Digitization opens up enormous potential: While analog marketing measures were difficult to measure in terms of efficiency, online marketing can analyze very specific KPIs - without major investments or long-term commitment.
Data, data, data
Marketing has to address the needs of the customer - and it has to do so with precision. But what makes the customer tick today? How exactly do your campaigns hit the nerve of the customer? Does the address lead to success at all?
This is where digitalization marks a milestone that raises the quality of marketing campaigns to a new level: Every step a potential customer takes on his customer journey generates data - and this data can be intelligently evaluated with the help of digital tools. Naturally, without violating the regulations of the GDPR.
Today, no company can operate successfully without an online presence - customer behaviour has already changed too much in the B2B sector for that. Business customers first search the Internet for a suitable solution to a problem or challenge, compare offers and find out about the relevant providers.
So even at this point you should already have a high-quality presence - in the form of your own homepage, profiles in the social media channels and of course in the result lists of the relevant search engines. If your company is not ranked optimally, the probability of being found online by your target group is reduced.
This makes it all the more important to continually optimise online appearances and measures. This is where the various analysis tools come into play, which allow a look at the important key figures and thus make the potential for adjustment visible.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
The term has long been part of a manager's vocabulary, as it refers to key figures that describe the performance of corporate activities. Up to now, such analyses have been provided by management or even controlling in order to check the profitability of companies or the return on investment. But KPIs are also used when setting targets in the operational business or defining individual measures.
Applied to activities on the Internet, there are a number of ways of expressing the success or failure of online campaigns in clear figures that go far beyond the usual key figures from traditional marketing or business administration.
It is much more important to select the really relevant online KPIs and use them in a targeted manner: Naturally, different key figures are of interest to each business unit - and this is also true for online marketing. And yet there are common intersections, as these KPI examples should show.
A category question: classification of online KPIs
First of all, it should be emphasized that a certain amount of know-how is required to generate and evaluate online key figures. Here, sound experience plays an essential role in order to be able to classify the analyses of visibility or domain popularity in a targeted manner.
However, especially in areas such as marketing automation, nothing works without the right KPIs. An intelligent classification into different categories makes sense. On the one hand, higher-level key figures can be generated, but also KPIs for each individual area, such as
- for the website
- for eCommerce
- for search engine optimization (SEO)
- for search engine advertising (SEA)
- for e-mail campaigns
- for Social Media Marketing
The interesting thing about this is that it gives you the opportunity to examine each individual advertising measure in detail: Was the effort worth it? Is the campaign accepted? Where does it need to be improved?
Classical KPI examples in relation to turnover
Here you will find a whole range of common key figures: These classic KPIs relate to fundamental business management variables. In online marketing, for example, these include
- Number of conversions: If a campaign is aimed at specific actions on the customer side, such as the purchase of a product or service, the absolute number of these previously clearly defined activities is measured here.
- Conversion rate: In this context it is of course interesting to know how many visitors you had to attract to your website in order to achieve the measured number of conversions: This key figure describes this ratio.
- Costs per action (CPA): This is about costs: CPA shows the ratio of advertising costs to the conversions realized. However, this is not yet a clear statement on the profitability of your advertising measures.
- Return of Invest (ROI): As in any other business sector, ROI is one of the most important key figures: Profit and capital are divided. As long as you receive a result greater than 1, the investment is worthwhile.
- Return of Adspend (ROAS): Divide the profit by the costs you spend on search engine advertising, for example Google Ad campaigns. If the result is positive, you have run a successful campaign.
- Cost-Sales-Relation (CUR): Now it's getting exciting: This quotient of advertising costs and sales shows the profitability. However, the aim here is to achieve the smallest possible result - then your advertising is profitable.
Specific KPI examples around your website
Website key figures are not only interesting for pure eCommerce companies or online magazines - companies in every industry should rather make sure that the digital business card fulfils its function in every respect. Here are some KPI examples to measure the quality of websites and draw important conclusions for possible optimization:
- Unique Visitors: Number of individual website visitors, it provides information on the reach.
- Visits: This describes how often an individual user visits the respective website within a specified period of time.
- Bounce rate: This key figure shows how many of the visitors to your website leave without clicking on anything or becoming active again.
- Retention time: Also quite meaningful: the time a user stays on the respective website - until the last action.
- User ratio: It is easy to analyse the ratio of repeat and new visitors to a website. It is clear that the more new visitors are registered, the greater the website's reach.
These selected KPI examples already show that important conclusions can be drawn from the collected and calculated data: If visitors to your website do not stay there for long, there is probably an urgent need for action. Obviously there is a lack of relevance or the homepage is not structured in such a way that it appeals to your potential customers.
Step by step, these KPIs help you to get to know your customers and, above all, their requirements better - without any technical effort or costly market research.
The variety of online KPIs is enormous - this may be confusing at first. To make matters worse, search engine optimization or content marketing require special tools to determine the relevant key figures. However, these KPIs quickly become common variables and their handling a matter of course.
The advantages of these new forms of information retrieval are quite simply convincing in practical work: You can follow exactly how your target customers react to specific measures - this is indispensable, especially in marketing automation. But above all, the effort pays off: Once the analysis tools have been introduced, you can make well-founded statements at any time - at the click of a mouse.