A hidden leak in your house can sneak up on you. Water has a silent, insidious way of weaving its own path of destruction. By the time you discover the source, the damage can be costly. The same is true for your business. Monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) can prove you’re profitable or show you where funds are leaking. Sales may be increasing and money coming in, but don’t just assume you’re getting good ROI from your digital marketing plan. Digital Marketing KPIs help you see the bigger picture to more effectively evaluate how your strategies are working.
The following are 50 KPI kick-starts to ensure your digital marketing plan ROI isn’t trickling away, broken down into seven key performance categories: brand engagement, influence response, sales and marketing metrics, financial considerations, business operations, customer characteristics, and employee factors.
Your brand is your business identity, what your customers recognize about your product, service, and values. Your goal is to get increasing numbers of prospects to embrace your brand. These KPIs provide valuable metrics on how your brand is working:
1) Number of unique site visitors. How many first-time prospects are discovering your website? Modify your digital marketing plan to increase brand visibility.
2) Opt-in registrations. How many are signing up? Offer a compelling reason for site visitors to give you their contact information, such as a free e-book, white paper, or newsfeed subscription.
3) Return visits to website. How often do your prospects come back to your site? Increase return visits by providing valuable information and updating it regularly.
4)Time spent on website. How long do prospects stay on your site? Ensure your pages load quickly and make your site interesting so they’ll stay longer.
5) Popular pages and navigation paths. Applications such as Google Analytics can track visitor traffic patterns and tell you which site pages are most popular.
Your digital marketing plan should be able to measure how influential your brand is in getting prospects to act. Modify your marketing plan if your prospects are not:
6) Downloading content. No one signing up for your free report? Find out what would have more value and offer that.
7) Buying your product. No sales, no revenue! Make sure there’s a strong demand for your product before you invest too heavily by conducting pre-launch surveys to assess interest and thorough market research to find similar products. Many businesses vying to sell a similar product or service shows evidence of a thriving market. Strive to ensure your product exceeds competitors’ products in terms of quality and service.
8) Joining or establishing an account. Your contact list is your most valuable marketing asset. Build it by providing opportunities at various points along the sales funnel that call prospects to act and draw them deeper into a trusting relationship with your business. These could include free downloads, community membership, newsfeeds, and other valuable incentives. Signing up to receive your incentives is generally a strong indication of intent to buy your product.
9) Sharing with recommendations. Happy customers provide valuable testimonies. Include ways to make sharing convenient.
10) Posting positive comments. Bad news travels faster! Collect and display customer testimonials to influence opinion and boost conversion.
Sales and Marketing Metrics
Successfully engage prospects to close deals and exceed sales quotas. Examine these KPIs to see if your strategies are working:
11) Conversion rate. How many of your site visitors become customers? You may be drawing a big crowd of the wrong audience.
12) Market share. How do your earnings compare to competitors in your industry?
13) Corporate reputation. Keep vigilant watch on what customers are saying about your company. They’re more likely to share a complaint than post a testimonial!
14) Brand persuasion score. How likely are your prospects to buy from you?
15) Search engine ranking. How close to the top of the results do you land on popular search engines?
16) Social networking presence. How big is your social footprint on major networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter?
17) Projected sales level. Are you reaching your sales quotas?
18) Revenue per customer. What is your average sale per buyer?
19) Cost to serve. How much does it cost you to service each customer?
20) Cost per sales lead. How much does it cost you to find each prospect?
21) Sales per vertical. This figure can show you which of your sales channels is most popular.
22) Klout score. Klout.com’s algorithm was developed to measure the social media success and reputation of brands and agencies. Klout reports that the average score, on a scale of 1 to 100, is 40. Social media users with a score of 63 rank in the top 5% of all users.
Evaluating marketing success requires looking at hard numbers. Market research and financial analysis can help you spot important trends, discover problems, and resolve issues.
23) Total revenue. Your gross sale amount is an important figure, but let your KPIs tell the whole story.
24) Net income. Your net income is the remainder after you back out all the expenses.
25) Net profit margin. The percentage of additional proceeds after all taxes and interest, stock payments, and operational expenses have been deducted.
26) Total sales. The actual number of deals closed. This metric can be separated by product or service to help you find your best sellers.
27) Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). Profits aren’t real until after the taxes and expenses are paid!
28) Cash conversion cycle. This is the length of time it takes for investments in your business to convert to revenue. Pouring investment money in with little to no ROI out is a sure path to bankruptcy.
29) Debt to equity (D/E) ratio. The value of your business as compared to its indebtedness.
30) Price to earnings (P/E) ratio. If the price you’re charging is too low, you’ll hinder profit.
31) Return on assets (ROA). Are you using your financial assets to your best advantage?
Small-business marketing strategies are significantly impacted by the costs of day-to-day commercial activities to run the business. You may have to strive for more reach with less money.
32) Operating expense ratio. Operating expenses include necessary items like office supplies, Internet service, and equipment maintenance, but these can also be sources of unnecessary drain. How do your operating expenses compare with your income? Make sure your spending is efficient. You may find, for example, that you can save by bundling some services or obtaining a less expensive maintenance agreement.
33) Six Sigma level. Six Sigma is a scoring methodology that uses statistical analysis to enhance business functioning, increase quality, and reduce waste.
34) Delivery in full on time (DIFOT). How often are your service orders fulfilled completely and within the required deadline?
35) Time to market. How long does it take for your product to move from inception to the marketplace? You should strive for the shortest length of time possible without cutting corners on quality or efficiency of service. That said, some products are perceived to be more valuable the longer the customer has to wait for them. For example, if your business involves producing original art pieces, your customers expect to wait for the creative process to be completed. However, they are less patient to wait for mass-produced items. Assess your delivery system to ensure your pre-determined time-to-market standards are met at every stage.
36) Quality index. A measure of perceived value of a product or service. The more your product surpasses its competitors in appearance, desirability, popularity, and other positive factors, the more compelled prospects are to purchase it. Boost the quality index by assessing your prospects’ needs, building in those desired features, and advertising the valuable benefits.
37) Inventory shrinkage rate. This is a measure of the time it takes to deplete your product supplies, noting that some components may deplete faster than others. Develop an inventory maintenance schedule based on shrinkage rates to ensure you always have what you need on hand. Failing to monitor your shrinkage rate can impact other KPIs such as your DIFOT and time to market. Your business could lose revenue if production must come to a halt because you’re lacking one component.
38) Supply chain miles. The supply chain is the path of milestones from raw product manufacture to customer receipt. Assess your production process along the channel from supplier to fulfillment, and look for ways to shorten the path and ensure expenses are justified. Are you purchasing long distance when there’s a local supplier who can provide the same components at the same or better quality? Bring new suppliers into your supply chain to improve your process, but keep lines of communication open with all your suppliers so you can still call on any of them when you need to.
39) System downtime. How long and how often is your fulfillment system out of service? Production shutdowns can be costly.
40) Supplier performance score. Your product is only as good as the suppliers who provide the moving parts. How do yours rate?
A good digital marketing plan will build a loyal following of repeat buyers who are willing to share their recommendations with others. Ultimately, customers run the show. If they’re not happy, you don’t sell.
41) Customer retention rate. Getting customers is not as challenging as keeping them engaged and buying. Incoming revenue is more predictable on a strong foundation of repeat buyers. To keep them coming back, offer incentives to keep your product or service top of mind. Repackage existing products, improve features and benefits, create new products, and use content marketing strategies to keep them visiting your site and sharing the information you provide. Incentivize existing customers to bring new ones on board with reward programs, contests, and affiliate opportunities.
42) Customer turnover rate. Monitor departures to stop a revolving door of new customers in and old customers out.
43) Customer lifetime value. Knowing the average value of your customers’ buying history is an important measure for gauging success. Conducting this assessment may reveal that the average customer is only making a purchase once. This means you will need a constant inflow of new customers to sustain your revenues. Use the customer retention rate strategies (#41) to increase the lifetime value of each customer.
44) Customer complaints. How often do customers voice complaints about your product or service? Are you listening to them? What’s your resolution rate?
45) Customer profitability. How much profit can you attribute to each customer?
If it’s costing more to acquire customers and resolve complaints, you’ll need to revise your strategy.
Whether you’re a “solopreneur” or supporting a staff of many, revenues and profitability are directly affected by operational expenses, salaries/wages, benefits, and collective staff experience.
46) Human capital value added (HCVA). Hire employees who will add value by contributing exceptionally well to your bottom-line goals.
47) Revenue per employee. How much does each employee contribute to total sales?
48) Average employee tenure. How long does each employee stay with you? Monitor your HR records for high turnover and improve loyalty incentives.
49) Employee satisfaction and engagement. Happy employees are more productive: They’re enthusiastic about their work, become better representatives of your brand, and work harder to make sales. Satisfied employees tend to be more dedicated to ensuring customer satisfaction, which contributes to customer lifetime value and retention rate.
50) Training ROI. Invest in good training. Time lost to correcting avoidable errors and long learning curves is a hidden profit drain.
KPIs will help you discover and track damaging leaks to their sources — places where, like water through a hidden channel, your profits may be quietly trickling away. Factors such as your brand identity, sales and marketing strategies, and financial management are interrelated and play crucial roles in measuring your online marketing success. That’s why it’s so important to continuously monitor your KPIs, analyze your results, and modify your marketing plan over time to ensure an excellent ROI.
Need a Digital Marketing Strategy?
Now that you’ve got a set of KPIs, your digital marketing strategy needs to be optimized to maximize those KPIs and help you meet your business objectives. Digital Current can show you how to put together an optimal search, content marketing and link building campaign that creates measurable, enduring results.