When you think of a highly effective marketing team, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Creativity. Storytelling. Snazzy branding. Outside-the-box thinking. Ingenious SEM. Optimized SEO. Psychology and persuasion. Imagination. In lock-step with sales.
All of these things are true—and they’re all foundational to a best-in-class marketing squad. But beyond that (and perhaps even more important) is a marketing team’s ability to set measurable goals and work towards them together. Goal-oriented marketers are 376% more likely to achieve success—but it’s not just about having goals, it’s about committing to the right ones.
Getting super-intentional about what goals can *best* set your team up for success can make a huge difference for morale, engagement, and outcomes. Especially on remote and hybrid teams, metrics keep teammates aligned and create a north star to work towards. In this article, we’ll break down examples of marketing objectives used by highly effective teams. Let’s dive in.
Having numbers to hit helps us drive outcomes, rally the team, and show impact to stakeholders. Metrics keep us aligned and give us a north star to work towards, especially when we’re remote or hybrid. But it’s not just about having goals—it’s about committing to the right ones.
Getting super-intentional about what goals can best set your marketing team up for success can make a huge difference for morale, engagement, and outcomes.
Tips for choosing “the right” marketing team metrics
Let's break down some examples of marketing objectives to get your team started.
Customer acquisition cost is a common marketing objective that looks at the total sales and marketing spend required to gain a new customer for your business. This includes everything from marketing department salaries and general overhead to the technology your team uses, advertising expenses, and more. To calculate customer acquisition cost, first decide on a time frame to measure (year, quarter, or month). Then, divide the cost of your marketing and sales efforts by the number of customers those efforts acquired during that time period.
Customer acquisition cost = Cost of marketing + sales efforts / Total customers acquired
The marketing-originated customer ratio shows what percentage of your new business is driven or influenced by marketing. To calculate it, take all of your business’s new customers over a given time period and look at what percentage of customers started out as a lead generated by marketing.
Marketing-originated customers ratio = Customers who started as a marketing lead / Total customers acquired
Similar to marketing-originated customers, your marketing-influenced customers also include any new business that marketing played a role in nurturing through the funnel. For instance, if Sales prospected their own lead and then that lead attended a marketing webinar before becoming a customer, that customer was influenced by marketing. Your marketing-influenced percentage will include every customer from your marketing-originated group as well.
Marketing-originated customer ratio = (Customers who started as a marketing lead + customers nurtured by marketing) / Total customers acquired
Marketing revenue attribution allows you to see how effective your marketing efforts are and attribute a specific dollar amount to those efforts. It helps ensure that, as a team, you’re making the right marketing investments. You can look at marketing efforts overall or dig deeper into specific campaigns or parts of your marketing strategy to explore what has the greatest return on investment. For instance, how do content marketing efforts increase sales in comparison with paid advertising?
Some common models for tracking marketing revenue attribution include:
Save your own copy of our top tips for managing goals and metrics on your marketing team, plus 12 sample metrics to start prioritizing today.
Some visitors who land on your website or marketing content have greater intent to buy than others. We call those users marketing qualified leads—or MQLs. MQLs are a critical part of any sales funnel. They’re better prospects to send to your Sales colleagues and help keep pipelines flowing in a way that’s a valuable use of the sales team’s time.
Tracking MQLs can give you a lot of powerful insights about your marketing initiatives and funnel, too. It can tell you where a lead is at in their buyer journey and help you understand what they might need to move through the funnel. MQLs can also illustrate the ROI of different marketing efforts—in general, the more MQLs, the higher the ROI.
How you measure MQLs will depend on your business and should evolve over time. Your company’s analytics, user personas, and conversations with Sales can help inform your definition of an MQL. Some examples of an action someone might take that indicates greater intent (and thus, MQL-ness) include: signing up for a free trial, requesting a demo, or downloading a pricing breakdown.
Cost per lead measures the dollar amount of each new lead by marketing campaign, channel, or overall spending. It can help your team track ROI, understand the performance of your different channels and digital marketing efforts, and allocate marketing budgets more effectively.
To measure CPL, first define a time frame. Then, divide the amount of money you spent on a particular channel, campaign, or marketing initiative by the number of new leads it acquired.
Cost per lead = $ spent on marketing efforts / # of new leads acquired
Of the people who visit your website or interact with your marketing efforts, how many actually have intent and interest in moving through the conversion funnel? This is your traffic to lead ratio. It’s an easily measurable objective that can help you understand if your marketing efforts are attracting the right prospective customers in the first place. For instance, a low traffic to lead ratio might mean you need to focus on content strategy efforts that speak to your target audience or adjust your paid marketing strategy to bring in stronger prospects.
You can look at your overall traffic to lead ratio, or dig in to explore it for specific marketing campaigns or channels.
To calculate traffic-to-lead ratio, divide your total number of visitors to your website, campaign, or marketing channel by the number of qualified leads it generated.
Traffic-to-lead ratio = # of visitors / # of qualified leads
Once your team hands off its MQLs to sales, it’s up to your colleagues on that team to determine if they’ll become sales qualified leads—or SQLs. Not every MQL will become an SQL. Tracking the ratio between the two can help you understand the health of your pipeline and know whether you need to adjust the way your team qualifies leads.
To calculate the MQL-to-SQL ratio, simply divide the number of SQLs by the number of MQLs.
MQL-to-SQL ratio = # of SQLs / # of MQLs
Your lead-to-customer ratio measures how many qualified leads actually turn into paying customers. This measurable objective is important for a few reasons:
To calculate lead-to-customer conversions, just divide your total number of leads by the number of new customers during a given time period.
Lead-to-customer ratio = # of leads / # of new customers
Customer lifetime value is the total amount that one customer is projected to spend on your business. It’s typically based on your pricing model, potential up-sells, and forecasting data, and is a great way to identify current customers or user segments that are most valuable. You can also use CLV to identify opportunities to up-sell or educate your current customer base, and where you might focus on customer retention objectives. To calculate CLV, you’ll need a few different inputs:
Customer lifetime value = Customer value X average customer lifespan
To calculate CLV for individual customers, follow this formula:
Customer lifetime value = Revenue made from that customer in a year ｘ the # of years they’ve been a customer — Cost of acquiring and serving them
Marketing teams are typically responsible for efforts across a variety of channels: in-person or virtual events, social media marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, a blog team, content strategy, paid marketing (like ads), a customer loyalty program, PR and communication strategy, and more. You’ll want to track traffic across each of them to understand ROI, identify opportunities to improve conversion, and budget more effectively.
Traffic rate = # of visitors to a particular touchpoint
A conversion happens whenever a visitor, user, or customer takes a desired action that you lead them to take. There are a number of different ways someone can convert — it all depends on the business or service you offer and what stage of the marketing funnel you’re tracking. At the top of the funnel, a conversion might look like RSVPing for an event or clicking the CTA on a LinkedIn post. At the bottom of the funnel, a conversion could be signing up for a paid subscription or completing a purchase.
You can calculate customer conversion rate by dividing your total number of conversions by your total number of interactions.
Conversion rate = # of conversions / # of interactions
Once you land on your highest level goals and metrics, you’ll want to choose a few sub-goals that ladder up into them. Sub-goals are a great way to break big, longer term goals into manageable parts. Especially if it’s something you’ll be tracking towards for a long time, sub-goals can give your team a sense of progress and accomplishment along the way.
Expert Tip: “Make sure your team sets KRs not just for KPIs, but also for projects, experiments, and important ops improvements. On a monthly basis, set milestones for each KR with a single, individual owner. Set these in a monthly meeting with marketing sub-function teams or leaders. This laser focus on goals and milestones leads to better prioritization and focus—which is the name of the game for a successful SaaS marketing team.”
- Emily Kramer, Marketing advisor at MKT1, formerly @ Asana and Carta
Most goals will be a team effort, but you’ll still want one person who’s directly responsible for each goal and subgoal so it doesn’t fall through the cracks. Assigning clear owners helps with accountability and ensures that work isn't duplicated by multiple folks on your team.
Once you have goals and owners in place, you’ll want to make sure they’re all tracked in one place. This will give the whole team visibility into how things are going, build greater accountability and excitement around the work, and make it way less of a headache to keep track of how things are moving along. If something’s blocked or needs attention, tracking everything in one place ensures you’ll catch this early on and be able to pivot accordingly.
Once you’ve got your goals squared away, the next step is to build practices to help your team track (and crush) them.
When it comes to actually making progress on goals, connecting them to daily actions is key. According to Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal, taking small daily steps that are in line with your goals is one of the best (research-backed) ways to work towards a goal over time. She says, “People often get lost thinking they have to change everything all at once [...] But small changes can pave the way for bigger changes.”
Take a moment to think through a week in the life of your marketing team. Does everyone’s day-to-day work, for the most part, contribute to your big-picture goals? If you asked a teammate how their work maps to quarterly goals and objectives, would they be able to answer? If not, building a daily accountability practice can help connect the dots.
Daily accountability means thinking about team goals every single day, not just at the beginning and end of the quarter or when some big milestone is approaching. High-performing marketing teams plan with the long-term in mind, and then use daily goal tracking to help keep everyone on track.
Building a practice of daily goal tracking gives marketing managers (and everyone else on the team) more visibility into in-flight work. Everyone can see how work moves from point A to point B and managers can quickly step in and offer support if they need to. If something is off track, the team can spot it early and recalibrate.
Daily goal-tracking doesn’t have to be a daunting task, either. You can do it in 5 minutes or less each morning—grab your cup of coffee*, bring your goals into focus, and then get to work crushing them.
(*or matcha, mocha frappuccino, lemon water, smoothie — whatever beverage gets you that morning fix!)
There are a number of different ways you can approach daily goal-tracking. We recommend doing it asynchronously, so there’ll be a written record of everyone’s progress, which is especially valuable on a remote or hybrid team. Make sure the format is simple — we recommend the GROW format:
Tip: Track daily goals seamlessly in Range
Got 3 minutes? Range check-ins were built for fast, effective daily goal-tracking. They make it easy to share what you’re focused on and what you’ve accomplished in just a couple of clicks—and link back to docs, Asana tasks, and other reference points for context. Prompts help folks know exactly what to share and #tags make goals and sub-goals searchable over time. You can easily view the status of any goal on your team so you can see how things are progressing and identify if something needs extra support or attention.
Build a daily accountability practice in 5 minutes or less each morning with Range
Once you’ve got a daily goal-tracking practice in place, you’ll want to think through some intentional moments where you’ll come together and discuss how everything’s going as a group. This works best on a weekly or bi-weekly cadence—your goals won’t matter much if you only talk about them a few times a quarter.
Rather than add another meeting to the mix, try carving out a section of your existing marketing team meeting for this purpose.
Especially on a marketing team, where your work is so deeply intertwined to so many other parts of the business, lifting up wins to colleagues and stakeholders can be an opportunity to expand your influence and champion your (amazing) team.
Benefits of sharing day-to-day progress with cross-functional partners + leadership
Whether you're reporting up to company leadership or sharing your daily work with teammates and cross-functional colleagues, Range makes it easy to share progress on your marketing team’s goals.
Once you build a practice around daily check-ins, it’s easy to create custom reports on your team’s progress and share them with leadership and stakeholders. You can pull reports on a specific goal or sub-goal (using #tags)—and then share them over email or Slack in just a few clicks.