Which Marketing Metrics Matter?

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How effective is your marketing, and how do you measure it? Virtually every law firm realizes the value of marketing and its contributions to overall firm success, but most still wonder about the best way to quantify results. Because of that uncertainty, each firm and marketing director takes a unique approach to choosing particular metrics that will show progress toward goals.

To see which metrics were most popular, Allocadia performed a survey of mid-sized and large businesses. The company, which focuses on marketing analysis tools and software, asked 200 survey participants in North America and Europe which types of metrics they used most frequently to measure the impact of marketing efforts.

58% of Chief Marketing Officers and Marketing Directors reported watching activities, making this the first-choice category in surveyed companies. These marketing leaders either monitor activity-based metrics themselves or have staff report the information, which includes things like clicks, social media likes, page views, shares, retweets and similar behavior.

Marketing funnel metrics like conversion rates, inquiries and MQLs had a slight edge over measures of marketing’s contribution to the business, coming in with 48% and 47% of the votes, respectively.

9% of survey respondents selected “none of the above,” reporting that CMOs and marketing directors at their firms don’t utilize any of the top three categories of marketing metrics. That’s a bit surprising, but it may be more reflective of who uses the data than whether it is used at all. These metrics may be important to marketers at the companies, with lower-ranking staff the ones monitoring and making decisions based on the analytics, while marketing leaders are more focused on the trends they represent and the bigger picture they paint.

What’s most interesting about the survey is the relationship it revealed between the types of metrics top marketers at a business rely on and the company’s growth. Businesses with the most growth in projected revenue (25% or more) had marketing directors/CMOs who focused on funnel metrics and performance indicators that assess marketing’s overall effect on firm growth rather than on activity-based metrics.

These marketers were over 30% more likely to focus on this data than their counterparts at firms with no projected revenue growth, and significantly less likely to receive reports detailing activity-based metrics.

Unfortunately, metrics to gauge marketing success don’t come in organized packages that fit neatly into a correlation chart. It’s impossible, for example, to say with absolute certainty you got 30% of new business from this website rebuild, that social media campaign or the other LinkedIn profile and discussion group.

Nevertheless, there’s a lesson here. In measuring the relative success of marketing efforts, it’s important to step back and assess whether you’re reaching the overarching goals for firm growth. Clicks, likes, inquiries and all the rest are useful key metrics to watch, but the bigger trends are where you’ll be able to see whether and how well your marketing is paying off. As with an impressionist masterpiece, you’ll lose sight of the big picture if you focus too intently on the small dabs of color that, together, create your firm’s success.

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Sarah Warlick is responsible for making us and all of our clients sound professional and eloquent as the content director at bbr marketing. In this role, Sarah is in charge of ensuring that all copy is well-written, accurate and free of pesky typos before it heads out the door. Additionally, she is a prolific writer and a frequent contributor to bbr marketing’s blog sites. She spends a good deal of time writing copy for our clients and has a unique way of crawling into our clients’ heads to create ghostwritten copy that sounds as if it came directly from their pen.

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