Oct 15, 2014

The Only Digital Marketing Metrics That Matter to Your CEO

by Digital Marketing Institute

Are you getting ready for that weekly presentation? Unsure of which figures will impress your CEO? According to a 2014 survey by ifbyphone CEOs are increasingly looking for conversion-based metrics. These include value-focused figures such as sales revenue, number of new customers gained and number of new leads acquired.

The beauty of digital marketing is that its measurable. The scary part? You’re held accountable for showing the value of your digital marketing efforts – the pressure is on to show how your role contributes, matters and drives your company forward. But there’s no need to get panicked…

We’re here to help ensure that your digital marketing is based on strong statistical evidence and cold, hard value. Read on to find out how to get into your CEO’s mind and present to him/her the impressive figures that matter. We’ll also show you how to create simple and beautiful dashboards. You see fellow digital marketer, It’s about providing less fluff and more fact.

Before You Begin:

There are two things that need to have firmly in mind before you begin: 1. Your CEO’s mantra or what he/she is looking for in your digital marketing metrics and 2. How to create your measurable KPIs and implement an impressive digital marketing dashboard to showcase at your next meeting.

Your CEO’s Mantra: Show Me the Spend, Show me the Time, Show me the Value.

The Easy Guide for Creating the Ultimate CEO-Pleasing Dashboard:

  • Remember your business goals and select digital marketing metrics that can help your CEO achieve them.
  • Identify the value of your most important metrics – think in monetary terms like transactions, leads, new customers, etc.
  • Identify the costs of your digital marketing efforts – think time invested in every channel, the cost for generating new leads, etc.
  • Analyse the average performance of your metric and benchmark your monthly/weekly progress against this.
  • Compare last month’s/week’s performance to this month’s/week’s performance (calculate as a percentage).
  • If your performance is down give a reason why. Similarly, if your performance is up your CEO will want to know what you did differently to generate growth.
  • Create a digital dashboard that you can easily update before your weekly meetings (this easy-to-use guide shows you how to create adaptable dashboards in Google Analytics).

Examples of Metrics That Matter:

Every business is different – each with its own goals and objectives. For example, B2B businesses may focus on lead generation, while E-commerce stores will focus on transactions. For this reason you will have to define their own digital marketing metrics. Unfortunately, there is no one-fits-all template. Below, however, we’ve highlighted some of the most important types of metrics to help you define the best one’s to present to your CEO:

1. Cost Per Lead Per Channel

What Is It?

Cost per lead per channel is the average amount of money you’ve spent on a particular digital marketing channel to attract a new lead/potential customer for a particular campaign.

Why Does It Matter?

Sure, the number of leads you have generated counts but do you know what matters more? How much it costs to generate those leads. By calculating cost per lead per channel you can identify which channels are the most powerful lead generators for future campaigns and invest in them accordingly.

For example, say you’re generating thousands of leads on Twitter but the return you’re getting isn’t worth the money invested (for example it’s costing less to generate the same amount of leads on Facebook) then it might be worth ditching that particular channel and investing your money into the one that has proven to work best. Calculating cost per leads is one of the most important metrics you can show to your CEO as he/she can directly see your return on investment – the leads you’re receiving for the amount you’ve invested.

How Do I Calculate It?

Ad Spend /Lead = Cost Per Lead

Something Else To Consider:

Not all leads are created equally. Some are stronger (or warmer) than others. When selecting the perfect digital marketing channels to invest your money in you will need to keep track of the quality of the leads your campaign is generating. Talk to your sales team about the leads they find most useful. You can document the quality of leads you’ve generated in your dashboard too.

2. Conversion Rates (For Sales)

If you have an Ecommerce store and want to track your online transactions (you absolutely should be doing this) you will first have to make sure you have the Google Analytics’ JavaScript code implemented on your shopping cart or site that collects information. Once implemented Google Analyticsprovides an easy-to-understand dashboard with key metrics such as your conversion rate optimization.

Why Does it Matter?

One of the core concerns for your CEO is, of course, how much money your website is making. He/she wants to see the impact the traffic you’ve generated is having on your online transactions. If traffic is particularly high but people are failing to convert there could be a problem with your landing page or shopping cart. Your CEO will need to know any barriers to growth. You should, therefore, be able to identify these issues and fix them – your conversion rate figure can help you do this.

How Google Analytics Calculates Your Ecommerce Conversion Rate:

Google calculates the percentage of visits that resulted in an Ecommerce transaction.

Find Your Ecommerce Conversion Rate on Google Analytics:

  • Open Google Analytics and go to the Conversions section.
  • Click on the Ecommerce tab from the dropdown menu.
  • Your Ecommerce conversion rate will then display in a dashboard (like the example below).
  • You’ll find more information on Ecommerce Tracking and how to set it up here.

3. Conversion Rates (for Leads)

If you don’t have an Ecommerce site but still want to keep track of lead conversions like newsletter signups, Ebook downloads or account creations you can set up individual goals on Google Analytics. That will help you keep track of leads that aren’t necessarily transactions.

Why Does It Matter?

Your CEO will want to know how your digital marketing efforts are helping your sales team to meet their targets. Setting up goals for individual landing pages is a great way of keeping track of targeted leads you can feed through to your sales team.

How Google Analytics Calculates Your Goal Conversion Rate:

Google calculates the percentage of visits that resulted in a goal completion.
Find Your eCommerce Conversion Rate on Google Analytics:
  • Open Google Analytics and go to the Conversions section.
  • Click on the Goals tab from the dropdown menu.
  • Select your desired goal underneath the Overview tab.
  • Your goal conversion rate will then display in a dashboard.
  • You’ll find more information on Goal Tracking and how to set up here.

Example Goal Conversion Rate Screen:


Return On Ad Spend

What Is It?

Return on Ad Spend (or ROAS) is different from Return on Investment. It calculates the exact return you receive (in terms of revenue) for the total cost you have invested.

Why does it Matter?

Return on Investment is essential as it measures the total margin that your total operation nets. This means that it includes all operational costs rather than just taking into account your ad expenditure. This is one of the most important figures you can present to your CEO as it shows him/her how much revenue you’re making for every euro you’re spending.

How Do I Calculate It?

Revenue Per Sale/Cost Per Sale = Return on Ad Spend

So there you have it – an easy-to-implement list you can use right before your next weekly or monthly meeting. Remember: the metrics your CEO is most concerned with are those impacting your company’s bottom line and driving forward revenue, leads, new customers and growth. First ask yourself the right questions to select your perfect metrics, then learn how to calculate them. Finally? Create a simple dashboard you can update regularly. Now get in there and impress your boss.

Want to learn more about Analytics and creating metrics that matter? Our next part-time Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing starts on October 28th. The course is taught by leading industry experts and you’ll learn the best practices for Analytics, Social Media, Email, Search, Strategy and Planning and Mobile Marketing.

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