Creating marketing content is exciting. It’s thrilling to create an ad and seeing people respond to and engage with it.
It’s not just about ad creative and content writing, though. If you want your marketing to consistently hit home and generate leads – because that’s what we’re really here for – you need to do some legwork, too.
Let’s look at how you can set and track B2B marketing objectives in a way that lets you steadily grow your results.
Setting and Tracking B2B Marketing Objectives for Success
The best way to improve your marketing in the future is to understand, in detail, what’s going on with it right now.
That means digging into the wonderful world of KPIs, metrics, and goals. And probably spreadsheets. Who doesn’t love a good spreadsheet?
First of all, pick a channel to work on. Let’s use email lead generation (ELG) as an example. You’re sending out campaigns, and not getting as many leads as you expect. Why might that be?
Sorting Your Metrics
For whatever channel you work on improving, there will be a range of metrics to look at and factors that can influence your ultimate results. Your first goal is to eliminate the things that you know aren’t causing your problem.
The easiest way to go through this is to run through the entirety of your process for this channel, in order, eliminating as you go.
ELG starts with your list of contacts. You know you got a great list from a reputable provider, so that’s not a problem.
The next thing is whether your emails are actually reaching those contacts. Your deliverability rate is nice and high, so you know your emails are getting where they need to be – into inboxes.
That’s great. You can focus on other metrics.
Picking Your KPIs
When choosing what Key Performance Indicators to focus on, look at metrics that can directly impact your goal (generating leads).
In this case, your KPIs are going to be open rate, clickthrough rate and conversion rate.
You’re still working in order, so the next step after someone receives an email is whether they open it.
If your open rate is low, consider what that indicates. What convinces people to open an email? The subject line – so there might be something wrong with yours. Make note of that, bookmark this article on writing effective subject lines to read later, and move on.
Next up is whether the people who open your email are clicking on your links inside. If your clickthrough rate is bad but your open rate isn’t, that means people are opening your email but not clicking.
A low clickthrough rate is an indicator that you need to revise your email content. Are you following best practices for calls-to-action and links? Is your content too rambling, or just not powerful enough? Bookmark this post about cold email copywriting, and keep on digging into your KPIs.
If you’ve got plenty of opens and clicks, but no leads, your conversion rate will tell you.
A low conversion rate with a high open rate and CTR tells you that people are interested enough in your offer to open your email and click through to the landing page … but they’re just not actually filling out the form.
If that’s the case, it’s time to try something new with your landing page design. Maybe your form is too long, or your page isn’t informative enough (or has too much going on). Make sure you’re following landing page best practices!
Setting Your B2B Marketing Objectives
Once you’ve gone through your KPIs, you’ll have a clear idea of where your problem might be. Now it’s time to do something about it.
That something is running experiments and tests. You might know that your problem is your subject line, but you don’t know whether the next one you try will improve your open rate or make it worse.
So what you do is look at where your open rate is currently, and set your objective for where you want it to be. Then, you perform an A/B test, sending the same campaign but with two different variations on the subject line.
For example, you might try including a personalization token in one, where you didn’t have one before.
Then you can compare and see which did better, and if you met your objective with one of them, great. That’s a success.
The real trick is to keep doing this every time you send. The more you test, the more your results will improve, so keep setting objectives and running tests to meet them.
Improvement Across the Board
We talked about ELG, but this idea works no matter what the channel is. The specific KPIs and potential issues to be resolved will, of course, change but the basic process won’t:
- Identify your problem.
- Eliminate potential causes for the problem.
- Find what’s most likely causing the issue.
- Design and execute tests to solve the underlying cause.
- Keep testing for continuous improvement.
Follow this process and you’ll be well on your way to troubleshooting and improving all your marketing channels.