Our Blog

3 Key Marketing Metrics to Drive your 2019 Marketing Plan

November 21, 2018 By Hendrik-Jan Francke

3 Key Marketing Metrics to Drive your 2019 Marketing Plan


2018 is in its fourth quarter. You can still score this year, and hopefully even win. But it’s time to create the playbook that’s going to lead you down the field to marketing success in 2019. 

Get in the game. We’re talking marketing planning time, ya’ll. 

Marketing success in 2019 starts with setting SMART goals.

And SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Repeatable
  • Timely

Today, we are going to focus on the “measurable” component by identifying 3 key marketing metrics to measure your marketing success now and in the coming year.

Why Measurable KPIs are Important

You can’t win if you don’t keep score.

Without setting KPIs (key performance indicators) for your marketing activities, it’s impossible to know what’s working. Metrics help you define the space (aka your “growth gap”) between how you’re performing now, and how you want to be performing one year from now.

When you understand your “growth gap”, you can plan the marketing and sales strategies that will help you leap ahead of your 2019 goals.

Website Sessions (aka Website Visits)

We want to drive more people to our website

This is the common refrain we hear from all clients—B2B, B2C, non-profits, small, big, and in between. And for good reason.

Website sessions are the starting point of all revenue generated by online marketing.


Increasing website sessions is key to creating conversion opportunities. You’ll also want to measure what channels (organic search, paid search, etc.) are driving sessions so you can measure your efforts against these results.

Sessions are like the number of possessions a team has on the football field. The more possessions/sessions, the higher number of opportunities you have to score.

Each time a visitor lands on your website, your website has the opportunity to make a good first impression, build trust, and hopefully, convert that visitor to a lead.

And when we’re talking leads, we’re talking scoring position.

Online Marketing Leads

Whether you’re driving 100 visits or 20,000 visits per month to your website, you must have a way for visitors to raise their hand and say “tell me more”.

If you don’t, you’re playing a zero-sum game.

Some users visit your website because they’re just searching around on the web. For these wanderers, your site should create a good first impression and provide trustworthy content.

But other visitors look for your site with a results-oriented goal in mind. For these visitors, you should have multiple conversion opportunities on your website geared their specific point in the buyer’s journey. For example:

  • A whitepaper for Joe who’s still researching his problem (Awareness phase)
  • A webinar for Brett who’s ready to compare products (Consideration phase)
  • A demo for Dan who’s almost ready to buy (Decision phase)

Email Marketing Tool Constant Contact includes this Free Trial sign up form at the end of their blog post enticing interested readers to take the next step.

At the very least, have a contact form so people can tell you they want to learn more. (But honestly, settling on a contact form is like trying to get the playoffs with a 3rd string quarterback. You have a chance, but could do way better.)

Tracking the gross number of leads from online marketing delivered to the sales team is sufficient for many marketing teams.

But if you want to get into the nitty-gritty of your marketing stats, you can break online marketing leads into two sub-categories.

Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)

Marketing qualified leads are prospects at the beginning stages of the buyer’s journey. They are looking for information (usually free information), but aren’t quite ready to commit to a conversation with your sales team.

Your sales and marketing teams can coordinate to nurture these leads by sending them your helpful expertise via email nurturing campaigns. Sharing expertise will build trust and help them inch closer to the scoring position.

MQLs are a good indicator that 1) your site is being found, and 2) the information you are sharing is relevant to your audience.

Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)

SQLs are hot leads. These leads are in the red zone and it’s your sales team’s job to move them across the goal line to score (close the deal).

SQLs are more ready to talk with your sales team about making a purchase.

Differentiating SQLs from MQLs will help you determine who is visiting your website, the length of the sales cycle for online leads, and what types of content you need to generate for your website. For example, if you’re MQLs are not progressing to SQLs, perhaps you need to offer content that better helps them move forward.

Customers from Online Marketing


Sometimes it’s a long journey down the field to get your prospect to visit your website, convert on an offer, and ultimately buy your product.

But ultimately, the number of customers from online marketing is the true measure of marketing ROI as it relates to your bottom line.

Make sure you are using your CRM to track leads from the moment they convert on your website through the sales cycle. The most sophisticated CRMs and marketing automation platforms can tell you a contact’s every move once they’ve dropped a cookie on your website.

At the very least, make sure your sales team is tagging leads and customers as online marketing leads so you can calculate cost per lead.

Set Your Marketing Goals by Working Backwards

So, how do you know how many sessions will be good enough to reach your revenue goals?

We like to work backward from everyone’s favorite metric: customers.

Identifying how many customers you want to win from online marketing will help you identify your target:

  • Sales Conversion Rate (Closed Sales/Total Online Leads)
  • Website Conversion Rate (Total Online Leads/Website Sessions)
  • Website Sessions

Mapping these figures can help you figure out if you’re making pie-in-the-sky aspirations or setting SMART goals.

For example, say each month you’re generating:

  • 1 Sale
  • 2 Online Leads 
  • 200 Website Sessions

That breaks down to:

  • 50% Sales Conversion Rate (average)
  • 1% Website Conversion Rate (below average)

But say your goal is to win 10 customers per month.

To achieve that goal at your current conversion rates, you’d have to increase website traffic 90% to 2,000 visits per month. As you can imagine, that’s a Hail Mary goal and would require a substantial budget.

Instead of praying for a miracle, map the metrics you need to set attainable goals.


Get More Bright Ideas

Improve your website & online marketing strategy with resources, tips, and insights delivered to your inbox every 2 weeks.

Subscribe to the Bright Orange Thread Content Library today for instant access to these resources!

Sign up today!