"Marketing analytics used to simply be about measuring the hits on your website and the number of opens and clicks on emails," says Lisa Cramer in an article at MarketingProfs. But leads no longer move through the traditional buy cycle, and your marketing efforts likely reflect these changes, which means basic data like clicks won't give you the full picture. "[T]hose metrics are no longer the end point; instead, they are merely the beginning of real marketing analytics."

To illustrate what should be measured, Cramer uses the example of an email campaign. To make the most of your lead generation dollar, you need to know:

  • How many recipients clicked on one or more links
  • Which links were more popular
  • How many recipients converted (for instance, by downloading a whitepaper)

Next, you can measure the effectiveness of a targeted campaign by determining how many converted leads are ready for your sales team, and the number of those who will be nurtured. "We'll also want to determine how many of the qualified opportunities became actual sales," says Cramer, "and for how much revenue."

Leads in a nurturing program may also be monitored for information like these:

  • The number who never move to sales
  • The length of time it takes for those who do make a purchase
  • The average value of closed sales

The Po!nt: "Today," notes Cramer, "marketers must find a way to manage leads through the lead life cycle, which requires visibility into how you drive, track, and evaluate leads, and it requires the ability to determine when leads are 'Sales-ready' and when they are not."

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