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April 20, 2016 By Hendrik-Jan Francke

One Metric to Prove Customers Originated From Inbound Marketing

Empower your marketing team by proving they are responsible for sales-qualified leads.

B2B leads just don't walk through the door. Tech firms, professional service firms, and other B2B businesses must work hard to fill their pipeline.

As a VP or director of Marketing, it's your job to mark and track the leads that come from your marketing efforts. But it doesn't stop there.

Prove that inbound marketing-generated leads turn into valued customers

Your CEO wants to see metrics that relate to the bottom line—when you use your cost per lead formula or calculate your customer acquisition cost, you demonstrate value. Now, up the ante by showing your boss that Marketing brings in more than just leads: Marketing helps land valued customers.

In fact, Marketing is a big part of the "secret sauce" behind strong sales figures. And you can prove it!

Download Whitepaper: 6 B2B Marketing Metrics Your CEO Actually Cares About

Marketing Originated Customer Percentage is a Metric Marketers Can Take to the Bank

Marketing lands customers – that's ROI your CEO will smile at.

Proving that marketing is currently generating revenue will boost your influence and marketing budget. This is important because it helps your company understand:

  • A prospect's first step is to do research online. The key to effective Marketing strategy is to create content that anticipates and answers the prospect's questions in an authoritative way.
  • Business buyers like your customers spend just 21% of the buying cycle talking to Sales. By contrast, they spend 56% of the cycle looking for and engaging with content. Web content like emails, blogs, and whitepapers are the modern Marketing touchpoints for nurturing leads.
  • Marketing can land customers! Even if Sales makes the call, the content you provided warmed them to your business!
  • Delighted customers turn into promoters of your content – starting the cycle over. That means your marketing content is always out there selling for you. The more content you have, the easier both Sales and Marketing will have it in the future.

So, how do you find marketing originated customer percentage? It's simple: Just divide the total number of customers who started as a marketing lead in a month by the total number of new customers from all sources during the month.

EXAMPLE: 5 customers started as marketing leads and you have 10 new customers that month. Your answer is 50%.

That's 5 sales that wouldn't have happened without Inbound Marketing – and their lifetime customer value could be much higher. Thanks to your marketing content, they're already confident in your expertise. That translates to greater repeat business and more referrals down the line.

Inbound Marketing Originated Customer Data is Especially Crucial for Inbound Marketing Efforts

Research published by inbound-marketing trendsetter HubSpot shows inbound marketing has lower cost-per-acquisition than outbound marketing – consistently around 60% cheaper. Numbers don’t lie, but the numbers can’t speak for themselves. You need to collect them and dig in.

At a time when many enterprises are eyeing strategic shifts from outbound to inbound marketing, showing that strong leads come from marketing – rather than from Sales, referrals, or other sources – is crucial to making the choice that’s right for your business.

No matter your industry or customer profile, knowing where leads are coming from is crucial. Understanding key metrics like marketing-originated customer data will give you the insight to capture key business intelligence and make marketing work for you.


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