Imagine you’re watching the 100m at the Olympics. You’re off your feet as the racers thunder towards the finishing line. Then it cuts to black. The commentator is excitedly telling you all about Usain Bolt and his average ground speed of 23mph and a record time of 9.58 seconds. It all sounds great but it’s missing the key piece of information – did he win?
An unlikely scenario I’ll grant you but one that is very similar to the situations faced by marketers. There’s a vast array of metrics at the fingertips of marketers, ranging from click through rates to conversion rates that provide a clear picture of how users are performing within a campaign.
However, expounding on the healthy increase of your conversion rate or any one of the metrics you’ve collated from different stages of the campaign to the board is likely to be met with stony silence. There’s a disconnect between typical marketing metrics and the bottom line that the board needs to hear.
There are plenty of articles out there that touch on this subject – the Entrepreneur and MozBlog being two of my own favourites. In this blog post we will be taking a high-level view on how we can leverage the powerful tools within Kentico EMS to deliver these “bottom line” reports.
There are a number of metrics we can use to describe success (or failure) to the board which all focus on the “bottom line” – essentially the financial impact.
- Return On Investment (ROI) is the most common formula and typically the easiest to understand. It can be used on particular strategies, e.g. PPC or organic SEO, to show the gain or loss following the investment.
- Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is the amount that you have paid to acquire a new customer. This metric is great for helping to define the most cost-effective channels to reach and convert customers.
- Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS) is used to measure the profit from advertising and is useful in evaluating the performance of specific campaigns.
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is about determining the economic value that a customer brings to your business over the entire time that they are a customer.
- Customer Retention Rate (CRR) measures customer loyalty. It is known that acquiring customers costs more money than retaining current customers so the CRR value looks at how well we are keeping customers in order to maximise revenue.
The Reporting Module
The simplest option in developing these “bottom line” reports is to make use of the Reporting Module within Kentico. There’s a wide array of reports on offer but it also provides you with the ability to create your own reports.
The first thing we need to consider are the results (e.g. number of customers registered, revenue, number of orders). The ideal is to have all the data within Kentico. However, that isn’t always possible.
With an ecommerce site, it is likely that we will have full information on customers and their order histories. However, when you consider a B2B marketing site, we may not necessarily have customer accounts on site and any orders are likely to be taken offline and stored within other systems.
In the case of B2B marketing sites, we will be reliant on the business CRM (e.g. Dynamics, Salesforce). Data held in the CRM can be pulled down into custom fields within the Contact Management module of Kentico. Data within the CRM needs to be up-to-date and clean in order to make the reports as accurate as possible.
The amounts spent on particular campaigns or strategies are important figures and are essential for the reports.
The simplest possible option is to allow users to input the investment value when they run a report. There are a range of options available from setting fixed values in particular report subscriptions to providing a custom table or custom module within Kentico to store these figures with connections to the relevant campaigns or strategies.
Creating the report
The report itself is built up from an SQL query with additional settings that allow you to design the layout of your report (tables, charts, graphs, etc.). It is essential that the data we wish to use in these reports is readily available (as mentioned in the previous two steps).
With the SQL query in place, we can then add in our filters to help marketers drill down to the report that they need.
If we take Cost Per Acquisition as an example, we will be looking at the following equation to derive results:
CPA = Cost / Site Registrations*
We need to know the initial investment and the total number of registrations that have come through to the site.
For initial investment, v9 no longer allows you to set a budget against the campaign so we need an alternative method. There are various approaches in how we can handle this value. It is likely that we are using a particular campaign to track customers who have come through to the site from a particular marketing channel. In this case, we can simply use an input filed within the report parameters and then pre-populate the value for those who subscribe to the form.
As we are using a campaign, we will be able to place conversions on the customer registration success page as part of this campaign. This figure will be stored within Kentico and can be retrieved through an SQL query.
The report itself can be as simple or as complex as required, e.g. you allow the marketer to pick one campaign at a time or we offer a combined report that shows you comparisons between different campaigns with the option to filter down to one.
By building within the Reporting module, we can leverage the Subscription feature and deliver these “bottom line” reports on a regular basis to the relevant recipients. Parameters can be pre-selected based on the recipient so we can differentiate between the reports sent to each recipient.
There are many more metrics we can and should track through Kentico to provide more comprehensive reports that enable board members and senior executives to discover the impact of particular marketing strategies and campaigns in language they understand.
At MMT Digital we work with our clients through our EMS Consultancy service to ensure that once your site is live, we continue to develop and enhance your solution. Writing custom reports is merely one aspect of the solutions that our clients require.
If you’d like to know more about the EMS and understand what your site is capable of, get in touch and we can walk you through the best possible solution.