We touched briefly on the importance of choosing and tracking KPI’s. We will now take a closer look at what KPI’s might be useful to track for both B2B and B2C businesses.
Conversions/ Sales Volume – the most natural place to start for most B2C businesses. Since the end goal for using personalization in most cases is to increase sales volume, why not measure conversions? If you are converting more potential customers into customers than before, you know your personalization strategy is working.
Total Sales Revenue – In addition to tracking conversions, you will also want to track total sales before and after personalization. The reason for this is that sometimes conversions can be misleading. You might not be increasing conversions by personalizing, but this does not mean that it’s not having an effect. Maybe you are not pulling in more customers, but pushing each customer to spend more on your site than they would without personalization.This makes sense, personalization pushes people to remain on your site for longer by engaging them with content, giving you the opportunity to upsell.
Social Media Buzz – This is a great way to measure the effect that personalization has on your branding and reputation. By looking at the number of times your brand is mentioned on social media and whether your brand is mentioned in a positive or negative way is a great way of gauging the public’s perception of your brand. Used correctly, personalization is a good tool to increase consumer engagement with your product or brand. To judge whether your personalization campaigns are having this positive effect, monitor social media response to your brand before and after personalization. Both the number of mentions and responses of positive affect should be going up – if not, you need to pivot in your personalization strategy. It is important to note that you cannot attribute social media metrics entirely to content personalization, but in the long term you can find correlations. For example a certain segment may seem more engaged on Facebook because they’ve been reading content better tailored to them as a result of personalization.
Conversions – Whether B2B or B2C conversions matter, and should always be tracked. However, given the nature of the B2B sales cycle being longer – typically between 6-24 months – you will have to be patient. The difficulty with B2B is that by the time you see the effects of your strategy on actual conversions, you won’t know what the effect of content personalization versus other times really was. A way to overcome this is to define many micro and macro conversions along the way. These are separate from a full sale or lead capture, but still indicate that users are moving down your sales funnel.
Interactions Per Visit – Since you can’t measure conversions immediately, you will need another indicator for whether your personalization is having a positive effect. Interactions per visit is a great indicator of whether your personalization is increasing engagement. When you present a buyer with relevant content, they should be more engaged and spend more time on your site, clicking on more links along the way. The more interactions someone makes with your site, the more interested they are in your product/ service, or at the very least, your site. More interactions per visit also correlations with increased page returns. This also means that you should be tracking how many initial visitors return to the site at a later date. If the interactions per visit is high but return rate is low, something is wrong.
Bounce Rate – Where B2C businesses may have millions of potential customers, it is not rare for B2B businesses to have a number of potential customers in triple digits. Since these customers can be large businesses with millions to spend, signing one more contract for a B2B business can be the difference between a good financial year and a bad one. That being said, you want to capitalize on every single visitor that comes to your website. A customer who bounces because of a bad website experience in B2C might lose them $100, whereas in B2B that lost customer might have been worth $100,000 – it is imperative that you all you to put your best foot forward and optimize the micro-interactions that ultimately add up to long term business relationships. Personalization is a great way to do this.