What metrics are your team using to measure success?
If you’re like most companies, you’re focusing on the old reliable standards like MQLs and impressions. And as we mentioned before, aggregate, big-picture statistics like that can be useful … to a point.
However, adding intent data into the mix opens up new ways to look at returns and successes.
Swap your outdated metrics for these more useful — and actionable — upgrades made possible by intent data:
Impressions → Reach
Impressions track how many times an ad or social media post was displayed. But it doesn’t mean it was seen, or if it was seen by the right person at a company within your ideal customer profile (ICP).
Instead, measure reach: the number of unique people in your target audience who are exposed to your campaigns.
Click-Through Rate → View-Through Rate
Click-through rates tell you just that: the percentage of people who saw your ad and clicked on it. What can you do with this information? Not a whole lot.
You’re missing a bunch of other critical details, like:
- Why they clicked
- Their other activities online
- Whether they’re part of the buying team
In fact, this person could be someone totally out of your target audience simply looking for more information about a certain topic. On the other hand, there may be buyers from your target accounts who view the ad but never click on it.
Click-through rates actually bring up more questions than answers.
View-through rates take this engagement a layer deeper, providing insight into how a particular ad or piece of content influences people to take further action. A view-through rate measures how many people convert on your website after viewing an ad, but not necessarily clicking on it.
When you pair view-through information with de-anonymized intent data, you get a detailed picture of how your advertising efforts are influencing the buying journey of target accounts.
Cost Per Click → Cost Per Result
Clicks don’t indicate a person is ready to buy from you, which makes cost per click also a rather arbitrary measurement of success.
A low cost per click may look great on paper, but what does it mean for business outcomes? Did those clicks lead to revenue, or at least deep engagement from target accounts? If the answer is “no,” or “I don’t know,” this value is virtually meaningless.
Cost per result is more specific and flexible, as you can determine the desired “result,” or outcome — which could be activities like:
- Researching a keyword the contact was targeted with
- Visiting your website
- Consuming website content related to a keyword
- Booking a demo
- And more
This enables your marketing to be more strategic by allocating resources and budget toward specific actions.
Clicks → Number of Accounts Engaged
Not all clicks are created equal. Some are unintentional. Some come from wildly unqualified leads. And some come from click farms devoted to defrauding advertisers.
Instead of counting clicks, look at engagement. After accounts see your campaigns, how many begin doing research?
Measuring account engagement relies on buyer intent data that can be tied to specific accounts. A complete intent data platform can also track how accounts interact with your various campaigns, your website content, and third-party content.
This enables you to spot when account behavior shifts, and tie together the factors that influenced the buying journey.
MQLs → In-Market Accounts
Marketing-qualified leads, or MQLs, refer to people who have engaged with marketing content and are considered ready to be engaged by sales. The definition of an MQL differs from one organization to the next, and what qualifies someone as an MQL is usually based on hunches rather than data.
The truth is, people engage with content for a number of reasons, like:
- Looking for statistics
- Doing preliminary research
- Trying to contact a company about something irrelevant to sales
So, just because someone downloaded an ebook or clicked on an ad doesn’t mean you should start blasting them with follow-up emails or phone calls.
Whereas MQLs focus on the actions of a single person, measuring at an account level enables you to strategically engage multiple members of the buying team to move a deal forward.
Pipeline Attribution → Conversion of Accounts to Pipeline and Revenue
Digital marketers strive to attribute leads to specific marketing channels. But today’s B2B buying cycles can take months and involve dozens of touchpoints. Trying to attribute a contact to a single marketing channel can be a fool’s errand — and a giant waste of your time.
By understanding how your campaigns are influencing customers throughout their buying journey, you can see which campaigns are nudging them forward along the path toward revenue.
This allows you to maintain a broader picture of which efforts are and aren’t working, rather than attributing most of the success to just the first or final touchpoint.
Page Views → Relevant Content Consumed
Just because a person visits a page on your website doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy — or even hear — from you. They might be starting their research, plan to use information on your site for something else, or simply feeding curiosity.
Without understanding what other activities they’re doing online, it’s not fair to make assumptions and start bombarding them with outreach.
So, look at relevant content consumed instead. Perhaps the buyer viewed a page on your website related to a specific product, then performed a keyword search related to that product, and browsed competitor products.
These behaviors suggest more than a passing interest and tell you that this buyer may be ready for a deeper conversation.
Contacts Reached → Buying Team Engagement
Besides a contact’s email, name, and location, what do you know about them? Do they work for a company on your target account list, or are they a poor fit for your offerings. Are they a key decision maker on the buying team, or an intern?
Account intelligence tools provide clues that uncover buyer personas and help you identify contacts.
Once you know that a target account has a buying persona engaged, you can quickly purchase contact information for other buying team members, then target each person with hyper-relevant content for their role.
Number of Leads Processed → Account Velocity Through Buying Stages
Rather than counting leads, count accounts and watch how closely in-market accounts progress through buying stages. Account velocity is an indicator of pipeline health, and measures how quickly you convert opportunities into revenue.
If moving accounts through the sales process is a slog, and getting them from one stage to the next requires much effort, you may not be finding the right buyers for your solution. Or, it could mean there are steps in the process that are inefficient and leave buyers looking for other solutions.
Faster velocity through the buying journey lets you know that you are delivering a valuable customer experience for accounts that are considering buying from you. The more value you can provide accounts at every stage, the more you’ll win.