📈 3 Marketing KPIs Worth Tracking

The Growth Report #44

Happy Friday My Friend!

As indicated in last week’s ‘almost-a-newsletter’, let me start things off today by giving you a quick update on what’s going on behind the scenes:

  • The marketing agency side of GrowthBay is healthily and happily expanding. Besides growing our client’s businesses, we are hard at work documenting and systematizing our operations so we can stay lean and mean.

  • On the product front, we are almost ready to launch our job board for marketers in Switzerland. Clients, partners and readers (you!) kept asking us to spread their job ads in our networks and we thought why not build a little platform for the community.

  • Content-wise, the first season of our podcast dubbed The Growth Leadership Show is (finally) ready to publish. And I’ll start posting episodes on a bi-weekly basis beginning with next week’s newsletter.

That also means, that the The Growth Report going forward will alternate each week between introducing a new podcast episode and a long-form written version like you see today.

PS: 👇 I am tinkering around with Bite-Sized Story Decks on LinkedIn.

☝️ Please let me know by hitting that Like button if you find this format useful! I salute you!

Okay, here we are! Now without further ado…

...Today's topics

📈 Marketing Strategy:
Three Marketing KPIs Worth Tracking

🧰 Tools of the Trade:
Educational Resources and Inspiration for Marketers

⛑️ Reflections from the Trenches:
The Master and the Fool

📈 Marketing Strategy

Three Marketing KPIs Worth Tracking

One of the first things we do with every new customer we onboard is getting crystal clear on the actual goal of a new project and how we are going to measure our efforts towards reaching that goal. Because the issue is, if you keep measuring the wrong stuff (quantity of leads, traffic numbers etc.), you create the illusion of progress, which might work in the short term, but will leave you stranded eventually.

In this short article, let me outline three metrics that actually have a sustainable impact on the bottom line of your company and tell you whether you are moving in the right direction.

1. Brand Awareness Through Branded Google Searches

Let's start with brand awareness. Consistent investment into branding (e.g. through content marketing) is one of the highest-leverage activities you can do in the long-term, because it compounds fast if you keep at it. To measure brand awareness can be a daunting task. But if you do a lot of Top of Funnel activities like podcasts, social media content promotion etc. you need to at least have an idea if you are getting noticed in some fashion.

How to measure it: I would suggest to start lean here. Measure the number of organic Google brand searches over time (through Google Search Console). If you do a lot of social, you can add profile views or website click-throughs to the mix here. If you make a lot of noise, but these metrics stay the same, it's an indicator to re-evaluate or ramp up your efforts.

2. The Number (and Source) of Leads who became customers

One of the major mistakes I see marketing teams make is to take the quantity of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) as their key success factor. This is really dangerous, because you incentivize the acquisition of as many email addresses as possible without taking the relevance of those leads into consideration. So if you acquire 200 leads per month, but you are closing only 1% of them, that's a waste of money and (sales) resources. You want to increase the percentage of leads who convert to customers first (through attracting the right ones in the first place), and then focus on getting to 1000 leads per month.

How to measure it: You want to measure the number of leads every month who convert to customers and where they came from (so that you can double down on that channel). To do that, you need to able to track an incoming lead from the source of acquisition (e.g. Google Ads Campaign XYZ) to the closure of a deal.

If you don't have a lot of leads right now, do this process manually looking back 3-6 months of closed sales and doing your best to track that customer back. And if you do generate a lot of leads already every month, but can't track them through to the sale this should be your first priority. Otherwise there is no way for you to know what works and what doesn't and allocate your money accordingly. And if you keep shooting into the dark, you will eventually lose credibility with your CEO management, or your team.

3. Customer Lifetime Value

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a metric that estimates how much money an individual customer will spend on your products or services. Increasing your average customer’s worth not only improves your financial metrics but also allows you to spend more on acquiring new customers.

How to measure it: This is the most basic formula to calculate CLV:

Avg. Order Value x Avg. Annual Purchase Frequency x Avg. Customer Lifespan

If your AOV is CHF 100, customers buy the product four times a year, and they stay loyal to your company for three years on average, the CLV would be 10043 = CHF 1,200.

Naturally, you need to have at least a few years of sales history to get the metrics for CLV calculations. But if you already have this, you can also estimate which of those three metrics need improving the most. If you increase any of them, overall CLV goes up.

Summary: Tie Your Activities to Revenue

If you measure these three metrics, you will have a solid high-level picture of how well your marketing efforts perform from acquisition to retention and if you actually contribute to moving the company forward.

As we discussed here in the past, your effectivity as a marketer depends on how well you can link back your marketing activities to the revenue of the company. Unless you can deliver these numbers, you will be stuck in the hamster wheel of traffic and lead numbers and will have a hard time to be taken seriously by management, the product team and sales (take that from someone who has been there, it sucks!).

🧰 Tools of the Trade:

Educational Resources and Inspiration for Marketers

Quote of the week:

"If you genuinely care about the goal, you’ll focus on the system."
- James Clear

Marketing & Leadership Education

  • ⚖️ Scaling Product Delivery - How continuous big bets drive company growth. The dirty secret of Silicon Valley is that most great product teams follow a system that resembles waterfall project management (gasp!) to launch new innovative features/products repeatably.

  • 🤔 The Long and the Short of It - What a great research paper on how to balance short- and long-term marketing strategies. Well worth the read!

Brands and (Digital) Products that caught my eye

  • 🎓 Arist - A course platform that delivers it’s content via text messages. Can be used for sales enablement, onboarding customers or lead generation. They claim a 97% completion rate.

  • 🐦 Get The Audience - An audience research tool for Twitter. Great for topic research and as a content marketing idea machine.

  • 📊 Meta Tag Generator - A super handy meta tag generator, so Google will love you (or at least your website). My tool of choice, saves a ton of time.

Interesting reads

  • ⏱️ My Life Countdown - A thoughtful piece by Kevin Kelly (founder of Wired) on why you should calculate the days until you die.

  • 💭 Transactional Enchantment - "The greatest endemic risk to our psyche in 2021 is not that you’ll end up on the streets next week or fail to fund your retirement in 30 years. The greatest risk is that you’ll feel so relentlessly battered by the weirdness all around that you’ll go numb and simply disengage and retreat from the world." - How can we transact with the world in a way that makes life not merely possible to live, but worth living minute-to-minute?

⛑️ Reflections From the Trenches

The Master and the Fool

In his book Mastery, George Leonard drops the following line that I think is important to understand and incorporate into our modus operandi:

“It’s simple. To be a learner, you’ve got to be willing to be a fool.”

Among todays highlight reels on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, it's sometimes easy to forget how mastery is achieved in the first place. It’s easy to forget that all those people that we see online churning out their best work at lightning speed, were once fools too (and probably still are).

But we are not talking about fools in the sense of idiots here. Leonard explains:

By fool, to be clear, I don’t mean a stupid, unthinking person, but one with the spirit of the medieval fool, the court jester, the carefree fool in the tarot deck who bears the awesome number zero, signifying the fertile soil from which all creation originates, the state of emptiness that allows new things to come to fruition.

How many times have you failed to try something new out of fear of being thought silly? How often have you censored your spontaneity out of fear of being thought childish?

The fool precedes the master.

So in order to become a master at anything, we need to first check in with ourselves and make sure that we allow ourselves to be the metaphorical carefree fool who tries stuff out and tinkers, even if something might seem silly at first.

Leonard brings up an interesting point:

Psychologist Abraham Maslow discovered a childlike quality (he called it a “second naivete”) in people who have met an unusually high degree of their potential. Ashleigh Montagu used the term neotany (from neonate, meaning newborn) to describe geniuses such as Mozart and Einstein. What we frown at as foolish in our friends, or ourselves, we’re likely to smile at as merely eccentric in a world-renowned genius, never stopping to think that the freedom to be foolish might well be one of the keys to the genius’s success or even a necessity to it.

In that sense, the master still is and always has been a fool.

So let's play, let's try new things this year, even if we think they're silly. Because every worthwhile endeavor starts with that foolish first step.

That's it for this week.

Enjoy your well-earned weekend 🏡

See you next week,