Tracking your demand generation performance goes beyond simply reviewing a handful of metrics at random.
Instead, it starts with setting quantifiable goals for each campaign and then picking the right demand generation metrics to measure. You’ll also want to gather qualitative data (read: data gathered directly from the customers these campaigns drive) to fully understand the effectiveness of your demand gen efforts.
And if you’re looking for which specific metrics you should add to your reports, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. We interviewed a ton of demand gen. experts to find out which metrics they track and included them in this handy guide to help you get started.
Why should you measure your demand generation campaigns
If you don’t track the performance of your demand generation campaigns, it’s virtually impossible to know what’s working and what isn’t. But that’s not all good reporting and analysis can do.
Measuring your demand gen efforts is essential for:
- Evaluating your campaigns’ ROI
- Identifying areas of improvement
- Maximizing ROI
- And, making data-informed decisions to optimize your demand generation strategy
1. Evaluate your demand gen campaign's success
“I’m a strong supporter of measuring the effectiveness of marketing to help evaluate the success we’re having reaching our audience, capturing their attention, and driving behavior with them,” says Pete Lorenco, HYCU’s VP of Demand Generation.
In short, measuring your demand generation campaigns helps you “[… understand] what’s working/not working and where to double down on.”
2. Identify areas of improvement
“By [measuring demand generation campaigns], companies can identify areas of improvement and develop strategies that will better target their intended customers,” Lisa Dietrich, Partner at girokonto.io points out. “This ensures that our efforts are being used in the most effective way possible.”
Max Benz, the Founder and CEO of BankingGeek agrees, “By measuring the performance of our campaigns, we can identify areas of improvement and make more effective adjustments that will help us better engage with our customers and drive them towards making a purchase.”
3. Maximize your campaign's conversion rates and ROI
Evaluating your campaigns’ performance helps you create a demand generation strategy that works.
As Will Yang, the Head of Growth at Instrumentl puts it: “With a high-level understanding of performance, we can make well-informed decisions about where to focus our efforts and resources for maximum returns.”
4. Make data-informed decisions to optimize your campaigns
“It's incredibly important to understand how much of an impact [your demand gen campaigns] are having on overall sales and revenue,” notes Robert Hoffmann, the Marketing Manager at CashbackHero.
“Measuring the success of demand gen campaigns helps us identify which tactics work best for our customers and which don’t so that we can optimize our approaches accordingly,” Robert explains.
Will echoes the same. “In my experience, it's essential to measure demand generation campaigns as this allows us to track performance (such as which campaigns attracted the newest leads and customers), determine their cost-efficiency, and refine our strategies and tactics so we can get maximum return on investment.”
3 expert-recommended principles for measuring demand gen effectively
Tracking demand generation metrics is made up of more than just looking at the numbers. Before you choose specific metrics, it’s important to understand what you’re tracking and why. Experts recommend you take the following steps before you jump in.
1. Set goals first, demand generation KPIs second
By setting quantifiable goals first, you can choose the right demand generation metrics to track.
Over at HYCU, for instance, Pete Lorenco shares their two key goals are creating marketing- sourced and partner-influenced pipelines and revenue. The metrics they measure to evaluate their demand gen campaigns’ success show how well they’re achieving these goals. These metrics include:
- Number of leads
- Website analytics (like traffic and visitor-to-form conversion rates)
- And campaign metrics (like leads, pipeline, and revenue)
Pete explains, “We measure the key goals above because they’re aligned to the larger company goals and if we achieve them, we're helping to directly contribute to the success of the business. We also measure the metrics to get a gauge for the effectiveness marketing is having reaching our audience and driving engagement and results.”
2. Track both qualitative and quantitative metrics
“Focusing on quantitative measurement only can lead you to invest in the wrong areas and so you need qualitative metrics also,” shares Riaz Kanani, the CEO and Founder of Radiate B2B.
At Pete’s company their team also gathers qualitative data using “self-reported attribution (from inbound forms — ‘how did you hear about us.’)”
The same is true for CashbackHero. Robert Hoffmann explains, “At our company we utilize a combination of qualitative and quantitative metrics to measure the effectiveness of our demand gen campaigns.”
Meaning: besides measuring specific demand generation metrics, they gather direct feedback by “[…] surveying customers after [they engage] with any one of our campaigns [which] gives us direct insight into their experience.”
3. Only focus on a handful of metrics
The last golden rule is to make sure you aren’t measuring way too many demand generation metrics. Not only can they become overwhelming to track but you might end up focusing on the wrong ones.
Vito Vishnepolsky, Director at Martal Group, notes, “Monitoring every single action for each stage in the customer’s journey is counterproductive. You have to narrow your focus when tracking demand generation efforts if you want an accurate view of what’s working in your pipeline.
“Because of that, we prefer to stick to a handful of metrics in our performance tracking, which include conversion rates, cost-per-lead (CPL), cost-per-acquisition (CPA), and average deal size.”
13 key demand generation metrics you should track
Now that you know why to measure demand generation and how to approach it in the best way, it’s time to figure out which metrics to include in your reports.
The key demand generation metrics that experts recommend tracking typically fall into one of these categories:
- Website analytics, such as page views and traffic
- Engagement metrics, such as click-through rate
- Conversion metrics, such as leads coming from your website
CashbackHero’s Robert Hoffmann explains the importance of each:
“We use website analytics such as page visits and referral sources in order to get a better understanding of where prospects are coming from before they convert into leads or sales.”
Note: use Google Analytics to track your website metrics.
“We also look at engagement metrics such as email open rates and click throughs so that we can gauge how engaged people are with certain content pieces or offers that we're promoting through various channels,” Robert continues.
“Conversion rates are especially important for us since ultimately this is a metric that tells us if all this effort is actually leading to business results — so that’s something we always keep an eye on!”
Ideally, you’ll want to pick a few metrics from each category to get an accurate and well-rounded view of a demand generation campaign’s success.
Based on your approach and goals, pick and choose from these expert-sourced metrics to get a more accurate picture of your latest campaign’s performance.
1. Website visitors
Website visitors denote the traffic your demand generation efforts are driving to your site. It’s important to measure this metric to understand how many people you’re reaching.
2. Page views
Page views or page impressions is the number of views a page on your website gets. For example, the number of page views your home page or a blog post generates.
Tracking it allows you to understand how well your content is resonating with your target audience.
3. Time spent on page
Driving significant website traffic and page views means nothing if those visitors aren’t spending enough time on your site. This is because the time they spend on your site is an indication of how much value they’re getting from it. Put simply, visitors who find value in your content will stay on a page longer.
4. Referral traffic sources
This is an essential search engine optimization (SEO) metric that signals which marketing channels are driving traffic to your website — helping you understand where your target buyers spend the most time.
5. Website conversion rate
Your website conversion rate refers to the rate at which your visitors complete the desired action you wanted them to take on your site to become leads. For example, requesting a demo or signing up for your newsletter.
Calculate your conversion rate by dividing the number of conversions by the total number of site visitors, then multiply it by 100 for a percentage value. Here’s how:
Website conversion rate: Number of conversions / Number of site visitors x 100%
So, for a website with 500 conversions and 5,000 site visitors, this would mean: 500/5000 = 0.1 x 100 = 10% conversion rate.
6. Number of leads
Lead count is the total number of leads you generate from your website and other demand generation channels, such as social media.
“These are the leads that are the most likely to become customers, and so it is essential to track the number of leads generated by each campaign,” Rephrasely’s Founder Matthew Ramirez notes. “This way you can see which campaigns are working and which are not and then adjust your campaigns accordingly, focusing on the ones that are generating the most leads.”
7. Click-through rate
Click-through rate (CTR) refers to the number of people clicking a link on your page. You can measure the CTR for not only your website but also the emails you send to subscribers and the posts you share on social media.
It’s important you track your CTR to understand how well your content is resonating with your audience compared to how many people actually click your call-to-action (CTA) request.
8. Email open rate
Email open rate indicates the number of people who are actually opening the emails you’re sending them. Only subscribers who are truly interested in what you offer will bother to open your marketing emails. Measuring this metric is helpful in understanding how many people are consuming the content you’re sharing.
9. Cost per acquisition
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is the total cost of acquiring a customer. The lower it is, the more cost-effective your demand generation campaign is. Calculate your CPA by dividing your demand generation spend by the number of new customers acquired.
Cost per acquisition = Demand gen campaign spend / number of customers acquired.
Here’s an example CPA: $2500/110 = $22.7 cost per customer
10. Return on investment
Return on Investment (ROI) is a measure of how cost-effective your demand generation efforts are. How to calculate it depends on your goals and the tactics you used to generate demand. If you’ve run ads, for example, you’ll want to track your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) to understand your ROI.
11. Lead quality score
Lead quality score determines how qualified or likely to convert your leads are. Use lead scoring (the process of analyzing your prospect’s closing and revenue potential) to measure leads’ quality.
An incredibly easy way to automatically add high-quality leads to your pipeline and close more deals is to target warm leads.
You can do this by using UserGems for tracking job changes. This way, you can reach out to your alumni customers when they change jobs to see if their new company could benefit from your product or service — increasing your odds of closing the deal since the prospect already knows what you bring to the table.
12. Lifetime value
Also known as Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV), lifetime value is the revenue a user will likely spend on your business as your customer. To calculate it, multiply your customers’ average purchase frequency, average lifespan, and average purchase/subscription value.
Customer Lifetime Value = Customers’ average purchase frequency x Average lifespan x Average purchase/subscription value.
13. Direct response rate
“This metric measures the percentage of leads that convert directly into sales or revenue,” explains Rephrasely’s Matthew Ramirez.
Matthew shares it’s the most important demand gen metric that they measure. “It’s a key indicator of how successful our marketing campaigns are and how well we’re meeting our customers’ needs. This metric helps us identify areas for improvement and measure the effectiveness of our demand generation efforts.”
Use data to optimize your demand generation campaigns
Remember: instead of making assumptions, talk to your customers and use data to optimize your campaigns and improve your ROI.
To this end, select the right metrics and track them regularly. What’s more, use UserGems to add warm leads to your pipeline by following your customers, users and prospects to their new companies. And close more deals, faster.
Mimecast used this former customer playbook to generate $18M in new pipeline.
Hard to believe? Get a UserGems’ demo today and learn how it can help you drive sales and increase your revenue.