Marketing budgets have shifted from traditional media to digital ads, which means that data -- more than ever before -- will run the show, and marketers can now measure pretty much anything.
Yet with more tools and more metrics, the full picture of advertising effectiveness still gets blurry. The data lives in too many places: it’s in web analytics, campaign manager, BI tools, and spreadsheets. None of these alone show the ROI. To measure the real impact of performance marketing, marketers need to connect campaigns to conversion data.
Only CRM data will allow marketers to see customers behind impressions and clicks, drive better leads, optimize campaigns based on deeper-funnel metrics, and close the loop on revenue reporting.
1. Use CRM data to understand performance
Performance marketers need CRM data to measure the most important metrics at each stage of the conversion funnel.
For example, if you optimize your campaigns for new customer acquisition, your set of success metrics will be very different from the set of metrics you'll use at the conversion or retention stages. To benchmark your acquisition campaigns, you’ll likely want to consider the quality of incoming leads, cost per acquisition (CPA), and an improvement/change on your retargeting campaigns. At the conversion stage, you’ll consider ROI, MQLs, SQLs, and deal size, and view-through conversions. Lastly, for your retention campaigns, you’ll think about LTV and incremental revenue.
Campaign- and ad set-level data is helpful when you optimize for reach, clicks, and conversions, but to have a larger impact and grow revenue, you'll need to access deeper-funnel metrics that work best for each stage in the buying cycle.
2. Set up automated rules with deeper-funnel metrics
By connecting paid campaign data to conversion data, you can set up ad automations and optimizations based on LTV, purchase data, or any other metric you consider important for your business. Instead of optimizing for views and clicks, you can increase bids on campaigns that bring leads. Or, you can auto-pause campaigns that drive tons of views and clicks, but bring zero purchases. For performance marketers focused on direct response, creating automated rules based on custom success metrics (at AdStage, we call them “calculated metrics”) will be critical to success.
For example, a marketer in higher education will optimize to bring in more paying applicants -- not just leads -- and a marketer in B2B SaaS will allocate more budget to campaigns that drive trial sign-ups, not just webinar registrations.
3. Close the loop on revenue reporting
With lots of tools and data points but few insights, marketers risk charging in blind, wasting ad budgets and time on low-impact channels and activities.
Relying on clicks, impressions, and cost per lead creates an illusion of control over measurement and tracking. It may help you acquire more low-cost users. But what you want is high-value, loyal customers that will buy more, and at a higher price point, won’t churn, and will drive referrals.
Conversion data and deeper-funnel metrics, on the other hand, may show that, perhaps, you’re not investing enough in new user acquisition, or spending too much on campaigns that target customers with repeat purchases.
Only by combining paid campaign data with conversion data, marketers can show the real value of their marketing investment.