‘They Want More!’ – Going Beyond ‘Vanity’ Metrics For More Insight Into Marketing ROI


Attention marketers! Your C-Suite colleagues want to understand how marketing plans directly affect the bottom line of their business/organization. Can you prove this? Do you know how effective your B2B digital marketing campaign is? Do you have the stats? Sure, you may have the click-through-rate (CTR), impressions – or in this instance what many people call “vanity metrics.” But can you truly show the return on investment (ROI)? And do you know the difference in B2C and B2B KPIs?

Though a good asset, Global Content Marketing Leader, Jason Miller, said, “Vanity metrics can’t be linked to any meaningful business goals, aren’t actionable, and therefore aren’t relevant. If you mention them in front of a CMO or CEO you will be laughed out of the room.”

And he’s right, but only because marketers are using these metrics in the wrong ways. We should be moving away from the numbers that are so accessible to us like CTR, impressions, and in some cases, cost-per-lead (CPL). These are the numbers to optimize future campaigns. Being able to get deeper metrics will be where you’ll be able to prove the success of your campaign. You want to look for directional data rather than precise data.

“These metrics are the ones capable of attributing actual revenue to your marketing rather than indicating engagement that might lead to new business,” Jennifer Brett said in a LinkedIn post.

Many marketers today are only measuring what happens with an ad instead of measuring the actions that ad drives. We want to be able to look at an ad and see exactly how much revenue it has generated. With all that said, I’m not saying that your key performance indicators (KPIs) aren’t important. We know that impressions and engagement are key for any business, we just need to rework them in order for you to show tangible impact for your business or organization.

About 49 percent of companies surveyed by Viant noted that they “already use their offline CRM data for targeting online campaigns, and find value doing this.” So why aren’t the rest of us there yet?

There are many ways to change the way you’re measuring the performance of your digital marketing campaigns, but we’ll discuss two important ones in this post.

The first approach is to use people-based marketing. With this approach, marketers are able to get to know the person behind the device in order to better understand their needs at different times. In the most of basic terms, this process means we’re gathering information from both offline and online sources and using that information to more accurately recognize and reach a specific audience.

According to Viant, “We’re bridging the gap between ad exposure, KPIs, media consumption and the consumer.” In fact, the main reasons companies invest in digital marketing is audience reach, value, ability to reach people, targeting precision and ROI.

But here’s the difference. With people-based marketing, we’re able to actually understand who the consumer is. “You can create a persistent and consistent dialogue with a known consumer across all of his or her preferred devices and measure real performance versus narrowly defined online KPIs,” the survey from Viant found.

People-based marketing offers more advanced metrics like multi-touch attribution – ultimately giving you the insight into the ROI of your investments.

And, speaking of multi-touch attribution … that’s our next approach. This is where we can determine the value of each customer’s touch point, which leads them to a conversion. With this approach, you’ll be able to determine which marketing channels or campaigns are attributed to conversions – ultimately optimizing your future campaigns.

This approach is by no means a new approach. It includes multiple methods and models and has been used by organizations with hefty budgets for a while now. As compared to a single-touch model, any multi-touch one will get you one-step closer to better understanding your target market.

“This siloed approach leads marketers to double-count success metrics because multiple channels are taking credit for the same KPI event, such as a conversion or lead,” an article in Visual IQ stated.

There are numerous options to this approach, so you may find yourself testing different scenarios to see which one fits the needs of your organization. But no matter which one you choose, you’ll be able to track the consumer journey across channels and tactics in order to give credit for the KPIs (conversions, leads) you attained before.

Many C-Suite executives view digital marketing as a cost center within their organization, so they’re going to want to see much more insight into ROI. Getting this insight could ultimately increase your budget for the next year, so take these two – or even other – approaches to get a more in depth look at your metrics and how you’re getting much more than just clicks and impressions. Because, just as Peter Drucker has said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t prove it.”

Share This
Get new blog posts sent right to your inbox!