Marketing executives across industries struggle with metrics and analytics for digital marketing programs, according to an article in ClickZ. Author Augustine Fou writes that digital marketing tactics are so new to many marketing executives that they're unsure which metrics to use.

It's all the same, but not

Ultimately, you can measure any campaign – digital or traditional – by the same metric: revenue. David M. Raab, vice president, analytics and optimization at Left Brain DGA, a demand generation consulting agency, said that what's different between channels are the intermediate metrics, such as cost per visit or audience reach. In a traditional channel like TV, for example, marketers know that gross rating points correlate with revenue. But Raab told ZoomInsights that because digital channels are newer, the best you can do is find the metrics that are closest to the final result, such as conversion rate.

Volume and conversion

"Metrics are always split into two families: the volume indicators – how much or how many – and the conversion rate indicators – the likelihood that a visitor to the site will call me, or the likelihood that someone who sees my ad will click on it," said Marc Poirier, co-Founder of Acquisio, provider of a performance media platform for agencies. He said success in online marketing usually requires maximizing both types of indicators.

Five to start

Greg Ott, CMO, Demandbase, provider of a real-time personalization and targeting platform for B2B, told ZoomInsights, "What's great about digital campaigns is that they do allow businesses to track a variety of new metrics. But they are not all created equal and the abundance of data can be overwhelming." Ott suggested starting with the following five metrics:

  1. Overall visits and engagement by industry and company size. It's not enough to measure total traffic to your site. In B2B you need to know if you're getting the right mix of relevant industries and company size segments and what they're doing when they get to your site.

  2. Conversion rates by industry and company size. Understanding which offers and landing pages are working and are not working enables marketers to focus on converting the industry segments that are most likely to provide a revenue source.

  3. Source of traffic by industry and company size. Know what channels or campaigns are driving the most valuable mix of visitors.

  4. Named account activity. High engagement from multiple visitors at a given company might indicate high interest and a good time for a sales call.

  5. Sweet spot activity Are the companies that fit in to your marketing sweet spot engaging and converting on your site, or are they bouncing (leaving the site) after one page view?

Conversion or engagement?

Zach Beatty, marketing manager at Blue Fountain Media, a New York Web design and online marketing firm, reminded ZoomInsights that not all B2B websites are intended to directly sell product. "If a site's goal is to build brand awareness, engagement metrics such as pages per visit are more appropriate," Beatty said.

First choice: CPA

"If I had to suggest one metric that matters the most, it would have to be cost per acquisition or CPA," said Chris Shaffer, Chief Inbound Strategist/CMO of Greener Grass Marketing. "CPA will show if the company can actually make money with the way they currently are investing their marketing budgets."

You're not alone

As Fou writes, companies have various levels of sophistication in digital marketing. So if metrics are a challenge for you, you're not alone. But with testing, you can quickly learn what works best for your brand, product, company and industry.

If you use email to draw prospects to your website, email bounce rates are an important metric to you for many reasons, including staying off of blacklists. ZoomInfo's data experts can find outdated addresses in your list and replace them with current correct information. Find out more.

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