How do you know your B2B marketing campaigns are reaping successful results?
An effective B2B marketing report cuts through all the complicated analytics data and gives you digestible and actionable snapshots of your campaigns. These reports are not just imperative for your boss and C-suite executives, but also to discuss with your marketing and sales teams.
It tells you what needs to improve, which campaigns should you further invest in, which ones should you discard, which platforms yield the best results, and so on.
And that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss in this guide. We’re going to cover,
So let’s dive in.
What is B2B Marketing?
Business to business marketing is the marketing of products and services from one business to another. Unlike B2C marketing, or business to consumer marketing, B2B marketing is oriented towards other businesses instead of direct consumers.
What are the Most Important B2B Marketing Channels?
Since B2B marketing is geared towards other businesses, its marketing channels are also ones where businesses are usually active.
According to a survey of 176 B2B marketers by Demand Wave, email, organic search, and social media dominate the list of channels driving most leads and revenue for B2B marketers.
According to another report by Demand Gen and Marketing Charts, case studies, lead nurturing campaigns, events, webinars, white papers, and videos are some of the top B2B marketing tactics employed by organizations.
B2B video marketing statistics also show that 70% of B2B buyers research their potential purchases by watching videos, so video is quickly becoming a favorite marketing tactic for B2B marketers.
According to a marketing survey, two-thirds of B2B companies use one or more marketing automation platforms.
A plethora of tools is available for B2B marketers today, from live chat software to CRMs and the likes. And since digital marketing will be the top area of marketing spending for 56% of B2B marketers in 2020, marketers are scrambling to get their hands on the best B2B marketing tools available in the digital sphere.
Some of the most important B2B marketing tools include,
- Marketing tools for CRO like Unbounce
- Content marketing software like AgoraPulse
- Video hosting tools like Wistia
- Zoom, Google Meet for video conferencing
- CRMs like HubSpot. According to a marketing survey, two-thirds of B2B companies use one or more marketing automation platforms like HubSpot, SalesForce, and Pardot.
18 Things to Include in a B2B Marketing Report
B2B marketing reports are an essential part of every organization. We recently conducted a survey where 57.4% of respondents said they conduct high-level marketing report meetings monthly.
“For marketing, the key metric is likely to be about creating, converting, or converting more profitable leads.” Jane Franklin of F&G Funnel Mechanics explains. “If you had to live or die by one metric, it should be one that tells a story. A ratio or rate rather than one data point as that gives important context. A comparative metric so you can see the direction of travel. And, critically, one that directs action.”
We asked 28 marketing experts the most important things to include in a B2B marketing report, and they said these 18 things are essential:
- Net promoter score
- Inbound organic leads
- Customer acquisition costs
- Customer lifetime value
- Top search queries
- Google search impressions
- Average cost per lead of marketing channels
- Return on marketing investment
- Month to month growth
- Revenue generated per channel
- Marketing influenced customer percentages
- How far you’ve reached business goals
- Lead pipeline velocity
- What failed
- Publicity wins
- Average amount of purchase
Editor’s note: Are you tired of sharing links and documents containing performance updates back-and-forth? With Databox, you can display beautiful dashboards on your TV so that performance is visible, easy to understand, and actionable for everyone.
So let’s dive right in and read what these marketing experts have to say.
Net promoter score
“Customer satisfaction and specifically Net Promoter Score because repeat customers and referrals are key, the most cost-efficient way to build a B2B business and scale your brand in my experience.
Would they recommend it to others?
This is important to understand for insights into why your brand matters.” Explains Paige Arnof- Fenn of Mavens & Moguls
Inbound organic leads
“Quarterly Blended lead and traffic numbers can be heavily impacted by fluctuations in marketing spend”, Says Adam Corey of Podable, “but looking at organic inbound leads shows the cumulative business impact of marketing’s efforts, such as content marketing, customer reviews, PR, and analyst reports.”
Related: 8 B2B Content Marketing Examples That Every Team Can Draw Inspiration From
Customer acquisition costs
“One important metric that you must include in a high-level B2B marketing report is the marketing costs for new customer acquisition.” Says Avinash Chandra of BrandLoom Consulting. “We all know that acquiring a new customer is more expensive than marketing to an existing customer.
Monitoring this metric shows how efficient your marketing efforts have been- and how it contrasts with your estimated ROI. If it shows that the costs and ROI expectations are not in sync, it is time for tweaking your strategy.”
Darren Litt of MarketerHire explains, “When it comes to marketing, your most important metric is typically your cost per acquisition (CPA). Comparing your CPA against your lifetime value is a simple way to look at the health of your business.”
Connor Whitman agrees and adds, “It’s even better and more powerful if this is used to calculate ROAS and the CAC/CLTV ratios. This gives stakeholders an immediate “pulse” on the health of the company’s marketing.”
Brittney Ihrig of Storyly shares her experience and says, “Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is the bloodline of any revenue-generating marketing team.
As content and public relations manager, I must be able to illustrate the monetary value of my results, which is usually demonstrated through estimated earned media value (EMV), or I could adopt the multipurpose CPA formula. This would make my personal KPIs directly comparable to other marketing branches, such as performance marketing, and enables the entire marketing funnel to be evaluated cohesively. Thus, digesting numerous marketing-departmental results will be more convenient.”
Codegiant’s Momchil Koychev agrees and adds, “We review CAC on our monthly reports. It’s super important for us mainly because it basically shows us how much money and effort we can put in certain marketing activities – hiring new content writers, investing in ads, doing SEO, etc. Having the CAC dialed in, we feel very confident in approaching any marketing campaign.”
Customer lifetime value
“One important metric to include in any B2B marketing report is the lifetime value of a customer.” Explains Matt Arceneaux of Alphr. “Without knowing the LTV, you cannot accurately measure return on campaign investment, or ad spend, and, as a result, it’s essential for any performance marketing campaigns.”
Bernadett Dioszegi of Bannersnack believes an important metric that should be included in every B2B marketing report is the LTV: CAC ratio.
“To have a profitable business, you need to know exactly what are the sales and marketing expenses that are required to acquire new customers (CAC); also the average revenue you make from a customer (LTV).
Calculating the customer lifetime value will help you determine whether you are spending too much on customer acquisition.
LTV can be calculated in different ways; one highly used, popular formula for calculating LTV is:
($) Average MRR per account X (1/monthly churn) X gross margin (%) = ($) LTV.
The biggest challenge is to spend the right amount of money to drive new clients without putting in danger the LTV and revenue from those clients. If you manage to calculate the LTV: CAC ratio, you will be able to find out if your business is positioned for sustainable growth. The optimal LTV: CAC ratio is 3:1.” Explains Dioszegi.
Top search queries
“One important insight to include in a high-level B2B marketing report is a top search queries report.” Explains Keegan Brown of Easy On Hold. “It can be incredibly difficult to measure “brand”. A simple way to track this over time is by looking at how often searchers are referencing your brand name in their query.”
Google search impressions
“Search impressions within Google are probably one of the most important metrics, and certainly one of the most shared in the reports we produce.” Explains Matt Tomkin of Tao Digital Marketing. “The more impressions in search for certain content, the more relevant it is for Google, and therefore this is a great sign that our content is really relevant for our target audience.”
Average cost per lead of marketing channels
Danielle Duran of Boxwood Digital Marketing shares, “The average cost per lead of your various marketing channels, such as digital ads, print, SEO, etc., is essential to include in a high-level B2B marketing report.
Taking the total cost of that channel for a selected period of time, and dividing that by your number of leads from that channel, will give you an amazing insight into the effectiveness of your campaigns.”
Return on marketing investment
Carol Tompkins of AccountsPortal explains what return on marketing investment is, “It measures the difference between the revenue generated from marketing activities, and the cost of marketing.”
“ROI is a crucial metric when sharing reports.” Explains Deepak Shukla of Pearl Lemon Sales. “For example, if you outsource your B2B marketing to a third-party agency, you’ll want to see returns weighed against the investment that you’re making. Alternatively, if you’ve bought software or are subscribing to a service, weight your results against those figures. It’s a great way to assess your overall performance.”
Nick Hollinger of Visitor Queue Inc. agrees with Shukla and adds, “Your overall ROI should always be included. Even if it is negative or low, this is a very important metric for B2B marketing reports.”
Editor’s note: Need to prove marketing ROI? Use this HubSpot Marketing dashboard template.
Month to month growth
“Probably the single most important metric to include in a high-level B2B marketing report is”, shares Dima Suponau of Number For Live Person,
“The month on month growth by channel. This metric is measured by almost every function of a company, including finance, sales, product, and marketing, and is a way of tracking revenue, expenses, usage, conversions, and retention. This subsequently allows the company to gauge its monthly growth and, more importantly, exactly where this growth is coming from.
For most businesses, the most common calculation of this is compounding monthly growth rate (CMGR), which works out the average month on month growth over a reasonable period of between 6 and 18 months.”
Revenue generated per channel
Tony Mastri of MARION Marketing Agency says, “Revenue generated per channel is an important B2B metric to include in your reporting. As a B2B company, our marketing strategy includes several channels and knowing which ones pay the bills is extremely helpful. Once you know what works, you can focus your attention on amplifying those channels for even better results.
You will need an open channel of communication with your bookkeeper or accountant to make this happen, but it’s a valuable metric to track.”
Tracy Montour of Arbeit Software agrees and adds, “This is something every person in the company can relate to.”
ATLATL Software’s Amanda Modelski shares, “Reporting on MQLs quarterly allows us to evaluate the content further as it relates to the buyer persona. Based on the growth (or decline) of MQLs, the organization can better understand how the lead finds us, what content is engaging, and how many MQLs convert to customers. MQLs are a high-level metric that measures marketing’s potential to attribute to sales revenue. This one metric allows the marketing team to do a deeper dive into the digital tactics and channels to determine what is most effective.”
Alissa Pagels-Minor of VoiceBase believes MQL to SQL conversion rate is equally important. “Many Marketing teams are tasked with getting “more leads.” The number of leads is meaningless; however, without layering on the quality of the leads. Tracking the % of Marketing Qualified Leads that convert into Sales Qualified Leads allows you to measure the quality of your marketing efforts. Generating thousands of leads means nothing if none of them were valuable opportunities accepted by sales. Shifting the focus to this conversion rate helps ensure that marketing tactics are driving real ROI, not just vanity numbers.”
Jonathan Aufray of Growth Hackers Marketing agrees and believes it’s imperative to show the evolution of qualified leads.
“B2B is different from B2C. The purchasing process and timeline on B2B is usually much longer than in B2C. Therefore, in a high-level B2B marketing report, you should highlight the number of leads you generated and, most importantly, growth in terms of qualified leads by comparing them through time.
For instance, you should clearly show the number of ‘hot’ leads you got this month compared to last month, this quarter compared to last quarter, or this year compared to last year.”
Marketing influenced customer percentages
William Schumacher shares why marketing influenced customer percentages are so important at Uprising food. “At Uprising food, we like to include what our marketing influenced customer percentages are in our marketing reports. The reason why this metric is so important is that it tells us the impact that our marketing investments, sales productivity, sales pipeline, and revenue velocity are having on our business.”
How far you’ve reached business goals
Juli Durante of Impulse Creative explains, “I am going to sound like a broken record on this, but the very most important metric to include in a B2B marketing report, no matter how high-level, is your progress and contribution toward the company’s goal.
Marketing is often tasked with a specific KPI that is a subset of the company’s goal. If the company wants to reach $10m in revenue, marketing may be tasked with generating 120 qualified leads per month. As humans, we want to show that we’ve reached that goal and are able to check that box, but as marketers, we should go a step further and show how those leads have progressed through the sales process and contributed to revenue. So we might show that marketing generated 140 leads last month and that 100 of those leads became opportunities, and that 50 of those opportunities have already become customers, contributing $100,000 toward the revenue goal, making marketing’s contribution $2m this year to date.
It’s great to show that you’re hitting ‘your’ number, but far more valuable to show how you’re also contributing to everyone else’s.”
PRO TIP: How Are Users Engaging on My Site? Which Content Drives the Most Online Activity?
If you want to discover how visitors engage with your website, and which content drives the most engagement and conversions, there are several on-page events and metrics you can track from Google Analytics that will get you started:
- Sessions and % new sessions. How much traffic does your website receive on a daily or monthly basis?
- Sessions by channel. Which channels are driving the most traffic to your website?
- Average session duration. How long do visitors spend on your website on average?
- Pageviews and pageviews by page. Which pages on your website are viewed the most?
- Average time on page. What is the average time users spend on a specific webpage?
Now you can benefit from the experience of our Google Analytics experts, who have put together a plug-and-play Databox template showing the most important KPIs for monitoring visitor engagement on your website. It’s simple to implement and start using as a standalone dashboard or in marketing reports, and best of all, it’s free!
You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.
To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Get the template
Step 2: Connect your Google Analytics account with Databox.
Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.
Lead pipeline velocity
What is lead pipeline velocity, and why does it matter?
Nathan Binford of MarketChorus explains, “Lead pipeline velocity (how quickly leads become opportunities and deals) is one of the most useful bits of data for high-level executives focused on revenue growth. Traffic, conversion rate, deal size, etc., are all important, but you also need to understand how quickly deals materialize (and know when this speeds up or slows down) to put all the rest of that data into context.”
Michelle Tresemer of the TGroup Marketing Method says her favorite thing to add in a B2B marketing report is what failed.
“As odd as it sounds, I like to include at least one fail. As in, which campaign did not do well that we should not do again. Knowing what doesn’t work is often more valuable than figuring out what DOES it.
It frees up precious resources for tactics that do drive leads. In Google Analytics, for example, we use UTM parameters to track all of our campaigns. Then it’s simply a matter of looking at the Campaign metrics to see what worked and what didn’t.” Explains Tresemer.
“The insight I recommend including is ‘online publicity wins’ (e.g., mentions in a Capterra post or Gartner report) because those marketing assets can be used over and over again in future campaigns.” Shares Bruce Harpham
Average amount of purchase
Derin Oyekan of Reel Paper believes all B2B marketing reports should include average purchase amount.
“Tracking the average amount of purchase helps you to assess how much on average consumers are willing to pay. To achieve a higher average sales price, you can optimize your marketing strategies. The more money consumers spend on your goods or services, the more profits you can generate. If consumers start spending less per order, it typically signals an underlying issue that must be solved with your marketing plan. Maybe you are approaching the wrong targets, or maybe you are advertising on the wrong platforms.” Explains Oyekan.
“Engagement is always at the top of our list for marketing reports.” Alexandra Zamolo of Beekeeper explains.
“After all, if people aren’t talking about our services, then chances are that they’re talking about someone else’s. So we try to continuously craft expert content that starts a conversation. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with setting up your own customer engagement scenarios!”
Editor’s note: Ensure your optimization efforts are paying off with this Google Analytics Targeting, Engagement, & Revenue Dashboard template.
As Catriona Jasica of Top Vouchers Code aptly sums up, “A B2B marketing report gives marketers headaches and heartburns. The best way to meet our managers’ and CEOs’ high expectations is to report revenue performance metrics and strategic KPIs and focus on reporting impacts that are strategic. Stop thinking of what the C-suite wants from you. Get good on cost per deal, cost per cost, and cost per opportunity.”
All ready to create your b2b marketing report? A business reporting software like Databox can significantly cut time spent on reporting and help you seamlessly track data from all the different tools you’re using. Sign up for a free trial now.