We have more data than ever. Yet it has never been harder to understand what we should actually be measuring and paying attention to. When reports are presented the discussion can move very quickly from one key performance indicator to the next depending on who you’re talking to. Yes, more or less everything can be measured today but that still doesn’t mean it actually matters. In order to help you determine what the right key performance indicators (KPIs) for your marketing campaigns are for you and help you focus on what actually matters, we will introduce you to a number of concepts. This should help you to determine which B2B marketing KPIs make sense for you.

As a note to the reader — We’ll be using the words KPI and metric. Both refer to the same concept.

Table of contents

The relationship between a North Star KPI and operational KPIs or metrics.

A north star KPI is a metric that is looked at to determine the success of a company or team.

It’s the main metric that indicates if things are moving the right way. Steering a north star metric is, however, very difficult. It would also be absurd to assume that you only need to focus on one particular KPI. The north star metric is usually the result of other KPI’s and metrics.

To illustrate this example, we included the drawing below. ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) can be a performance marketing team’s north star KPI.

ROAS Metrics

But ROAS is composed of two other metrics being revenue and media investment. Each of these metrics then again falls apart into, increasingly, more operational metrics. These operational metrics can, in comparison to the north star KPI, be steered directly.

ROAS for instance is composed of both revenue and cost. On the revenue side we can take actions to drive up the average price of the basket or increase the volume of transactions. More transactions in return require either more sessions (traffic) or a better conversion rate is given a stable number of sessions. If an advertising agency in Australia for example is looking to drive more sessions they can optimise their advertising click-through rate or simply deliver more impressions. The key to driving your north star KPI, in this case ROAS, in the right direction lies within your understanding of the operational metrics immediately impacting it and making operations steer those.

What is a good metric?

Before going into more advanced concepts such as leading metrics, let’s take a step back and reflect on what are good marketing metrics and why. A good metric should be comparative, understandable, a ratio/rate, and actionable. There isn’t a more important metric factor than the other, but there are some that may benefit your company more than others.

A comparative metric

Being able to compare a metric across time is essential. If you are using Google Analytics, having a Google Ads rate that is at 2.5% this week does not tell you much until you compare it with the previous period(s). That is where you will know if you’re on the right track or not.

An understandable metric

A good metric must also be understandable. A nice habit to keep when creating or modifying metrics used is to involve different departments, beyond that of the marketing teams, and profiles to make sure everything can be understood by anyone. A good way to make sure it is the case is to ask a recent member of your team to go through the defined metrics and make sure everything is understood.

A ratio/rate metric

Tied to the first one, a ratio or a rate is implicitly comparative. When compared, ratios are easier to act on and make a better health check metric. When creating your reports or dashboards think about the ratios you would like to analyse and the different metrics you’re gonna need to make such ratios. For example, have a metric that compares new customers vs lost customers over a period of time alongside customer acquisition cost to determine how much profit you may have gained or lost within a quarter.

An actionnable metric

Last but not least, a good metric should be a metric you want to act on. If you don’t think you’ll be able to act on the results given by that metric, maybe it’s not that relevant and you should put it aside. This is probably the most important tip to avoid using too much data and being overloaded with data you don’t know what to do with. It is also the most difficult rule to apply as you might feel that you’re better off with more data than enough. You might also be under pressure from one or more people internally willing to report on every single metric available. Keep in mind that sometimes, less is more.

With the previous example of new vs old customers and customer acquisition cost, with this kind of data, your company can easily act upon the numbers by upping marketing efforts and calculating how much money to invest in a new marketing strategy if numbers aren’t ideal.

If you keep those 4 simple rules in mind when working on your marketing KPIs, you should already be off to a good start.

Vanity, leading, and lagging metrics

What is a vanity metric?

A vanity metric will make you feel good, but it won’t change your next actions. A typical vanity metric is “total signups”. As this number is only going to go up, it won’t help you gather relevant insights to act on. A better metric would be, for example, “percentage of active users”. Indeed, if you are improving, this number should go up and you’ll know you improved significantly.

What are leading and lagging metrics?

Leading metrics give you a predictive understanding of the future, whereas the lagging metric only looks at the past. They are both useful metrics, but it’s important to know they serve different purposes. A lagging metric can be churn. It’s super important to be able to measure churn, but while it’s important, the damage is already done. Leading metrics, on the other hand, try to predict future results. The current amount of prospects is a good example of a leading metric. If your number is low, you can expect a low number of sales and therefore act on it by trying to increase that amount of prospects.

swc1
SWC Partnership
London, United Kingdom
5/5 - 9 recommendations
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyPublic RelationsAdvertising & Display
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
havas1
Socialyse Belgium
London, United Kingdom
5/5 - 0 recommendation
Marketing
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
op1
POP Communications
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
5/5 - 2 recommendations
MarketingPublic Relations
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
place1
Sandpaper
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
5/5 - 5 recommendations
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyPublic RelationsWebsite Creation Software
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
roots1
Grassroots creative agency
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
5/5 - 10 recommendations
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyWeb DesignWebsite Creation Software
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
evol1
EvolveDigitas
Singapore, Singapore
5/5 - 5 recommendations
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyPublic RelationsAdvertising & DisplayWebsite Creation Software
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
ab1
ab4.systems
Singapore, Singapore
5/5 - 26 recommendations
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyAdvertising & DisplayWebsite Creation Software
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
blen1
Creative Blend
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
5/5 - 1 recommendation
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyPublic RelationsAdvertising & DisplayWebsite Creation Software
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
di1
Dice Marketing and Advertising
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
5/5 - 1 recommendation
MarketingAdvertising & DisplayWebsite Creation Software
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
your
diARK
Bucharest, Romania
5/5 - 3 recommendations
MarketingPublic RelationsAdvertising & DisplayWebsite Creation SoftwareWeb Development
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
we1
Destinare Marketing Group
Doha, Qatar
5/5 - 1 recommendation
MarketingAdvertising & DisplayWebsite Creation SoftwareWeb Development
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
artx1
ArtX Pro
Karachi, Pakistan
5/5 - 3 recommendations
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyWebsite Creation SoftwareWeb Development
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
redoy1
Redoya – Smart digital branding agency
Lahore, Pakistan
5/5 - 1 recommendation
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyWebsite Creation Software
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
maroon2
Maroon studio sdn bhd
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
5/5 - 0 recommendation
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyAdvertising & DisplayWebsite Creation Software
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
wave
Caspian Digital Solutions
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
5/5 - 5 recommendations
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyAdvertising & Display
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
002
Poixel
Kuwait City, Kuwait
5/5 - 2 recommendations
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyWebsite Creation Software
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
56
Lokal Vokal
Central Jakarta, Indonesia
5/5 - 0 recommendation
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyAdvertising & DisplayWebsite Creation Software
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
45
ChubbyRawit Digital Marketing Agency
South Jakarta, Indonesia
5/5 - 10 recommendations
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyAdvertising & DisplayWeb Development
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
30
FMG
West Jakarta City, Indonesia
5/5 - 5 recommendations
MarketingAdvertising & DisplayWebsite Creation SoftwareWeb Development
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
06
Taksu Digital
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
5/5 - 8 recommendations
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyWebsite Creation Software
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
04
DSIGN Branding
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
5/5 - 2 recommendations
MarketingDigital & Marketing Strategy
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
veloma
heydaysss
Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
5/5 - 6 recommendations
MarketingWeb Development
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
ki
4HK
Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
5/5 - 5 recommendations
MarketingDigital & Marketing Strategy
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
gendarme
Fisheye Solutions
Giza, Egypt
5/5 - 3 recommendations
MarketingDigital & Marketing Strategy
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
citrus
sendian creations
Al Maadi, Egypt
5/5 - 6 recommendations
MarketingWeb Development
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
bonbon
INETWORK Middle East
New Cairo City, Egypt
5/5 - 8 recommendations
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyWebsite Creation Software
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
ses
WebbingStone
6th of October City, Egypt
5/5 - 13 recommendations
MarketingContent MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyWeb Development
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
jjjjjjj
Indigo Media
Qism El-Nozha, Egypt
5/5 - 0 recommendation
Marketing
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
aaaaaa
Ad Value Marketing Agency
Cairo Governorate, Egypt
5/5 - 2 recommendations
Marketing
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
lilliliil
O2 Media Group
Giza, Egypt
5/5 - 14 recommendations
MarketingDigital & Marketing StrategyWeb Development
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
hihi
New Step Media
Ad Doqi, Egypt
5/5 - 10 recommendations
Marketing
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
capture789
Essencius A/S
Copenhagen, Denmark
5/5 - 4 recommendations
Marketing
Discover the agencyarrow_forward
Jaroudi Media
Manama, Bahrain
5/5 - 0 recommendation
MarketingDigital & Marketing Strategy
Discover the agencyarrow_forward

How marketing moves from a deterministic to a probabilistic measurement

So with your marketing team, you’ve figured out which B2B marketing KPIs are the right ones for you. Life looks great now.

However, there’s one important thing you need to know as marketers.

Users are becoming more and more conscious of their rights as “data subjects” and their privacy as such. Therefore organisations need to adhere to increasingly stricter regulations when it comes to tracking data.

As a result, marketers are losing data. How can you calculate the correct conversion rates if you’re not allowed to track the conversion? That’s where marketing platforms introduce probabilistic measurement. In the past reports were only based on what was actually measured. Increasingly marketing providers such as Google and Facebook are adding what they called “modelled” data to the reports. This modelled data uses your data that has actually been measured and tries to complete what is missing in order to provide you an overview of the actual values. Something to be taken into account when you evaluate your reports.

KPIs aren’t timeless

With all of the info shared above, you should be able to determine which B2B marketing KPIs are relevant for you and how to interpret them. That being said. KPIs aren’t timeless. A KPI that is relevant for a startup might change once you move into a scaleup position. Therefore KPIs should be evaluated timely to make sure they’re in line with your business goals, objectives, and product.