Marketing Metrics That Matter for Manufacturers

You may have lots of data flowing, but does it cohere? Connect the dots to get at what matters.

The growing segmentation of digital media consumption makes it more important for manufacturers to be able to define marketing metrics that matter by cross-tracking data points in order to gain actionable insights into their marketing initiatives. Data can be overwhelming, and marketing technology is collecting more data than ever. In the latest episode of the Industrial Marketer podcast, co-hosts Joey Strawn and Nels Jensen talk about how to tie together metrics that matter for manufacturing marketing.

Let’s look at a common approach for a manufacturing marketing initiative to illustrate some of the ideas that are explored in the episode.

Many manufacturing marketing efforts begin with a lead magnet — a content marketing piece such as a white paper or case study. Then comes a distribution strategy with email, social posts and paid tactics such as trade media ads and Google ads. At some point, you are qualifying leads and gathering prospect information by having them fill out an RFQ, use a calculator or sign up for something else of value.

But these qualifying stages often do not occur during the initial visit to your website. Or a prospect has researched your product several ways before “qualifying” as a lead. Maybe someone found your ad in a trade media publication but does not fill out an RFQ or provide customer information until his or her third visit to your website. Meanwhile, you have collected several marketing data points pertinent to that prospect without identifying them, meaning you may be interpreting their activity as evidence of four unqualified leads as opposed to one engaged one.

How do you disentangle all of this and create a story about a lead using marketing metrics that will describe the value of your marketing efforts and truly matter to your business? 

Understand How Tactics Ladder up to Qualifying Leads

This is why the ability to “cross track” data points is so important so that you are not overwhelmed by marketing data. It is essential to connect the data points.

For example, your sales people might be able to tell you that trade shows produced the most sales conversions out of all your marketing tactics. “Crossing connections” might tell you what tactics those conversions used to find information about your trade show, sign up to attend and then put your company on the list of organizations they wanted to connect with. If you want to ramp up your trade show marketing, does that mean hosting booths at more trade shows or expanding spend on successful platforms to attract more attendees to the shows you already have on your marketing calendar?

The point is: It’s not just the trade show; it’s how the prospect found you at the trade show. You may have promoted your presence at the trade show through five different channels. Which of those worked best?

The more you know about your revenue sources, the easier it will be to adjust your marketing tactics. 

Call Tracking Is a Valuable Tool for Connecting Marketing Data

One of the hottest trends in martech is call tracking. People may be surprised by the reporting capabilities for phone calls, which remain a key prospect interaction and a huge piece of any sales pipeline.

If properly set up, call tracking tools can identify where a prospect found your phone number — such as in a social media ad or on a website. The tools can later link this prospect through a phone number to a qualifying action. The integration with your CRM is powerful; it provides a more clear picture of the touch points that the prospect has had with your your marketing tactics.

Many marketing automation and CRM systems have the capability tie together multiple touch points, such as a job applicant that found you through one platform but did not fill out an application until later. 

Benchmarks Create Touchpoints to Help Track Prospects

Another way to deepen your insights into the long sales cycles typical in manufacturing is to add benchmarks. This can help you identify “leaks” in your funnel, or when prospects are likely to disappear. 

The longer the buyer journey, the more stages or touch points you may need to monitor for insight into your prospects’ intent. Once you have qualified a lead, were you able to schedule a phone call? Following that phone call, were you able to have a follow-up call? If you haven’t heard from a promising prospect, send an email offering to take them off your prospect list. You might be surprised how an email re-engagement campaign like this can prompt a response or an action. 

The more benchmarks you have, the easier it is to identify where people fall off the sales radar. If prospects tend to drop out when price is introduced, maybe you need a calculator to help people figure out the ROI of the investment.

Connecting Data Points Helps Find Actionable Insights

Don’t let the data be overwhelming. The numbers are telling you something. Being able to connect as many data points as possible helps identify what is working and what isn’t. The more you can identify where your revenue or successful outcomes come from, the more intelligently you can adjust your marketing mix.

Listen to the Podcast for More on Marketing Metrics

For more insights into marketing metrics that matter for manufacturers, tune into Episode 20 of the Industrial Marketer podcast.

Subscribe to the Industrial Marketer Podcast

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