Marketing metrics and measurements are an essential part of marketing; they help you understand how well your marketing is performing, if you’re going to hit your goals, and when you have reached them. Your Marketing Measurement system can be sophisticated or basic.

In an earlier blog post, I explored the most common mistakes SMEs make when measuring their marketing.  Here, we’ll look at four fundamentals to understand and master as you set up or improve your marketing measurement system for your SME.


1. Outcome metrics and activity metrics

You need to understand what these two metrics are, and the differences between them, so you can make sure you are measuring the right thing at the right time.

Outcome metrics tell you what the result is.

Activity measurements tell you what you have done to get those results.



Outcome: You run a 10 mile race in 80 minutes (8 minute mile).

Activities to achieve this: Run 4 times a week for 12 weeks getting faster and further each time, following a set running plan

Activity Measurements: Do everything on the Running Plan eg. Week 1. Run One – run 3 miles in 30 minutes, Run Two – run 3.5 miles in 35 minutes, Run Three – run 3 miles in 28 minutes etc.


Now let’s look at how to use these.


2. Strategic Marketing Measurements

These are the metrics that let you know you are achieving your Strategic Marketing goals.



Strategic Goal: To increase profit by 10% this year

Strategic Outcome: Profit increased by 11.1% this year

Strategic approach to achieve the goal: To sell 30% more of Product X and 10% more of Product Y

Strategic Outcome: Sold 31% more of Product X and 12% more of Product Y


These are the headline measurements. They let you know how well your business is doing. They’re crucial measurements for the Board, any investors, staff, and to you, so everyone can see if you’re achieving your strategic goals.


3. Tactical Marketing Measurements

Tactical marketing helps support your prospective client throughout their whole journey as they decide to purchase from you (called the Buyer’s Journey – see the diagram for this). You should have outcome measurements set for each phase and corresponding activity measurements.

This is where it often gets messy.

There are so many things you can measure here. It doesn’t mean you should measure them and certainly not all the time. The trick is to focus. Start with your outcomes them decide on your activities.



Here is an example:

Stage Monthly Activity MeasurementsMonthly Outcome Measurements
Aware• 5 LinkedIn posts per week from personal profile
• 3 LinkedIn posts per week from Company Page
• 45 minutes of engagement on LinkedIn twice a week
• Attend networking event; connect with 10 totally new people
• Speak at one event per month; get details of 10 new people
Maintain awareness in the market place

Grow awareness by 20 new people
Interested• 1000 total visits to website
• Average dwell time above 2 minutes
• Landing Pages signposted from LinkedIn posts have 90 hits
• 5 downloads of Papers from LinkedIn posts and website combined
90 interested people
Considering• 30 downloads of, “Why choose us”
• 40 views of “Our clients”
20 new enquiries per month
Adopting• 15 Phone calls or meetings to “discuss if can help you”
• 12 Requests for Proposals
10 new clients per month
Loyal• 1 referral from existing / past client
• 1 public recommendation from existing / past client
• 25 customer relationship calls made to existing clients
95% of existing clients retained

1 referral

Once you have set these, you can then build up Marketing Metrics Dashboards.


4. Marketing Metrics Dashboard

These are a series of measurements that are pulled together so you can see how well you are doing as you go along.


It’s like a car dashboard – you are looking at the different measurements all the time to see if you are going where you need to go, at the right speed, with enough petrol and oil, not over-revving or over-heating. You glance at this dashboard and then adjust your actions if you need to.


Taking the example above, here is a Basic Marketing Dashboard.

Weekly activity goal Week 1
5 LinkedIn posts per week from personal profilePost 1: Client testimonial
Post 2: Link to latest blog
Post 3: Selfie and “I’m speaking at this event” post
Post 4:Link to curated content
Post 5: Link to historic blog
250 total visits to website 220 visits
8 downloads of, “Why choose us”5 downloads
4 Phone calls or meetings to “discuss if can help you” 3 Phone calls
3 Requests for Proposals 2 Requests for Proposals
6 customer relationship calls made to existing clients6 calls made

Key: activity measurement in bold means it was either not done or under-performed.



As a manager, you can see that this week has been not great. It began with only getting 4 out of 5 LinkedIn posts out. Website visits dropped and the number of downloads dropped. This led to the number of phone calls dropping and only 2 requests for proposals.


Your dashboard is telling you some corrective action needs taking. If this action is taken now, then either the month will end just a little short of target or you can pull it back round – it is only Week 1.


Now imagine, you had just waited until the end of the month to look at how you are doing. You’d have missed the chance to take corrective action and get back on track quite quickly.



These are some of the fundamentals to setting up a good Marketing Metrics system. A good system allows you to: see if your business is on track; determine where adjustments need to be made; know if you have hit your strategic goals.



Kara Stanford is a Marketing Strategist based in Hampshire, UK.

She helps SMEs understand marketing, audit it, and set marketing plans. Contact her for an informal chat to see how she can help you.


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