Top 17 metrics to inform your marketing planning for 2022 We only need to blink and we’ll be hurtling into the new year. 2022 is just around the corner. And after two years of uncertainty, this is the year that brands want to be armed with a solid plan. But with many focusing on keeping their business afloat, it’s understandable that planning sessions have taken a back seat. With some brands unsure of what metrics will even matter going into 2022. That’s why we suggest identifying where in the buying cycle your business needs to prioritise. Maybe the past year has been focused on keeping your current customers purchasing as much as possible. Or, perhaps you have had to pivot your business over lockdown, so new leads have been your priority. Whatever your area of focus, there are key metrics within each stage that can be used to inform your marketing planning for 2022. In this guide, we will take you through these key stages, and some of the most useful metrics to measure. For marketing planning, better starts here. Awareness The first stage within the buying cycle is creating awareness. This is the period where potential customers aren’t familiar with your brand, and are likely only just discovering you. Therefore, getting your brand out there and shouting about your benefits is key. Website traffic Visits to your website are a great place to start when identifying if people are becoming increasingly aware of your brand. But not all website visits are created equal. Direct traffic Direct traffic refers to website visitors who have come to your site directly, and not through another website. This is normally because they have typed in your website address manually, or have it bookmarked. This traffic shows that a visitor is aware enough of your brand to want to visit it directly. And not just via an ad, mention, or search result. Referral traffic Referral traffic is another important website metric to monitor. This traffic is generated by visits from other sources, such as another website. And is considered similar to a ‘recommendation’ from another brand or site. It means other businesses and websites are aware of you and consider you valuable enough to direct their traffic to. Brand search volume If your website metrics are going up, you can continue to dig a little deeper by reviewing brand search volume. Direct traffic identifies those who have purposely typed out your website address. Whereas brand search volume identifies users who have typed your brand name directly into a search engine. This suggests the more users who are typing in your brand name, the more your brand is being recognised. And that users want to visit your site, as opposed to performing a general search. Social media Moving away from websites, social media is also an incredibly useful channel to identify brand awareness. Social media following Some consider social followers, fans, and likes to be a vanity metric that shouldn’t be heavily focused on. True, social media following doesn’t give a full picture, but it is a great indication of an increase in brand awareness. It’s fair to make the assumption that the more your social media following increases, the more your brand awareness is increasing. And even better, the more of a following you have, the more you can continue to increase your brand awareness by sharing your updates and content with a wider audience. Brand mentions As well as social media following, brand mentions identify how many social media users are now starting to talk about your brand. Or even engage with you directly. And brand mentions aren’t always just on social media. They can also be on websites and blog posts. Monitoring brand mentions can be a little tricky, as the options and channels online are extensive. So you may want to invest in a brand monitoring platform to do the hard work for you. Email subscribers Onto one of our favourite metrics for measuring brand awareness. Email subscribers. Potential customers will subscribe to your email to get the latest updates from your brand, which is a strong indication of brand awareness and the beginnings of engagement and interest. And of course, once you have a subscribers email address, you have a way to contact them directly. This means that you can add them to different email nurturing sequences, such as newsletters and welcome campaigns. To continue to increase their awareness and familiarity with your brand. Image Source – PourMoi Interest Once consumers are aware of your brand, the next step is for them to actually become interested in your offering. Who you are, what you sell, and what you stand for. Leads generated A lead can mean different things to different businesses and brands. It could be an email sign up, an enquiry, a competition entry. Essentially, leads refer to a consumer handing over their information and showing a degree of interest in a brand. Leads are an important part of the buying journey. It is the point where many brands will begin the process of communicating and warming up the specific consumer. Priming them so that they are ready to buy. If you are suffering from low lead generation, this will have an impact on the rest of your pipeline and therefore your end sales. So improving this metric is key moving into 2022. Fortunately, our Best Practice Guide to Lead Generation can get you off to a positive start. Email click-through rates Consumers may have handed over their email addresses. But are they actually engaging with your email communications? With Apple iOS15 it is now well documented that open rates are no longer a reliable way to gauge email engagement. Therefore click-through rates are one of the key metrics to identify if recipients are interested in your brand. Click-through rates If your open rates are healthy, the next metric for determining interest is your click-through rates. High click-through rates suggest that recipients are engaged with your brand, enjoying your content, and are enticed to click through. If, however, your click-through rates are poor then this suggests an issue with brand interest. Recipients are engaged enough to open your email, but you’re not maintaining that engagement. Common reasons for a lack of click-through rate can be that your email isn’t relevant or personalised enough, that your design and CTAs aren’t clear, or simply your offering isn’t enticing. But all is not lost, by improving the content of your email you can soon be nurturing these recipients into becoming engaged customers. Click-through Reach A great metric to look at is reach. This is how many people opened your email over a given time. If you have a campaign click through rate of 5% and you send an email 4 times a month, you may find that actually it’s a different 5% clicking. Therefore your click reach over the month may end up being 20% of your database. Browse/cart abandonment rate Did you know that £18 billion worth of products are abandoned in online baskets in the UK every year. That’s just over 69% of online carts. If consumers are regularly browsing landing pages and even adding items to their online basket, then they are clearly engaged with your brand. So much so that they are considering making a purchase. However, if they are abandoning this buying process, then this suggests there is an issue. Potentially your offer isn’t engaging enough, your pricing isn’t on point, you’re not offering enough information, or the consumer doesn’t feel comfortable buying from your brand. Fortunately, by using marketing automation, you can send out abandoned browse and basket reminders which encourage the recipient to come back and finish their purchase. You can include a reminder of the item, relevant information, and even a discount code. Conversion Conversion is the stage of the buying cycle when, hoorah, the consumer makes a purchase. But not all purchases are created equal. This is why it’s important to monitor certain metrics to ensure you are attracting the right kind of shopper into 2022. Conversion rate For many businesses, metrics can be meaningless if consumers simply aren’t buying. The conversion rate calculates the percentage of consumers who visit your website and then go on to convert, which usually means making a purchase. That being said, what brands consider a conversion to be can differ. For some, it may mean an enquiry, content download, or even email sign up. Essentially, a healthy conversion rate shows that consumers know your brand, trust it, and are engaged enough with it to make a purchase or at least hand over their details. Average order value (AOV) AOV tells you a lot about your customers’ behaviour. What they are purchasing, how much they are purchasing, how regularly, and how expensive the items are. Brands with a low AOV have engaged consumers to purchase, but potentially aren’t making the most of this opportunity. For instance, they can practice tactics such as up-selling and cross-selling to encourage users to spend more when they are in the process of making a purchase. If this sounds of interest, then check out our blog post on this tactic. Cost per acquisition (CPA) Cost per acquisition refers to the total cost of acquiring a new customer, usually via a channel or campaign. And often refers to the marketing spend involved in the acquisition, such as paid ads, email campaigns, or events, for example. CPA is a useful metric as it refers to the complete buying journey, from very first contact and engagement, through to being a customer. This metric will enable you to identify if you’re bringing on the right kind of customers into 2022. For instance, customers that don’t cost a lot of budget to engage with and sell to. This metric can be reduced by choosing cost and resource-effective marketing channels and technologies, such as email and website automation. Which does the hard work for you, at little additional cost. Retention Congratulations, if your metrics at all the stages of the buying journey are looking positive, then you’re doing a good job. But don’t overlook the importance of retaining your current customers. Attracting new customers is five to 25 times more expensive than retaining existing ones. So keeping your customers happy is a real budget-saver. Customer churn rate Churn rate is arguably the most essential metric to measure customer retention. This is the rate at which customers stop purchasing from a brand. Whether that be no longer buying products, end or don’t renew their subscription, or cancelling services. The higher the churn rate, the more customers have stopped buying from a business. However, low churn rates show that a business is successfully retaining customers. If you find that you have a high churn rate, then it’s time to dig into why that has happened. Ready to focus on retaining customers in 2022. Repeat purchases If your customers are regularly buying from you, it shows that they like your brand and your offering, and they trust you. This is a great indication of customer happiness. Businesses are able to calculate repeat purchases by dividing customers who have bought from them more than once in a specific period of time, by the customers who have purchased from them in the same period of time. There are lots of tactics to encourage repeat purchases if this is a metric you’re struggling with. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Driving Repeat Revenue to learn more. Reviews and ratings If your customers are leaving you positive reviews and ratings, then you can be pretty confident that they love you. Different brands choose different platforms to manage their reviews. Google, Facebook, Trustpilot, their own website. If your brand is lacking positive reviews, or even worse, experiencing negative reviews, then it’s clear more needs to be done to retain customers. If possible, read into the reviews to identify common issues. Or if you don’t have many reviews, consider sending out a survey to enquire about your customers’ experiences. This should give you essential insights into what you need to improve in your business to keep customers. And of course, if you need a little guidance, check out our guide to customer retention. NPS Talking about surveys, NPS surveys are one of the most straightforward ways of identifying if your customers are happy. Usually sent within an email, the survey simply asks a short question, with an accompanying rating of 1-10, such as: “How likely are you to recommend our brand?” The benefit of an NPS is that it’s a quick and easy way to form a high-level snapshot of your customer happiness with your brand. All you need is your customers’ data and an email automation solution to get sending. And you’ll be armed with a wealth of useful information ready for the new year. Are you planning your marketing strategy for 2022? That’s great news, but there’s no time to waste. We are currently working with brands from a wide range of industries to get their plan together and make the most of the new year. All with the help of our AI email and web marketing platform, alongside our industry-leading Customer Success Team. Get in touch to learn how we can help you.