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Metrics are a traditional way to measure whether or not your marketing campaigns are having their desired impact – be that increasing brand exposure or filling the funnel. Yet, exclusively following marketing metrics can also lead you down dead-end paths. Many of the most watched metrics come from B2C marketing and their effectiveness is questionable when it comes to the highly constrained environment of B2B marketing.
Your vertical matters too. While the mobility space shares a lot of similarities with other B2B markets, it’s got a few peculiarities due to the nature of the ecosystem and sales cycle. Here are a couple of metrics that might give you some surprises.
Bounce rate is a crude tool
Bounce rate (BR) is the ratio of the number of visitors who enter a web page and subsequently leave the site rather than continuing to view other pages. BR can be used to judge the relative “stickiness” of a web page. Rates above 70% are generally “bad” while bounce rates under 20% are aberrantly good (meaning, your Google Analytics is likely not set up properly).
However, normal bounce rate ranges are entirely dependent on the nature of your website and content. In the mobility industry, tier one and tier two web content isn’t usually designed to be browsable in the same way that a consumer site selling products is. Rather, it’s primarily designed to focus on establishing credibility. An OEM doing a hit and run for information – which is many times exactly what you want – will “penalize” your site with a high BR. That’s why I don’t believe BR is a good assessment of whether or not your pages are valuable in the mobility space. It might provide a crude trouble shooting tool, but don’t count on it for much more.
Customer acquisition cost is meaningless
Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is how much it costs to acquire a new customer, which is often used to measure marketing strategies against customer purchase patterns. While this metric may have meaning for online stores or car sales that could sport a CAC between $1 and $25, it is completely meaningless in the autotech market.
For many of our clients, a single customer win can be big enough to justify an entire marketing budget. You can’t collect accurate statistical measures with such a tiny sample size – it leads to CAC scores of $100K or more that can still be financially viable. Hence, for some markets it’s more important to focus on performance of campaigns that build relationships and move customers along the funnel within the overall marketing budget. If you come from other marketing disciplines and are now focused in mobility, be prepared to completely ignore this one.
Mobile usage matters
Here’s one that surprises some people. Everyone’s been seeing device consumption heavily skew towards mobile in B2C marketing for some time now, and that’s hardly a surprise. However, many B2B marketers haven’t embraced this trend quite as readily. The logic goes like this: “my target customers are in the office and as a result they’re going to be using desktop browsers to see my content.” In other words, there’s an assumption that your B2B website’s performance on mobile devices isn’t really impactful to the core business, it’s just a cherry on top.
I have to shatter that illusion for good: mobile performance matters for everyone. A great study released by Blue Corona last year showed that 50% of B2B-related queries were on a mobile, 80% of B2B buyers used a mobile at work, and 60% of B2B buyers reported that their mobile played a significant role in a recent purchase. In hindsight, that’s easy to understand: B2B customers are first and foremost people, and people are using their smartphones more than ever for every type of transaction, even business ones. There’s no reason to think that B2B would be exempt from a heavily mobile-focused browsing trend.
That means that the device category is a web analytics metric you should be definitely looking at. Expect that your mobile versus desktop split should be at least 50/50. (That’s a mid-2020 based estimate, but all indicators seem to be increasingly biased towards mobile as time goes on.) If your web site tells you that 75-80% of your viewers are using desktop clients, it’s more likely this is an indicator of your website’s poor performance on mobile devices rather than anything useful about your intended audience. Your site better be responsive, and if you have specialized content that doesn’t show well on mobile, you may want to consider providing alternative ways to access it.
None of these three examples are rocket science. In fact, they’re mostly common sense when you look at the impact your audience or your segment can have on your marketing metrics. Conversely don’t fall into the trap of assuming that your market is immune from current marketing practices either as the mobile usage trend shows us.
It’s just a reminder for us all not to blindly follow marketing advice without knowing if or how it applies. As they say, YMMV – “Your mileage may vary”.