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Show Them the Money! (Or at Least the Marketing Performance Report)

Article Outline

In two previous blog posts (Five KPIs to Track and Marketing Accountability from the Lead Up), we laid out an analytic framework for evaluating a company’s marketing performance. In this post, we will discuss how to showcase the fruits of that labor in terms of useful, actionable marketing performance reports.

The ideas presented here are based on Act-On’s own quarterly marketing performance review, with a few changes to make the information more broadly applicable.

We’ll look at four quarterly reporting templates:

  • Marketing KPI report
  • Performance by lead source
  • Leads by lead source and marketing channel
  • Marketing channel leverage

1. Marketing Performance Report: KPIs

This report encapsulates a company’s overall performance from the viewpoint of marketing. It lays out details by month and aggregates for the full quarter. For comparison, it also shows the totals from the previous quarter.

Marketing KPIs: Sample Report Template


Marketing KPIsHere are short descriptions of the KPIs used:

  • Number of new leads: New names acquired that marketing has identified as worthy of active nurturing.
  • Number of reopened leads: Older leads returned to marketing, then nurtured until they became ready for active sales
  • Total leads: Number of new leads + Number of reopened leads
  • Number of new opportunities: Sales-qualified leads
  • Number of new business wins: New “logos” acquired during the period
  • Leads to new opportunities %: Number of new opportunities / Total leads
  • New opps to new business win %: Number of new business wins / Number of new opportunities
  • New business bookings $ (Marketing): New bookings $ that came from marketing leads. (Bookings $ is the one-year equivalent of sales dollars. For example, if it is a 6-month deal, multiply by 2 to get one-year equivalent. This is to normalize different types of deals.)
  • New business bookings (All): Overall new bookings $ from marketing and non-marketing sources
  • % of New bookings from Marketing: New business bookings $ (Marketing) / New business bookings $ (All)
  • Average new business deal $: New business bookings $ (All) / Number of new business wins
  • Total business bookings $: Overall bookings $ (including new, upsells, and more) from marketing and non-marketing sources
  • New business $ as % of Total: New business bookings (All) / Total business bookings $
  • Number of current customers: Number of paying customers at the end of the period

2. Performance by Lead Source

This report helps to compare and evaluate the performance of different lead sources. The quality of a lead – whether in terms of conversion, deal size or time to sale – will probably vary by its lead source. This report allows you to understand how productive the sources are, so you can refine your marketing strategy to optimize the higher-performing lead sources.

Lead Source Performance: Sample Report Template

Marketing Lead Source report

In the above report, lead sources line are listed up and down the Y axis, while each metric on the X axis (going across) represents a facet of marketing performance – therefore, sorting the report by each metric provides you with different insights.

For example, if your goal is to review the maximum conversion to wins, then sort the report by “Win %”. If your goal is to find which lead has produced the most total revenue, then sort it by “Bookings $/Lead. The latter metric can be used to calculate the acquisition cost of a lead by source, and so it indicates how much you can spend in generating a lead from a particular lead source.

3. Leads Matrix by Lead Source and Marketing Channel

While “Lead Source” explains how a lead originated, “Marketing Channel” explains how your company’s message reached the prospect in the first place. Some terms can be used for both; “webinar” indicates a channel, but “webinar” is also a media format, and so is also a lead source.

The following report shows how to calculate the affinities of marketing channels to lead sources. The metric used in the report is “Number of new leads.” This is useful to refine your marketing investment to the right channels to get generate maximum efficiencies.

Leads Matrix by Lead Source and Marketing Channel: Sample Report Template

Marketing performance report Lead Source matrix

4. Leverage by Marketing Channel

This report provides insight on the return on marketing investment by marketing channel. Note that this report is only possible if you attach “marketing channel” to every lead and maintain that association when the lead becomes a win.

Leverage by Marketing Channel: Sample Report Template

Marketing performance report Leverarage Leads by Channel

A final thought

In this discussion, we have been employing a “first touch” attribution where the marketing channel identified as corresponding to the lead acquisition gets the full credit. While this provides good initial evaluation of marketing channels, it does give advantages to some channels over others.

Let’s take the Smith Rain Tire Company as an example. Frank N. Stein, who runs a trucking company based in Seattle, sees a tweet about how Smith’s tires perform really well in the rain. Stein visits the website and is interested, but not ready to talk to a sales rep. He signs up for the newsletter. He gets put onto a nurturing email list, and gets a series of emails, each of which addresses just one question. After four weeks of this, Stein feels very comfortable with Smith Rain Tire, and he buys new tires for his fleet of 20 trucks.

In this case, it may be that the website/inbound marketing channel gets the credit for Frank Stein’s purchase, because it is the channel through which Stein was first acquired. However, social media played a part and later email nurtured Stein from a lead to become a sale, but neither gets any credit in a “first touch” attribution system.

We will take up the issue of “first touch” vs. “multi-touch” in future blogs. Meanwhile, please feel free to customize and use any of these templates for your own company’s purposes, and please provide your comments below!


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