A Quick Guide to Marketing Automation Reporting

We all love to talk about closed-loop reporting, tracking our leads from the time they visit our website to when they sign on the line that is dotted (thank you Alec Baldwin). But open up your marketing automation reporting suite or web analytics platform, and chances are you’ll be lost in the hundreds of reports they show you. And you’re not even finished yet, because you still need to connect the dots to your CRM and see which opportunities have closed.

How do you look at all of this intelligently? Before you dive deep into your reports, you need to know what you want. Below is an outline of what you should look at to measure the success of your demand generation campaigns. This is not a complete list by a long shot, but hopefully it will help you put some framework around your metrics.

Metrics to consider How does this help
Cost How much does an effort or asset cost in money, time, or opportunity?
Engagement/interest Are your prospects interested in your content? Do your various assets draw people to you? Do the emails you send specifically or the nurture tracks as a whole bring people to the content you want to showcase?
Conversion to MQL Do your prospects convert to leads? At what percentage over time? Are you qualifying so many leads so that your sales team gets bogged down?
Conversion to SQL/SAL Did sales qualify and accept the leads you sent them? If not, this metric can pinpoint any problems you have in your lead scoring programs.
Conversion to Opportunity Are the leads sales qualified converting to opportunities? Do any specific content views or event attendance lift this metric?
Closed won vs. closed lost Of those opportunities, which did your sales team close and which did they lose. Again, are there any correlations between this and what your prospects looked at or how you nurtured them?
Profit per closed opportunity Use this to determine your acceptable cost per lead. How much effort will you put into acquiring a lead? How much would you invest in nurturing that same lead?

The metrics above should be measured over time to gauge the effectiveness of your funnel. But you should also measure the above by the other factors below.

Factors Use the above metrics, but segment by the below factor
Initial source Which sources (ie. SEM, tradeshows, advertising, etc.) bring you the best leads? Which ones cost more or less per lead?
Email Which emails work and which don’t? Do some correlate to higher levels of engagement or higher numbers of closed opportunities?
Nurture track As a whole, do some nurture tracks work well while others don’t? What kind of variables could you use to test different nurture tracks against each other?
Form If you use different forms, does the number of questions you ask hurt engagement? Does it help somewhere down the line to improve sales?
Asset Which assets (whitepapers, videos, webinars, etc.) correlate to higher sales? Which ones get the most engagement?
Content area Do certain areas of content correlate to better or worse leads? Do some generate a lot of engagement by their place in the buying cycle?
Industry sector Which industry sectors like which types of content? Which make the best, most profitable leads?
Job title Maybe someone’s function makes them a decision maker and correlates to higher conversion rates. If yes, know this so you can nurture them more effectively.
Company budget Do companies with higher budgets for your particular offering convert better or engage with different content?
Company revenue Do larger companies equal better prospects? Do smaller companies find different areas more interesting?
Point in buying cycle Do different efforts work depending on a point in the lead’s buying cycle? Is there a way to judge when a particular lead should go to sales?
Lead score Is your lead scoring program configured to bring sales the optimal leads? If lower scores have higher conversion rate to sales accepted leads, then what could you change to bring sales better leads to begin with.

Narrowing this down some involves outlining your strategy. If you want more sales, imagine how you’ll get there and what you need to know for testing. And, of course, always test, every step of the way. A different email within a nurturing campaign that points to a new asset can ripple through your entire buying cycle. Tracking all the right numbers to begin with will help you see those effects so you can experiment over time and know what works, and what doesn’t.