Acquiring and engaging with customers in today’s vast digital omnisphere is a far more enormous task than ever before. On top of that, marketing ROI has emerged as an even more significant business KPI. Naturally CMOs are worried that they’ll be judged based on the metrics. What would be really great is a crystal ball, but lack of such mystical insight requires today’s CMO to become axiomatically data-driven.

“You want to be where the puck is going, not where it is.” – Wayne Gretsky

What To Measure

Even with the delightful surge in automation that solves “how,” marketing professionals can get overwhelmed deciding what to measure. Oh, and accomplish all these analytics without siphoning resources from creating an ingenious, quality campaign. You need to quantify your quality now. No small feat.

What should you measure ROI against? Even in your approach to metrics you need to be creative. It’s important to apply the right mix of measurement tools, and there’s no magic formula that works for every situation. You need your metrics, in the parlance of our times, right-sized and optimized.

What’s fantastic about marketing automation tools is that they can crunch the most complex numbers, so you can lock arms with clients, Sales and Finance and strategize to reach business growth goals based on something more than a collective hunch. Brainstorming and strategizing are a much better use of your resources than math.

Stack It!

So far CabinetM has profiled more than 200 marketing automation platforms, and hundreds of tools designed to help manage ROI. Creating a stack for marketing metrics is an effective, easy way to get a handle on the situation. Create a new stack layer for each defined metric, populating each layer with the tools you are using that serve each metric. Drag-and-drop, moving tools between your layers, adding layers as needed.

Marketing Insider Group just posted a great article suggesting some ways to get started putting a framework around your metrics. The piece identifies highly effective metrics every marketer should be tracking.

  • Email Campaigns (click-through rates)
  • Web Traffic
  • Social Share

Just as important — get a good handle on your Conversion Rates and ROI.

Conversion can be a simple sale, or it could mean something entirely unique to your business. Conversion is an app download, a paid upgrade from freemium, or a vote-up on a social media channel. What are your conversions?

The ROI formula demands that you reach upstream as well as downstream, with complexities that vary depending on your business. But at the end of the day, every CMO needs to answer the same question: how much did we earn back from every marketing dollar spent?

Here’s a sample layer set that names each layer based on these five key metrics.

Naming Layers in a Metrics Stack

Email Campaigns

Web Traffic

Social Share




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