Need help in proving the worth of your marketing activity or to help build a business case for more marketing investment? Various research carried out by leading experts in this space shows that anywhere from only 6% to 25% of B2B marketeers are able to measure the value of their activity and spend and it was deemed the second highest challenge faced. This is a really worrying picture, in a B2B environment that is undoubtedly sales driven where targets and resulting performance can be easily tracked (most of the time!) any marketeer faces a tough task to show value in their role without a clear idea of what impact they’re having.

This article provides a few hints and tips as to how and what to measure to prove your B2B marketing worth and Return on Investment on digital activity to try and go toe to toe with our friends in sales on all round contribution. To note it’s presumed from a digital perspective that the website is not transactional i.e. it’s not an e-commerce site that can take payment.

Measure conversion rates
Seems a simple one but if you have a decent website and are using the appropriate analytics tools then it doesn’t matter how much web traffic you drive to your site, how long people spend on each page or your bounce rate, if they don’t convert to a paying customer it means nothing. Yes they are all healthy contributors to help fuel sales leads but you can get millions of hits but if not one of those prospects converts into a qualified opportunity it means absolutely nothing.

Understand what is a conversion
Ultimately no matter what the web conversion is this should be measured in revenue generating clients which needs to be tracked through to a sale through your CRM. However on the site what gives you and sales the best chance to close leads by getting the visitor to take action and offer their hand to you? Some ideas for tracking different types of data capture or conversion stats below;

  • Call back request form – should a visitor want to learn more about your products and services then make it as easy as possible to leave contact details so they can be called back
  • Content capture – if you’ve created a really insightful piece of content provide a simple overview to entice users and then ask for their details to view the full article. Note that the content needs to be of good value for this to work otherwise nobody will ever bother and you’ll have spent a load of time and effort on something that will never see the light of day beyond your own 4 walls
  • Live chat – if people engage with this function it should lead to data capture to follow up
  • Inbound sales calls – tracking people who call your inbound sales team. More on this below
  • Email/event sign up – if you have a newsletter the minimum you should be looking for when someone visits your site is their contact details to enable nurturing of prospects to help keep front of mind. Likewise for webinars or face to face event sign up
  • Calculator results – if you offer any kind of calculation to help prospects choose a specific product or service do you allow them to email the results to themselves and if so are your sales team sent these as well (with the users permission)

Recognise the traffic source
If you have the conversion tracking sorted the next step is identifying where that successful traffic came from. Google and various other analytics packages can track the source of that traffic be it SEO, PPC, referral traffic etc. Then strike me down and call me Norbert you’ll be able to ensure the best performing traffic is given prominence in future spend and activity.

Inbound phone calls
Data capture on site if developed correctly should be pretty easy to track on site and then if there is a decent CRM system behind it where leads are logged correctly a path to converted client. Trickier to track would be phone calls if this is your main call to action on site. Using phone tracking analytics software such as Ruler Analytics allows firms to track inbound calls as well as listening to the recording of the call itself to improve sales performance. The software also allows companies to understand the types of organisations that are visiting the site as it tracks company IP addresses that can also then be followed up.

Social media
When initially building your social media profiles it can be easy to just focus on quantities of followers. However although this builds your reach it’s not giving you a good idea of how engaged this audience is and ultimately how likely they are to buy or recommend your company. Tracking engagement metrics (likes, retweets, sharing etc) and subsequent reach gives a better idea of how valuable the worth of your content is. This also greatly helps your SEO performance of onsite metrics so tracking leads to sales is still the key even in social metrics.

The above pointers are really just a starter for ten when looking at digital site traffic and analytics. Ensuring that a company has a decent CRM system to tack and follow leads through to close is imperative to ensure these marketing leads are not wasted – as well as having a decent sales team to close them of course!  Additionally using a decent marketing automation system to support the delivery of timely and valuable content throughout the buying journey would also add a huge amount of value to your marketing output.

Get a lot of this right and you’ll be well on the way to moving away from the dreaded ‘colouring in’ labels presented of marketing in many B2B companies – colouring in the colour of cold hard revenue cash is a much better tag!