Was your last product launch a success? Not really sure? You’re not alone. Hubspot’s 2017 State of Inbound Survey showed that 40% of businesses don’t know how to prove the ROI of their marketing activities. And if you don’t know how to determine your ROI, it’s hard to say whether your product launch was a success or failure. Without being able to prove your success, you’ll have a harder time asking for a bigger budget for next year’s marketing activities.
For many companies, the struggle is in identifying the right metrics to follow for each marketing channel. For example, it’s difficult to quantify direct sales from a social media campaign. You also may need to track different metrics for different campaigns, which can be overwhelming.
First, choose the right metrics
So how do you determine the right metrics for your campaign? Start with your goals for each channel. Maybe social media is just for getting visitors to a landing page with a white paper download. Your metric in that case is how many visitors land on the page from each social channel, and how many of those download your white paper.
Examples of metrics to follow:
How many new followers you win on each social media channel. This number helps you see the increased visibility of your brand, along with engagement with your customers.
Number of qualified leads that enter your sales funnel. While the definition of “qualified lead” can vary by department, it's generally understood to be a prospect that matches your ideal target’s qualities with a high likelihood to buy.
Cost per lead. This metric helps you tie the amount you’re spending on marketing activities to each lead that enters the funnel. The goal for this number varies depending on your industry and the product you’re selling, so take some time to work out an acceptable number for your campaign.
Customer acquisition cost. Dividing your marketing expenses by the number of customers acquired over a certain period of time (such as during your product launch) gives you this crucial metric.
Return on ad spend (ROAS). One of the easiest metrics to measure, you come up with this number by dividing your total revenue for a specific marketing channel by the total amount of money you spent on that channel. It’s a quick way to show how many dollars this channel brings in for every dollar spent—and whether that channel is performing well enough to be profitable.
Weathering the dreaded budget shrinkage
Gartner’s 2017–2018 CMO Spend Survey showed that marketing budget growth stalled in that survey period. Marketers are facing more stress than ever when proving the results of their campaigns. According to online marketing publication CMSWire.com, there are several reasons for shrinking marketing budgets, including:
Improper use of success metrics. Many marketers rely on ROI, even for channels or campaigns that are designed more for generating awareness than conversions. For example, customers that learn about a product or company from one of these awareness campaigns and then buy days, weeks, or even months later get attributed to direct visits or organic search, rather than the awareness campaign that actually alerted them to the product.
Marketing competition. Google and Facebook (and increasingly, Amazon) are often the biggest focus for digital marketers, and both are becoming saturated with marketing messages. This makes it much harder to cut through the clutter and make your campaign stand out.
Inability to track campaigns effectively. Some companies have trouble tracking digital campaigns all the way to conversion. This makes it difficult to show that a channel set up to build brand awareness is actually bringing in revenue.
Ever-shrinking budgets are just one more reason it’s so crucial to plan your launch campaign thoroughly, tie it to your overall marketing strategy, and choose clearly defined metrics to help you prove your success.
If you’re looking for help tying things together to support your B2B product launch, check out our white paper. Download The Guide to Smarter, More Successful B2B Product Launches: Lessons from Omnichannel Leaders today.