Before implementing a B2B marketing strategy, it's crucial to know exactly what your goals are, but many companies skip over this step. In fact, 55% of B2B content marketers don't have a working definition of what success looks like. Without a good idea of success, it can be almost impossible to set marketing goals and properly track them. How can your business grow if you don't know what success will look like or what goals to set?
To get a clear plan in place, you should determine your marketing goals, narrow down the goals that are most important, break down the specific steps to meet these goals, and track your progress. In this post, we'll explore how you should go about completing these tasks and discuss recommendations for tools you can use to better understand your B2B marketing KPIs.
1. Determine what success looks like for your company
The first step to setting your marketing goals is to identify what achievements matter to you most. What do you think will best help the success of your company? What would deliver the biggest impact? Are you looking to bring in more revenue? Do you hope for a shorter sales cycle? Do you want to triple the number of leads your business receives?
Another way to pick goals for your business is to consider what metrics your company performs weakly in. Figure out where the black hole in your marketing funnel is. From there, determine what you plan to do about it. For example, maybe your social media presence isn't as strong as you want it to be. Goals that aligns with this problem might include increasing your number of followers, getting more engagement (e.g. likes, shares, comments, etc.), or improving your social media ads. When looking at your company's weaknesses, you may find that there are many ways to tackle these weaknesses. The key is to figure out the best method for fixing a problem and setting a goal based on that method.
2. Prioritize the goals most important to you
Once you've listed a few goals you want to achieve with your company, you should prioritize the ones you want to achieve first. For example, 85% of B2B marketers say lead generation is their most important content marketing goal. But you may have other goals in mind.
Which goals are most important to your company's success? To figure this out, you may find it helpful to choose a primary goal from your list and work your way down. For example, maybe your company isn't making as many sales as you'd like or perhaps too many of your sales take a long time to complete. Either one of these goals could be your focal point. As you choose your primary goal, be sure to get a group consensus on it so that you're sure your teams will be committed to this goal.
3. Break down the steps to meet each goal
Let's say your primary goal is to make more sales. This means that you have to take the necessary steps to achieve this goal. Making more sales might be a long-term goal, but there are short-term goals you can set in order to meet that long-term goal.
To increase your sales, you can set out to attract more customers. To attract more customers, you may decide to use more targeted ads, be more active on social media, or host local trade shows. These smaller, short-term goals all work together to achieve that larger, long-term goal. Taking this approach can help you to keep a laser focus on what you want to achieve. Without a breakdown of how you're going to achieve each goal, you'll likely struggle because there's no set plan in place.
4. Track your progress
After you've set everything in motion, it's important to see how you've fared in terms of completing your goal. Tracking your progress is key to learning what works and what doesn't. From your results, you can figure out your next course of action. If increasing ad spend doesn't seem to be making a difference, then consider decreasing your spending. If creating a sense of urgency in your CTAs is attracting more clicks and increasing conversions, this tactic may be something you want to keep in your arsenal.
Below are some tools that can help you track your B2B marketing KPIs:
With Databox, you can put all your KPIs in one place. It prevents you from having to use multiple platforms to see how your company is performing. Integrations with key platforms such as Google Ads, Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, Salesforce, HubSpot, and more allow you to get a more complete view of your performance at a glance.
Databox is complex and time consuming to configure, and while we've found a lot of the visualizations to be helpful, some users complain that the API connections are not always consistent, and have a tendency to break. From a price perspective, it is cost-effective as an alternative to some higher-priced enterprise business intelligence platforms like Domo or Tableau, so it's worth considering despite some of its limitations.
GOOGLE DATA STUDIO
If you want to go beyond the data offered by Google Analytics, Google Data Studio may be a good solution. The tool allows you to compile data from Google products including Analytics, AdWords, Search Console, Sheets, and YouTube. It provides a live data connection, which eliminates the need to schedule periodic data refreshes for your reports.
With Data Studio, you don't have the option to automate delivery reports daily, weekly, and monthly, which means that you have to manually access delivery reports. Further limitations on connecting other third party tools make Data Studio helpful, but not the only source you'll need for analyzing all your marketing and sales efforts.
Using Supermetrics, you can gain access to all your marketing metrics (e.g. Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook, Bing, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.) in one place. It's a reporting automation tool, which means that you don't have to copy/paste or import CSV files, saving you lots of time.
However, one major con of Supermetrics is its inability to store data, which can make it difficult for you to analyze long-term trends or employ a more sophisticated marketing attribution model. Supermetrics has a connector to Google Data Studio, which can extend the functionality of both tools to make reports more useful.
Klipfolio brings all your data together in one place, allowing you to unlock valuable insights and see trends at a glance, which can help you gain a better understanding of your business results. You can also share this data with your decision-makers, which can help keep everyone on the same page and make better informed, data-driven decisions.
One downfall of Klipfolio is that it lacks data analytics and exploration capabilities.
The value in Tableau is its ability to simplify raw data into an easily understandable format. This helps speed up the data analysis process. What's more, anyone can operate the platform and professionals at any level in your company can understand it.
One issue with Tableau is its high cost and inflexible pricing, which requires clients to purchase the extended license from the start. This is a solution more geared toward enterprise customers with more custom requirements for integrations.
All employees at your company can engage with real-time data using Domo. The great part about Domo is the feature that allows you to easily bring in third-party data and integrate it with other data sources.
Domo is cloud-based, so if your data is on-premise, copying it to Domo's cloud may not be the best choice. A non-cloud BI solution may be the better option for your business if this is a requirement.
Grow can break down your complex business data into simple visuals. Using the platform, you can spot areas that need attention before they become a problem. You can share your insights with your entire team, which allows everyone to see how their KPIs are aligning with goals.
It's important to keep in mind that all integrations on Grow BI don't work seamlessly, which may require you to manually refresh some avenues to make sure all the data available is the most recent.
Using artificial intelligence to project future trends and help you find out the "why" behind your numbers, Salesforce Analytics takes BI software to the next level. By connecting data from any source, the platform can help you spot trends, see insights, and get recommendations on specific actions to take.
Keep in mind that Salesforce Analytics can only handle a certain amount of data rows. So if you're uploading large CSV files of data, you may run into some problems. Salesforce Analytics of course assumes you're using SFDC as your CRM. Some out of the box reporting is not very intuitive to set up, and for ABM reporting, you may wish to extend the platform with a tool like FullCircle for enhanced attribution reporting.
HubSpot offers a variety of analytics tools that can help you make smarter marketing decisions. From key website metrics (i.e. traffic, conversions, etc.) to detailed reports for each marketing channel, HubSpot Analytics can help you can gain a better understanding of how your business is performing.
HubSpot Analytics reports are definitely behind when compared to a more developed CRM system like SFDC, but they are quickly catching up with easy to read out-of-the-box reports and visualizations. In that respect, it's much easier to get started with HubSpot Analytics tools compared with SalesForce. Where clients often run into difficulty with HubSpot is with multiple currency requirements, advanced forecasting capabilities, cross-record and multiple record reporting.
Posted In: Strategy, B2B, ABM, Content Marketing, Marketing Analytics
Adept at communicating and connecting with people of all backgrounds, William brings more than 10 years of experience leading, developing, and implementing digital marketing solutions for B2B clients. He’s worked with a variety of clients, from large multinational corporations with multiple business units to local small businesses. William previously served as the Director of Digital Strategy and Insights for a Portland, Oregon-based B2B marketing agency, helping it grow from a team of 3 to a team of more than 40. In addition to leading analytics, marketing automation, SEO, paid media, and business intelligence, William also focused on mentoring and providing team members in his department with a clear professional development path.