growing the way you’d like.
Here are some examples of marketing goals and metrics that can be used to track performance.
% New Users
|Build awareness||Sessions (website traffic)
|Generate qualified leads||Inquiries (calls, form fills)
Qualified lead ratio
|Increase marketing ROI||Ad spend
|Increase brand engagement||Session duration
Social media engagement (follows, shares, likes)
Average star rating
SMART Goals for Marketers
Before you start measuring anything, you need to map out your goals — and they need to be specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and timely (or SMART). SMART goals are the cornerstone of your marketing plan, giving you a clear direction on where to put your efforts and resources. A thoughtful marketing plan, with KPIs aligned to SMART goals, gives you a roadmap to follow and will help guide your decisions along the way.
Let’s take a look at how SMART goals, KPIs, and metrics come together to help guide your next steps.
Sample Goal #1: Drive demand for a new lease-up property by generating 100 leads per week through the end of the next quarter.
KPI: total lead volume per week
Leading metrics: website sessions, users, traffic sources, inquiry sources, ad clicks
If you’re not on track, ask these questions:
- Which marketing sources are driving inquiries to your property? Have inquiries from any source changed in the last month?
- Has there been a change in total sessions or users?
- Is the CTA on your website prominent?
- Does your website make it easy for someone to find accurate pricing information, floor plan or unit availability, and information about amenities and special services or features?
- Google My Business (GMB) is a key driver of traffic and leads to your website and property. Does your listing provide accurate information, quality property photos, and updated responses to reviews?
- Have you dropped advertising spend on one or more channels?
- Are there unfavorable reviews for your property that should be addressed?
Sample Goal #2: Drive demand for a stabilized property by generating 20 tours per week through the end of the quarter.
KPI: tour requests/inquiries
Leading metrics: inquiry sources, website sessions, users, website pageviews
If you’re not on track, ask these questions:
- Is the call-to-action (CTA) to contact you or schedule a tour prominently displayed on your website?
- Have there been any changes to your online or offline marketing tactics?
- Is your property’s unique value prominently communicated across your marketing channels, including your website, GMB listing, and digital ads?
- How does your pricing compare with similar properties in your area? Is there a more affordable option?
- How’s your property’s reputation? What are people talking about in reviews of the property?
- Check for significant changes in local market competition. Did a new competitor enter the market? Did an existing competitor change pricing or enhance its value proposition?
- Are your on-site teams responding quickly to inquiries or answering the phones promptly?
- Are there pages on your website that are visited more frequently? Is the CTA prominent on those pages?
Working With Data Doesn’t Have to be Daunting
Great! You have SMART goals and know which KPIs and metrics to watch. Now, set aside time each month (or more frequently, if needed) to look through your numbers. Get your reporting game going by following these simple steps.
- Focus on meaningful metrics. Your KPIs are your goalposts, but your metrics will tell you whether you are on track and why. Identify which metrics you need to watch in order to understand if you are tracking toward your goals.
- Set a baseline and grow from there. Take a look at where your metrics are right now and identify tactics in your plan that you hope will improve those numbers. Be sure to not lose sight of your KPIs and supporting metrics.
- Analyze, adjust, analyze. Take simple steps to make adjustments to your tactics and capture events and dates so you can measure impact. Don’t change multiple things at once or you’ll risk losing track of what worked and what didn’t.
- Report to key stakeholders. Build credibility by showing metrics that track to your overall marketing and business goals. Keep the presentation simple and at a high level, providing access to more details if questions arise.
Analyzing your marketing data does not have to be complicated. Start with clear goals so that you can focus on watching metrics that matter. There are a number of reporting platforms available today. G5 provides full transparency into demand generation data and insights in a single platform, allowing you to make data-driven decisions that increase performance results.
Measuring the effectiveness of your marketing can be difficult and it’s not always clear where you should start. The Essential Marketing Metrics Checklist breaks down what you should be measuring, the questions to ask, and measurement tactics that can help you achieve your goals.
Download a copy now.