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Measuring Marketing Performance – Four Marketing Metrics to Measure

Audio Version: Facebook Ad KPIs — 15:27

Measuring Marketing Performance

Marketing has come a long way from the days of being known as the arts and crafts department. Once considered an art form rather than a science, the key to today’s marketing success hinges on the marketing manager’s ability to measure marketing performance using marketing metrics. Marketing success also stems from the marketing manager’s accountability for delivering data-driven results.

Estimates indicate that by the end of 2020, we will produce more than 44 zettabytes of data. By 2025, we will have produced over 180 zettabytes (or 180 million gigabytes) of data. Data is like the “new” oil. How we measure that data is like how we process the oil, making it efficient and useful to fuel our marketing initiatives toward better return on marketing investments (ROMI) and improving marketing competitiveness. 

However, few marketing managers can appreciate the range of metrics used to measure the data. Nor do they understand the pros and cons of using one metric over the other. Their lack of understanding metrics leads to measuring data that provides little to no viable information for their marketing needs or direction their organizations should take. Marketers must measure what matters and not necessarily all of the data available to them. 

While measuring what matters is critical to marketing success, what is essential to one firm may not matter to another. For this reason, I have identified several marketing metrics worth measuring that have a universal appeal for almost any marketing process. The metrics below are a good start for measuring marketing performance. However, additional metrics are necessary to measure the essential things that matter to your business goals.

question mark illustration for measuring marketing performance marketing metric articleWhat Are Metrics and Why Do You Need Them?

Metrics are quantifiable measures used to track trends, changes in activity, progress, or characteristics. In almost every discipline — government, business, and science — metrics are used to explain occurrences, determine cause and effect, share findings, and make projections of future events. Metrics require objectivity and make it possible to compare observations across sectors and time horizons. They help promote understanding and collaboration among team members and departments. 

Marketing Metrics

If metrics are quantifiable, then marketing metrics are the measurable touchstones used to communicate marketing activities. In other words, they are the quantifiable values used to demonstrate marketing effectiveness across all marketing initiatives. To better understand marketing metrics, we can split them into four types:

  1. Milestones
  2. Inputs
  3. Outputs
  4. Ratios

Milestones measure performance against a stated goal and apply to almost any marketing initiative. Milestones list and categorize what’s supposed to happen and when it’s supposed to happen. For example, let’s say that your marketing department is in the process of redesigning the company website to improve user experience (UX). Developing the wireframe for the website’s homepage and the due date for the task may be one milestone out of the many on the redesign project.

Inputs  or marketing inputs — are the levels of resources you are putting into your marketing strategy. Inputs are measured to determine if the marketing process is working and at what level. For example, how much money are you allocating to pay-per-click advertising? Are you generating your desired ROMI from your input amount? Hence, money is a resource. A resource can also include personnel, time, and equipment, to name a few.

Outputs measure the results of your marketing initiatives. For example, market share, channel performance, and brand equity are a few measurable outputs.

Ratios are a comparison of two numbers or metric values. In other words, they express the amount of one thing over the other one. The numerator represents ratios over the denominator, expressed as fractions or — more commonly — percentages. For example, a typical marketing metrics ratio is the return on marketing investment or ROMI. 

To calculate the ROMI of a specific marketing campaign, you will need to know the baseline level of business activity. You measure the baseline against the business activity during the time the marketing campaign is running. The result is the profit earned above the regular business activity minus the cost of the marketing campaign.


The formula for ROMI:

Baseline Profit = Baseline revenue – Baseline Cost of Goods Sold

Marketing Campaign Profit = Revenue – Cost of Goods Sold

Profit with Marketing Campaign Cost = Profit – Marketing Cost

Campaign Uplift = Profit with Marketing Cost – Baseline Profit

Return on Marketing Investment = (Campaign Uplift / Marketing Cost) x 100%


ROMI Example:

Baseline Profit = $50,000 – $45,000 = $5,000

Marketing Campaign Profit = $75,000 – $60,000 = $15,000

Profit with Marketing Campaign Cost = $15,000 – 6,000 = $9,000

Campaign Uplift = $9,000 – $5,000 = $4,000

Return on Marketing Investment = ($4,000 / $5,000) x 100% = 0.8 x 100% = 80%

With the marketing campaign in our example, the firm received an 80% ROMI.

Measuring What Matters

Many executives — including marketing managers — tend to measure all the data available to them. The belief is that “if we have the data,illustration of marketing metrics then we need to measure it.” Measuring all available data at your disposal is often a waste of time and unnecessary.

Your metric strategy should be focused and not broad. In other words, the secret to selecting the best way and what to measure is what matters most to your business goals. Measuring too much leads to data fatigue; you become distracted from the daily marketing functions, which leads to unexpected or unwanted results. 

I will stress the point one more time; the key to measuring metrics is to measure what matters most to your business goals. To help you determine the right marketing metrics to measure, the three criteria below can serve as a guide.

  1. Align the metrics you measure with your marketing strategies
  2. Act on the data. Establish a high and low number for your key performance indicators (KPIs) and execute a contingency plan once the low or high number hit.
  3. Select metrics that allow you to detect and diagnose problems before they occur. Also, choose metrics for evaluating marketing performance after the fact.

Below are five marketing metrics that every marketing manager should consider when measuring their firm’s marketing performance. Again, the metrics you measure are the metrics that matter most to your business objectives and marketing strategies. The following metrics serve as a general starting point to help you begin taking accountability for your data-driven marketing initiatives. 

  • Market Share
  • Customer profitability
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV)
  • Channel performance

Measuring Market Share

Market share is a metric that communicates how well a business or brand is doing against the competition. Market share analysis helps marketing managers judge their company’s market growth and decline and trends about customers’ competitor selection.

The market share metric can either lead to meaningful or meaningless information for your company or brand. That is, if you are in a market where three or four firms own 90% of the market, you are in a concentrated market. In this scenario, it helps if you track market share. However, if the top three or four firms owned only 5% of the market, tracking market share in the highly fragmented market is a waste of time.

The same holds if you are a small business in a local market. As an example, let’s assume that you are a local bakery. If you calculate your market share nationally, then the market share analysis is meaningless as thousands of bakeries exist across the country. Your market definition is too broad of an area, or it’s a fragmented market. However, suppose you define your market within a 10-mile radius. In that case, calculating market share makes more sense in determining where you stand in the market than your competitors within that same 10-mile radius market.

The three market share formulas worth using are unit share, revenue share, and relative market share.

Unit Market Share Formula

Unit market share compares the units of a product or service sold by one firm compared to all the units sold by competitors in the same market. We express unit market share as a percentage. The unit market share formula is:

Unit Market Share Formula



Revenue Market Share

Revenue market share analysis reflects the unit sold prices of one firm to the same units sold by their competitors. Expressed as a percentage, the revenue market share formula is:

Revenue Market Share Formula - Market Share Analysis


Relative Market Share

Suppose your business is in a market where the top three or four competitors maintain a large portion (75% or higher) of the market. In that case, using the relative market share analysis is a better marketing performance metric. It’s a better metric because the top competitors are in a concentrated market, meaning there’s better customer loyalty and repeat business from those customers.

However, if the top three or four competitors in a given market share, only 5% of the market share, relative markets share becomes meaningless. 

With a market share so low among the top competitors, the market is fragmented.

A fragmented market indicates no big players in the market. Thus customer loyalty is non-existent. Without customer loyalty, it makes it difficult for marketing managers to grow market share with existing customers. Expressed as an index (I) number, the relative market share formula is:

Relative Market Share Formula - Market Share Analysis


Customer Profitability

marketing metrics illustrationCustomer profitability is the profit your firm earns from serving a customer or customer group over a specific period. It’s important to track customer profitability to understand which customer relationships generate more revenue than others. 

Customer profitability is the difference between the revenues earned and the customer relationship costs for a specific period.

Many executives and marketing managers fall into a pitfall by lumping all customers into one group and calculating customer profitability from that group. Not all customers are equal; therefore, your customer profitability metrics need to reflect the different levels (or tiers) of customers that purchase from you.

For example, in a three-tiered customer system, your top tier is the most valuable customer group to your business. They bring you the most profit.

The second tier of customers is the group’s middle. They are low to middle-profit producers for your company. Most customers within this middle category can increase their spending and move up a tier with more nurturing. Thus they are worth keeping. 

The bottom tier is the set of customers that lose your company money. If you can devise a strategy to get them to spend more money and move them up a tier, great. If not, you may consider charging them more for the products or services or “firing” them all together.  

A useful marketing metric for customer profitability metric is to track repeat customers. Repeat customers can be followed by monitoring the purchase recency rate, the length of time the customer last purchased from you to their next purchase. 

Another metric that is useful with the customer profitability rate is the retention rate of current customers. Both of these metrics can apply to any of your established customer tiers. Suppose there are changes in customer numbers over time. It could signal a problem if the customer numbers drop or success if they increase.

Customer profitability formula


customer retention rate formula


Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

The customer lifetime value metric is what the customer is worth to the company — in cash — for the customer’s lifetime in today’s dollar. The CLV is a vital marketing measurement because it encourages companies to focus on their customers’ long-term health and not quarterly profits. In other words, it helps marketing managers focus on higher potential customers over customers with a lower value in terms of profitability.

There are many formulas to calculate customer lifetime value. The following calculation is a simplified version for calculating CLV. 

CLV Formula


Channel Performance

For firms that work with channel partners, measuring your partners’ success is crucial to your continued relationship. After all, channel partners are anillustration of thumbs up and down investment that you make with a third-party seller.

A channel partner is a company that partners with a manufacturer or producer to market and sell the manufacturer’s products, services, or technologies. More often than not, channel partners operate as a co-branding relationship with their suppliers, the manufacturer. 

Monitoring their performance is essential to your own firms’ survival. It helps the channel partner find areas of weakness in their marketing or areas of success. If a channel partner consistently underperforms, it may be time to replace them.

To determine channel partner effectiveness, calculate the ROI or the output divided by the input. In other words, divide what you gain from the channel partner by what you spend. Examples include:


Total sales/ active accounts

Total sales/sales calls

Gross profit/number of sales reps



Marketing has come a long way from the days where one message fits all. Today’s marketing department personnel need to be data-driven to help navigate their firms toward success. The challenge is that data is abundant. Many marketing managers and executives do not know how to use that data or use too much data to render itself useless and a waste of time. Suppose marketing professionals want to be effective and help companies reach their financial and market share goals. In that case, they need to measure what matters. They need first to know their companies’ business objectives, then ask the necessary questions about what types of metrics they need to measure to reach those objectives. The four metrics discussed above are just a start. Perhaps the most common metrics used, but others are equally important to the marketer’s success.

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Four Skills Marketers Need To Thrive After COVID-19

Audio Version — 7:18

A Changing Employment Landscape

Let’s not beat around the bush; it’s brutal in the job market right now as COVID-19 rages through the U.S. In December 2020 — the latest data available — unemployment rose 6.7%, virtually doubling from the previous year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s 10.7 million people out of work. Let that sink in for a moment. It’s like the entire population of Alaska, Delaware, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming are unemployed all at once. 

COVID-19 has claimed over 2.2 million management, professional, and related occupations of which marketers — like you and I — make up a part of this employment demographic. There’s much competition amongst marketers, more so now than ever before. As marketers, we know that increased supply drives prices down and intensifies competition; and currently, there is an excess supply of marketers, making landing a new gig very competitive.

It is undoubtedly an employer’s market. Marketing salaries are lower than before the pandemic due to the influx of marketers’ supply and low demand in the job market. I spoke with a hiring manager for an Irvine, California based online finance firm who claimed to have sifted through 200 resumes for a single online marketing manager position. He stated that he had more than enough candidates to select from and had difficulty picking the best candidate.


illustration of man with mask for post covid-19 skills article

The 200 resumes were a small number of applicants than other industry professionals who had received hundreds more. Remote work for marketers can see up to 500 applicants for a single marketing position. 

Where does that leave the rest of us marketers when looking for our next career move? Out in the cold, if we do not adapt and compete for the few jobs available. After all, we’re marketers, and we should be competitive and poised to out-think our competition. But do we have the skills a post-COVID-19 job market requires from marketers to thrive? 

After my team and I lost our jobs due to a reverse merger acquisition and downsizing due to COVID-19, I found myself on the job market for the first time in 20-years. I had always moved on to the next marketing position with the help of contacts. Unfortunately, those contacts are either not hiring or in the same boat as me, unemployed.

I was humbled when my credentials were not enough to walk into a new position but that I had to compete for my next career role. I realized that I needed to adapt to a changing environment and possibly a permanent change in how business gets conducted for some time in the future.

Four Post COVID-19 Skills Marketers Need To Help Them Thrive

Through research, conversations with human resource professionals, and my 20-years of hiring marketing team members, I realized that marketers — and most other professionals — will require specific skills to adapt — or improve upon — to excel in the post-COVID business world.

  • Technological skills
  • Enriched Cognition
  • Adaptability and Resilience
  • Reliability and Integrity

Technological Skills

illustration of laptop for post covid-19 skills article 2COVID-19 has changed the way people do business. With many employees working from home, the virus added new challenges to connecting and working remotely. 

The new remote working business model requires employees to be better equipped to manage and troubleshoot technological challenges from their homes or remote locations. Possessing better digital skills will help the worker stay connected with peers, clients, vendors, and other stakeholders they engage with for business.

Improving digital skill knowledge in advanced analytics software, marketing automation, data collection, and data visualization could help marketers work more efficiently while working remotely and without larger teams, as firms scale back their workforces depending more on automation and fewer employees.

Enriched Cognition

The new working environment poses new operational challenges for firms. Remote work and increased competition require marketers to think creatively and sidestep what was once the norm. Marketers need to demonstrate their skills in an increasingly autonomous working environment with the ability to solve challenges remotely. 

Increasing one’s fluid intelligence — the capacity to learn new information — is a matter of training more on new concepts seeking novelty, and challenging themselves by thinking outside of one’s comfort zone or doing things the hard way.

Adaptability and Resilience

Marketing has changed with new technological advancements, and marketers need to adjust to how they once connected with consumers. Marketers need to embrace more digital communication channels than they did before COVID-19. Other marketing technology tools marketers need to acclimate to are marketing automation platforms and analytical tools to serve their customers better and streamline their processes for greater effectiveness.

Marketers also need to build resiliency through emotional intelligence, tolerance, and time management. As companies shift toward remote work, their job pool expands across borders. Simultaneously, as the firms move to more online business models, they raise their reach globally. Marketers that express increased emotional intelligence levels and tolerance will do better in the post-COVID-19 global market.

Equally as important for marketers post COVID-19 are time management skills. Marketers working autonomously and from home need to account for their time more than when working at a physical work location. Being better stewards of their time and tasks will help them succeed in the new business paradigm.


illustration of man holding umbrella while it rainsReliability and Integrity

It is not to say that marketers are not reliable or lack integrity; however, as firms move away from traditional brick-and-mortar work locations to remote working, marketers are left to their own devices. More so now than ever, integrity and reliability are crucial to building trust between marketers and their supervisors, teams, and customers. Remote work can often tempt employees to stray from their daily job tasks. Working remotely requires self-discipline, reliability, and integrity. Marketers that excel in all three areas will have tremendous success amongst their supervisors and peers.


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live our lives and how we work and conduct business. If there is a return to the way things were, it will not be for a long time. In the interim, business professionals, specifically, marketers need to make changes to how they function professionally.  

Four skills to set marketers on a path to success in post-COVID-19 include:

  • Embracing new technological skills
  • Increasing their cognitive ability
  • Adapting and showing resilience
  • Being more reliable and increased integrity 

As marketers work autonomously, the four skills become increasingly important. Will things return the way they were? It is yet for certain. But one thing is for sure, business owners are adapting and will continue to embrace the new way of doing business in a scaled-back, remote world.

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Nine Elements That Help Boost Your eCommerce Website Credibility

Audio Version — 5:03

Consumers and Website Credibility

website credibility hand drawn sketch of laptopIn the 1990s, when graphical browsers graced computers with a way to view websites, web surfers became enamored with the technology and their ability to visit, or surf, websites for information. When businesses began using the digital channel to sell their products, many consumers lacked trust in eCommerce websites. Studies have suggested that a consumer’s intention to purchase online directly correlates with their trust level for a particular website. With over 6-billion indexed web pages (as of 2020), web surfers and consumers have plenty of places they can find themselves online. 

One of the many challenges small to midsize businesses face with digital marketing is projecting credibility through their website. It’s no longer true that if you build it (a website) that “they” (consumers) will come. They may come, but they will not stay, let alone make a purchase from your website if it appears to lack credibility.

What is Credibility?

Credibility is the quality of being convincing or believable. It refers to how trustworthy and legitimate your website looks. Credibility is a primary consideration for consumers and web surfers when deciding to use or make a purchase from your website. Below are nine elements that can help boost your website’s credibility.

Nine Ecommerce Website Credibility Elements

Professional Looking Website
Although it is subjective, websites that appear professional and not appear to be built by an amateur do better in the credibility department. A clean, professional website communicates stability to the consumer; it demonstrates that you have an organized process and are serious about doing business online.

Company Address and Phone Number Readily Available.
Your company address and phone number in prominent places on your website communicates to consumers that real people are operating the business. It also communicates that you are easily accessible.

About Page
Consumers want to see the human side of your business. The “About” page offers insights into your company. It also tells the story about how your company started and its business purpose and goals. In other words, your story. It’s also a good idea to show images of real people working within your company to give the consumer a sense that real people are behind the scenes doing the work.

Authentic Testimonials
Having testimonials is an excellent way to present credentials. It’s social proof that people are willing to buy from your business or visit your site and use your services. Testimonials also provide potential consumers with the confidence that someone else is satisfied with your product or services. Testimonials with names are acceptable. Adding a photo to the testimonial is even better. However, video testimonials are the best way to convey trustworthiness to potential consumers. 

Reputable Sales Channel
For eCommerce websites, having a reputable sales channel helps build credibility. Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento are excellent shopping cart and eCommerce platforms. Pair that with or, and you even add more credibility to your eCommerce store.

Associations, Affiliations, Awards
Adding the logos of any association or affiliation or any other organization you are associated with will boost your website’s credibility. The same applies to any awards you may have as a company. All of these show consumers your commitment to your business.

Third-Party Reference or Endorsement Links
Suppose other credible websites endorse you on their website. In that case, it’s a good idea to link to their endorsement of your business. By doing so, it’s an excellent way to assert your credibility without tooting your own horn.

Updated Content
Keeping your content updated is a way to show that your business is active. A news or blog section and even your social media pages that are not regularly updated communicates to consumers that nothing is happening within your business. Keep the content flowing regularly. Developing a content calendar is an excellent way to stay on target.

Error-Free Website
Websites with grammar and misspelled words communicate a site or company that is unprofessional. While many readers may not pick up on the errors, the few that do can cause you plenty of grief. Errors also extend to broken links, malfunctioning online tools, and other parts of the website that underperform your brand’s promise. 


Developing a website is only one part of your company’s digital marketing strategy. To successfully get customers to purchase from your eCommerce website, it must appear credible. Following the nine tips above provide a good starting point. As research has shown, customers that perceive a website as credible will most likely engage and purchase from that website.