Jeff Marcoux | Vice President of Product Strategy & Marketing, TTEC, GreenFig Instructor
We as marketers all have metrics that we are measured by. That we live and die by. However, is there a way to have an early warning system that can help you see what is coming up ahead and adapt to ensure you’re on target?
Lagging indicators are usually focused on results and are the output of your marketing department and your company. This makes them relatively easy to measure but you cannot influence or improve them once they have happened, although, they will fuel your strategy going forward. (eg: last quarter’s results may impact what you do this quarter, but you can’t change last quarter).
• ROI of your marketing efforts
• Brand Recognition
• Churn Rate
• SQL or MQL
• Product bookings or revenue
So why aren’t lagging indicators enough? The difficulty comes when you want to improve your output proactively. How can you impact the results when if by the time you get the results the effort or marketing activity has already been done?
By their name, leading, these can be tracked and influenced actively to improve your outcomes. If you select the right ones for your KPIs, then you will have your early warning system. When I was at Microsoft, we tracked these regularly so that we could course correct, try new things, and adapt to ensure we hit our targets.
• Daily or monthly active users: perhaps you know how much revenue an average user brings you or how long they have to be engaged to reduce their risk of churn. Daily Active User (DAU) or Monthly Active User (MAU) can be a great leading indicator to the health of your app, product, or business
• Unique Visitors: How many new people are finding your company or product?
• Clicks to opens to forms to MQLs: Tracking this backward and knowing your conversion rates stage to stage can let you know how many MQLs or other leading activity you need to get to your target number of SQL or SALs. For example, I need to get 100 SALs to hit my target for this quarter, and my conversion rate from MQL to SAL is 10%, that means I need 1000 MQLs to hit my SAL target. I can then reverse even farther back to say what my conversion rates that lead to MQLs are? Working back like this enables you to see if you’re likely to come up short so you can adjust your activity or change your approach before finding out you missed your quarter.
• # of thought leadership articles published
• # of speaking engagements
• # of new newsletter subscribers
The key to leading indicators is to ensure that you identify the right ones for your product(s) and KPIs. I like to start with what are the key things I’m responsible for and accountable for, how is success measured for those? Once I understand that, take a step back and look at what drives those metrics, what are the things that if you ensure you do or hit, you know you’ll hit your KPI, your lagging indicator. Involve your team in this because they may have ideas you never even thought of. See what leading indicators you can measure today and where you need to improve your tracking and measurement.
At its core, a marketing strategy is about how a company is going to target and convert its ideal customer profiles into paying customers. A good marketing strategy should align to a firm’s business strategy goals and describe positioning, target segments, value proposition(s), products & pricing, distribution mix and marketing mix. As marketers have been placed under increasing pressure to deliver leads to Sales, many impatient executives claim they don’t have time for strategy – thus, the focus is placed on marketing mix tactics and quarterly campaign calendars. As a result, marketers often try to A/B test their way to lead generation success wasting time and budget in the process. Effective marketing strategy doesn’t have to be difficult nor does it have to be time-consuming. However, it does need to be performed as both B2C and B2B buyers expect brands to personalize their buying experience and those that don’t will no longer remain relevant in the consideration set. Doing this effectively requires an updating your approach to marketing strategy.
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