A woman entrepreneur is seated at desk before an open laptop computer. She is holding eyeglasses in her right hand and looking at her computer.
Demand generation is a marketing strategy intended as a long-term effort to create recognition and consumer interest in your products and services. — Getty Images/Moyo Studio

Inbound marketing engages prospects and increases brand awareness. It's a collection of tactics, technologies, and strategies that companies use to optimize their conversion and sales cycles. You can maximize your budget while improving your efforts by gauging the effectiveness of your demand generation campaign.

In this article, we'll explore strategies for measuring the success of your marketing efforts and ensuring a steady stream of well-qualified leads. From setting clear goals and identifying your target audience to analyzing data and using customer relationship management (CRM) tools, we'll cover everything you need to know to optimize your conversion and sales cycles. So sit back, relax, and get ready to boost your brand awareness and drive high-quality leads with a data-driven approach to inbound marketing.

Setting marketing and sales goals

Setting clear objectives is a great way to get your team moving in the right direction. Not only does it give your marketing efforts focus and purpose, but it also helps you measure success and hold your team accountable. And the best part? You can adjust your objectives as needed to keep your progress on track.

Create demand gen goals by:

  • Identifying your target audience: Demand generation campaigns should increase consumer trust in your brand. The better you know your customers and leads, the easier it is to develop personalized content. Leverage insights from your CRM platform as a starting point and add data from social media, surveys, and more.
  • Being concise: Use the SMART framework (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) to generate measurable objectives. Each goal should be precise and list the task, date, and desired result. Avoid general statements like “produce more leads.” Instead, say, “Increase lead generation by 15% by the end of the first quarter.”
  • Aligning them to high-level business objectives: Campaigns should bring you closer to reaching overall business and sales goals. Understanding how demand gen supports broader objectives allows you to prioritize funds toward high-value activities.
  • Ensuring sufficient budget and resources: Consider the activities related to achieving your goals. You may need to adjust your priorities if the requirements overburden your staff or cost too much.

[Read more: 5 Smart Ways to Increase Sales]

Demand generation campaigns should increase consumer trust in your brand.

Measuring campaign success

Use key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to gauge the effectiveness of marketing activities and understand progress. But first, define the types of sales leads so that your teams are on the same page. Then, set criteria for marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs).

Consider monitoring the following inbound marketing metrics:

  • Funnel conversion rates: Calculate how many people complete beginning and middle-of-the-funnel actions. Don’t forget to measure the number of MQLs that complete marketing funnels and convert to SQLs. Also, look at the percentage of sales funnel activities that turn leads into customers.
  • Closing percentages: This figure takes the number of closed deals divided by the total number of leads and multiples the result by 100. Leaders use it to determine if their marketing efforts are paying off.
  • Average deal size: Get a clearer view of your sales cycle by calculating the average dollar amount of new conversions. Use this metric to monitor pipeline health, estimate project revenue, and understand how deal size varies between target audiences.
  • Cost per acquisition: Choose a time period and divide your marketing expenses by the number of new customers. In short, profitability is unattainable if this figure is more than the customer lifetime value.
  • Conversion to MQLs: See what percentage of leads meet your MQL standards in a given period. Higher rates indicate that your company targets the right people and runs campaigns on the proper acquisition channels.
  • Lifetime customer value: This metric shows total profitability per customer account. Leaders can estimate how well customer engagement and retention tactics work and ensure they use their budget effectively.
  • Cost per lead: Divide your costs per demand gen campaign by how many leads you acquired. Compare rates between buyer personas, channels, and campaigns.

Analyzing inbound marketing campaign data

Calculating metrics is only part of the data puzzle. To get the whole picture, small businesses must turn information into insights.

Many low-cost CRM tools track demand generation efforts and provide dashboards with real-time data. Systems powered by artificial intelligence (AI) can assess large data sets quickly and automatically monitor team or individual goals.

Simplify data analytics with CRM features offered by sales platforms such as the following:

  • Monday Sales CRM provides data visualization features with prebuilt dashboards and live reports.
  • Freshsales offers sales intelligence with AI-powered forecasts and visual reports, while Freddy AI assists with predicting deal closures and more.
  • HubSpot CRM gives real-time views of sales pipelines and detailed insights about sales efforts, individual performance, and productivity.
  • Zoho CRM allows professionals to track analytics from mobile apps, create unlimited customized dashboards, and use advanced visualization tools.

[Read more: 4 Forward-Thinking Sales Strategies to Embrace]

Optimizing demand generation campaigns

Teams improve demand generation campaigns by regularly reviewing KPIs and performance metrics. However, small businesses can take many steps to reduce costs and increase conversions. The latest small business sales trends suggest that AI and automation are valuable tools for inbound marketing.

Use these tips to improve your campaign results:

  • Use tracking tools: Tracking tools reveal which inbound campaigns, channels, or content impact conversions and revenue most. Shift your budget to high-performing assets and improve less effective ones.
  • Automate workflows: Automate the sales process with CRM features that score leads, autoassign tasks, and streamline touchpoints along the customer journey.
  • Foster multidepartmental communication: Look for platforms that foster communication between marketing, sales, and service departments. Sharing feedback and aligning efforts enhances sales strategies and outcomes.
  • Perform split testing: Use this marketing technique to optimize emails, landing pages, and other marketing assets.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Brought to you by
Dedicated to turning our advantage into yours.
Unmatched 5G network : Get work done where your business happens with the speed, bandwidth, and reliability your business needs.
Learn More