Want definitive confirmation that the work you’re doing is paying off? Want to make sure you’re on course to achieve your goals? Track your performance now!

Measuring success is a crucial element of all customer marketing operations and our panel discussion between industry leaders sheds light on the best practices for doing so.

The Customer Marketing Summit’s panel ‘Building & Structuring Your Team for Success’ provided invaluable insight and this article will look at how success is measured, the key KPIs that industry leaders track, and why they are so crucial to overall growth.

Our panelists included: Aunalisa Arellano, Head of Customer Marketing Manager at Filevine, Chad Mack, Director of Customer Marketing at Dell Technologies, and Elizabeth Raffa, Senior Customer Marketing Manager at HackerOne.

Here’s how this insight will be broken up, read on to find out more 📈

  • What are KPIs?
  • What do industry leaders say are the most important?
  • The right KPIs for your organization
  • Common mistakes and how to avoid them
  • Final thoughts

What are KPIs?

Key Performance Indicators or KPIs are a set of specific, quantifiable measures used to determine the performance of your business in relation to defined goals over a certain period.

Within an industry like customer marketing, tracking the journey of your customer from start to finish is crucial, and KPIs show in real time just how this is reflected in your business.

As well as showing numerically how you are performing, KPIs are also equally as important for identifying opportunities for improvement and further growth.

For customer marketing, some examples of the key metrics to track are pipeline assets, customer advocacy, engagement, and reach.

What do industry leaders say are the most important?

In this panel discussion, our customer marketing leaders working across a variety of industries provided unparalleled insight into their most important KPIs.

On our panel, we had Aunalisa Arellano, Head of Customer Marketing Manager at Filevine, Elizabeth Raffa, Senior Customer Marketing Manager at HackerOne, and Chad Mack, Director of Customer Marketing at Dell Technologies leading the discussion. Here is what each of them said:

For Chad Mack, KPIs form the lifeblood of the work he does, and measuring how much value is added back to the business reinforces the importance of the work he and his team do.

Measuring pipeline assets is a key indicator, tracking just how many are in the pipeline at any given time is crucial to assessing exposure and engagement, blending metrics to get a more accurate picture.

Similarly, another crucial KPI is analyzing how the field uses created content, looking at if they are downloading that content or sharing it with other potential customers, as all influence revenue.

For Chad, the key takeaway has always been to focus on specific ones at each moment and track them continuously, sharing data with stakeholders so everyone is on the same page.

He also highlights the importance of dividing up KPIs between the team to streamline focus, stating:

‘It’s good to have different focus areas for your team to keep them agile too’

Aunalisa Arellano agreed on a number of these but also highlighted the importance of advocacy for her company. Tracking how often people are completing reference calls, case studies, events, and more and structuring her department accordingly.

By structuring around acts of advocacy, Aunalisa can use this data to better support other departments. Also, as her role relies heavily on events, KPIs like customer satisfaction are also hugely important to understanding performance and success.

Elizabeth Raffa also cites the importance of tracking reach, acts of advocacy, and MQLs in particular.

Measuring what is influencing these Marketing Qualified Leads, whether it is through events, online advertising, or customer support and PR initiatives, can help to keep customers at the forefront and drive engagement.

Elizabeth also recommends staying focused on your goals, but being willing to pivot when necessary. As your organization evolves and business goals shift it is important to align and change your KPIs.

The right KPIs for your organization

Don’t be afraid to try new things and take risks to see what works best for your organization.

Every company is unique so it’s important to tailor your KPIs to fit your specific goals and needs.

Some KPIs in customer marketing such as engagement and reach apply to everyone, but there are others more closely aligned with your needs and you should track them consistently.

Selecting the right KPIs will take time and will vary, but data should drive all core decisions, whatever KPIs are the most relevant, use this data to inform any choices for improvement and growth.

In an industry like customer marketing that spans multiple channels, such as email, social media, and events, you should track KPIs across all channels, that way you can get a clearer, broader picture and identify where any work is needed.

Common mistakes and how to avoid them

There are several common mistakes that customer marketing managers can make when measuring success, but luckily they can be avoided!

Many CMMs fall into the pattern of only measuring success on short-term results, such as the immediate sales or response rates to social media or email marketing campaigns. KPIs are the most successful in aiding growth when looking at the bigger picture, so long-term brand-building should be the focus instead.

On a similar note, this approach should also be taken for the customer journey, it is essential to consider the entire journey, as simply basing any measurements of success on single interactions will not provide accurate insight.

Customer marketing managers must establish clear and measurable goals for KPIs to work best and determine what success looks like numerically or growth-wise, without this it becomes impossible to gauge business success.

Most importantly, tracking the right metrics and KPIs! Using the tips in this article you can understand how to monitor the KPIs that relate most directly to your organization, as without them you are missing out on a wealth of data and information to boost growth.

Final thoughts

In today's competitive business landscape, measuring success is essential for customer marketing managers to stay on course and achieve their goals.

Using the invaluable insights provided by customer marketing leaders across a variety of industries, you can see firsthand the importance of KPIs for driving sustainable growth.

By tailoring these KPIs our speakers listed and others that fit your specific goals and needs and using data to inform decision-making, you’ll be well on your way to measuring success and subsequently driving growth and engagement for your business.

So don’t wait, start tracking your performance now to achieve your goals!