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The Top 5 Marketing KPIs Every Service-Based Business Should Track

Updated: Mar 27

In today's digital age, the maxim "what gets measured, gets managed" has never been more applicable, especially in the realm of marketing for service-based businesses. But with a multitude of data points and metrics to consider, where should you focus your attention? That's where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come in.


Top 5 Marketing KPIs

What Are KPIs?

KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are specific, quantifiable metrics that businesses track to measure their progress toward achieving strategic objectives and goals. By focusing on KPIs, companies can concentrate their efforts on what matters most, ensuring that every action taken is aligned with broader business objectives.


Why Are KPIs Essential?

The importance of KPIs is multifaceted. Firstly, they offer valuable insights into the health and effectiveness of your marketing strategies. Secondly, they serve as a guide, helping you make data-driven decisions that can lead to improved performance and profitability. For service-based businesses, where the focus is on customer relations and service delivery rather than product sales, identifying the right KPIs is especially critical.


Now, let’s delve into the top 5 marketing KPIs that every service-based business should be tracking.


1. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

What Is It?

Customer Acquisition Cost measures how much it costs to acquire a new customer, factoring in all costs associated with marketing and sales.


How to Calculate

CAC=(TotalCostofMarketing+Sales)/NumberofNewCustomersAcquired


Why It’s Important

Understanding CAC is crucial because it directly impacts your profitability. If the cost of acquiring a new customer is too high, you may find that you're actually losing money over the long term.


What to Do With This KPI

  • Optimise your marketing funnel to increase conversions, thereby lowering CAC.

  • Analyse which channels bring in customers at the lowest cost and allocate more resources to them.

2. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

What Is It?

Customer Lifetime Value represents the total revenue you expect to earn from a customer throughout the entire duration of their relationship with your business.


How to Calculate

CLV=(AverageRevenueperUser)x(CustomerRetentionTime)


Why It’s Important

CLV helps you understand how valuable a customer is over time. When you know your CLV, you can make more informed decisions about how much you should be willing to spend on acquiring a new customer (CAC).


What to Do With This KPI

  • Implement strategies to upsell or cross-sell services to existing customers.

  • Focus on customer retention programs to extend the customer's lifetime with your business.

3. Conversion Rate

What Is It?

Conversion Rate is the percentage of visitors to your website or other marketing platforms who take a desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a booking.


How to Calculate

ConversionRate=(NumberofConversions/NumberofVisitors)x100


Why It’s Important

A high conversion rate indicates that your marketing materials and strategies are effective at turning prospects into customers. It's also closely related to CAC; improving your conversion rate can lower your CAC.


What to Do With This KPI

  • Conduct A/B testing to optimise website elements like call-to-action buttons, headlines, and images.

  • Refine your marketing messaging to better align with your target audience's needs and pain points.

4. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

What Is It?

Net Promoter Score measures customer satisfaction and loyalty by asking one simple question: "On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our service to others?"


How to Calculate

Calculating the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a straightforward process that provides valuable insights into customer satisfaction and loyalty. To begin, you need to survey your customers with a single question: "On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?"


Responses are then categorised into three groups:

  1. Promoters (score 9-10): Customers who are enthusiastic and likely to recommend your product or service.

  2. Passives (score 7-8): Satisfied but indifferent customers who could easily switch to a competitor.

  3. Detractors (score 0-6): Unhappy customers who may not only refrain from promoting your business but could also potentially harm your brand through negative reviews or word-of-mouth.

To calculate the NPS, use the following formula:

NPS=(% of Promoters)−(% of Detractors)


Here's a step-by-step breakdown:

  1. Calculate the percentage of responses that are Promoters.

  2. Calculate the percentage of responses that are Detractors.

  3. Subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.

The resulting score will be your NPS, which can range from -100 to +100. A higher score generally indicates better customer satisfaction and loyalty.


Why It’s Important

NPS is a quick, easy, and effective way to gauge customer satisfaction and predict business growth. A high NPS indicates that your customers are happy and are more likely to refer others to your service.


What to Do With This KPI

  • Analyse the feedback from promoters to understand what you’re doing right.

  • Reach out to detractors to resolve issues and improve their experience.

5. Social Media Engagement Rate

What Is It?

Social Media Engagement Rate is the percentage of your audience that interacts with your content through likes, shares, comments, and more.


How to Calculate

EngagementRate=(TotalEngagement/TotalFollowers)x100


Why It’s Important

Social media is a powerful tool for service-based businesses to build brand awareness and engage with potential customers. High engagement rates generally correlate with higher levels of customer trust and brand loyalty.


What to Do With This KPI

  • Post content that resonates with your target audience's needs and preferences.

  • Use analytics tools to determine the optimal times to post and the types of content that generate the most engagement.

Conclusion on Marketing KPIs

In the service-based business landscape, understanding and leveraging the right KPIs can make the difference between sustainable growth and stagnation. By focusing on these top 5 marketing KPIs—Customer Acquisition Cost, Customer Lifetime Value, Conversion Rate, Net Promoter Score, and Social Media Engagement Rate—you can optimise your marketing strategies to build stronger relationships with your clients, foster customer loyalty, and ultimately drive long-term success. Remember, what gets measured gets managed, and what gets managed gets improved. Start tracking these KPIs today to give your service-based business the competitive edge it deserves.

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