A Story Block Guide: 

Math for Marketers

Google “Math for Marketers.” No, really, do it, and then come back here.

It’s okay, we’ll wait for you!

What you found is a common blend of articles, blogs, and pdfs offering you an immediate answer to why marketers need math and metrics, or if you even need it at all. You also may have found a few well-intended pieces that break down portions of the math that marketers should at least understand and know how to convince someone else that they do indeed understand it.

Look, we’re not trying to put down the content available right now on the subject of math for marketers - but we do want to point out that good intention and easily-available, simple formulas is only a part of “math for marketers.” A very, very small part.

You’re probably going to scroll through this part as quickly as possible and grab the right metric calculation you need to complete your marketing report this month. If you do that, okay, we get it. We won’t say we’ve never done that before.

But, the goal of putting these words on the internet isn’t to provide with you with plug-and-play numbers.

Our goal is to inspire you to question what it actually means to be a marketer.

We're here to help you assess where marketing sits in your company, and then support you when you decide that you’re a real business person, damn it! And should be acting and treated like one.

Math for Marketers is important and valuable, but it’s you that will make this more than just a really awesome resource. YOU will make this the anthem of every veteran, current, and soon-to-be marketer!

If you’re asking yourself, “Did you just low-key click-bait me with some movement-hidden-by-math magic?”

Yes, yes we did.

Okay, we won’t hold you hostage here anymore - if you really just want to grab some awesome definitions and methods for calculating marketing math go ahead and navigate down to the sections you need below.

Movement, Not Metrics

The Two Types of Marketing Math

Marketing Performance Metrics

Business Metrics

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Chapter 1

Movement, Not Metrics

We’re fully well aware that at some point we will become redundant, we know this because:

  1. We can’t help it. We’re so passionate that sometimes it comes out in bursts.
  2. Good things are worth repeating as many times as needed to be understood by those who will benefit from it the most.

Math for Marketers isn’t just some super-awesome campaign idea that we created to generate leads.

We mean, if it does - great! But, we’ve invested years and decades of our own experiences as marketers into developing this: a career manifesto. A statement to the business world. “WE ARE MARKETERS, damn it, and we demand to be respected as real business minds.”

The hallmark of a good cause isn’t just a flashy slogan or great speaker (or writer) to stir up emotion - it’s actually having something worth fighting for.

Anyone who has been in marketing for any length of time didn’t need this Neil Patel article to confirm that CEOs don’t (always) take marketing seriously. We live this nearly every day. Marketing grew up as a fluffy department with cool jobs - come on, we get to color on things!

Many c-level and board meetings will have a time-slot for marketing to come in and “present” their efforts and “plans,” but that’s all we get - a time-slot. Not a full-day, lunch-provided with the maybe-a-beer-afterward invitation to stay.

who is at fault - math in marketing


Who is at Fault?

We don’t know and frankly, we don’t care. We care about fixing this.

As much as we’ve been in plenty of meetings that we wanted to stomp our feet, whine about not being taken seriously, or furious with having to defend EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR SPENT while sales and operations seem to have an easier go, that won’t fix anything.

It’s Up to Us To Change It. Who Is Us?

us; /əs/; pronoun

  1. Used by a speaker to refer to himself or herself and one or more other people as the object of a verb or preposition.
    1. For the remainder of this document, “us” refers to the collective group of marketing professionals from social media managers, marketing coordinators, marketing strategists, and marketing managers.

up to us - math in marketing 

So, What Are We To Do? 

To start, we have to, as a group and individually, ask ourselves if we’re unintentionally contributing to this disconnect? Are we as a collective really providing business-level worthy services and if we are, are we fully equipped to highlight them in the way our CEOs and CFOs actually care about? We have to start with ourselves, because honestly with a stat like this...

“87 percent of B2B marketers say they use analytics tools to manage their content marketing efforts, but only 35 percent say they measure content marketing return-on-investment (ROI).”

2018 B2B Content Marketing Report from CMI: Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs

...we’re a little nervous. 65% of your fellow marketers are not reporting to their leaders the only real business metric that matters - Return on Investment.

The blame can not be placed solely on the “old-school,” and difficult CEO and CFO. They have a legitimate company to run - with significantly more directions of demand coming for their attention than we do and those who can prove their value, provide even more value in the future and make their day easier are favored.

Now, don’t stop reading and decide to stop being a marketer. We have amazing responsibility and jobs (remember the coloring!). In our modern day marketing, we have become the mecca of data for our companies. We have at our fingertips unprecedented access (or the ability to access) information on our soon-to-be-leads, leads, sales pipeline, and customers.

This entire Math for Marketers piece is to help you see your potential. To help you achieve that potential and if you win, we win.

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What Does Winning Mean Exactly?

Great question. This campaign will be considered a success and a win if these things happen over the next 18 months in every single marketing department that reads this piece:

Just a Quick Check-In.

Are these 3-4 things already happening in your company? If so, HELL YES! Will you reach out to us so we can talk to you? We want to learn how you’ve done it and have you join this cause as a proof-point and someone to aspire to!

Back to Business

Okay, okay, we know you get it. Marketing is important and we strongly believe that as a practice, it hasn't begun to really flex its muscles and show its fullest potential. But that stops now. With you and your organization. How? With Math for Marketers.

In case it isn’t clear by this point, Math for Marketers isn’t the only component needed to create a paradigm shift in the practice of marketing and how we related to our senior business leaders, but we have to start somewhere.

lets go - math in marketingWhy Math First

There were so many topics we discussed while determining where to start this public decree, but the advanced understanding and application of business (and marketing) math was the most obvious place to start.  

Once we collectively master WHAT we should know and measure and project and report on we can begin to work on how to position it, how to communicate it, how to move our careers to places previously reserved only for MBAs.

Ready to dig in? Good - let’s go!

Related: Download our free marketing budget template.

Get Your Budget On Track

Chapter 2


The Two Types of Marketing Math

Marketing has basically become some bad version of Sudoku. If you admit it yourself, you agree. The numbers don’t always seem to match, it’s hard to tell what is important to focus and trying to share what you’re working on and why to someone else is a joke.

With so many different areas to gather data and interpret, we wanted to really help focus all of us in the two areas that matter most and they are:

We don’t intend to discuss every single metric that falls under each of these, instead, we want to highlight and dig into the ones that are table stakes.

At the end of this, you should be able to identify these metrics, know how to gather and measure them AND feel more confident when presenting them. Of course, we can’t do much about your fear of public speaking in small groups, at least not during this piece. 

Want a gameplan to get your department the respect it deserves?

Book a meeting below.

Chapter 3


Marketing Performance Metrics

We’re going to ease into marketing math like the beach-style pools. You know the ones, they don’t have any steps, just a slowly declining path right into the water, like the beach.

Anyone practicing marketing should be at least familiar with these metrics and be using them daily.

Stop us if you’ve ever heard this joke before:

“A marketer walks into a board meeting, pumped about her 76% increase of organic traffic since taking over her position 6-months ago, only to be greeted with confused stares at best and clear disinterest at worst by her CEO.”

Oh, wait, sorry, that’s not a joke, but the real-life experience of many marketers.

signs in marketing dataPerformance Metrics Are...

  • The roads signs on your marketing highway
  • Red, yellow, and green flags to guide you
  • Very important to YOU, the marketer 

Performance Metrics Are Not...

  • The complete story of value your department is providing
  • Impressive on their own
  • Very important to almost every CEO, and damn near every CFO

These are the things that YOU should be monitoring and tracking every day, your job depends on it. These metrics are what tell you to move left, right, or stay right on track. They support you in doing your job of communicating to and convincing (read: helping)  your audience.

Four Common Types of Performance Metrics

  • Website Analytics
  • Conversion Metrics
  • Ad Performance Metrics
  • Sales Metrics 

Website Analytics


As a digital marketer, the thing that you likely care about most is your website traffic. We don’t want to convince you that it’s not important, but we want to make sure that we all treat traffic the way that it should be seen: a precursory metric.

Traffic alone will not improve your marketing. Yes, yes, the more you “pour into the funnel, the more you’ll get out,” makes sense, but it’s the simplest form of approaching traffic. We speak about measuring more than just traffic down the page, but also in this post.

pros and cons of hiring outside marketers-01 

Traffic, as we should all know, is the term we use to measure how many people (or bots) are gracing our website with their presence. 

What traffic doesn't tell you is:

  • Are these the right people (or bots)?
  • What do these people want?
  • How much are we paying for these people (or bots)?
  • Am I driving traffic to a site that’s not ready to provide them what they’re looking for?

Those four questions are very important questions to answer or at least consider when reporting and using traffic as a context for your marketing strategy.

Measuring Your Traffic

If you are using a tool like HubSpot or Marketo, your site traffic should be fairly easy to grab and measure. If you don’t have those tools, Google Analytics, and Search Console are the best tools on the market. We actually recommend that you use Google’s provided tools as your Single Point of Truth for any traffic-related data.

Things you should be measuring:

  • Traffic patterns (increases and decreases over a 3-month rolling period)
  • Percentage of traffic sources (organic, referral, direct)

Tips for Measuring Traffic:

  • Never panic or celebrate about an unusual flux in traffic (especially if for only one day) UNLESS you no longer have any traffic, then check your tracking codes
  • Do not aim to have any single channel be more than 50% of your overall traffic, diversification is protection. If one day you lost rank on all your organic pages, then you’re up the creek without a paddle.
  • Filter out your IP address and those of anyone who visits the site from the company
  • Recognize that NOT every platform will match. For example, HubSpot and Google Analytics traffic metrics don’t match perfectly because they use different triggers to count a visit.
    • Tip: Pick ONE reporting platform and stick with it. Don’t compare.
  • Care about trends the most. When focusing on traffic, you should be focused on the trends of what you see vs and single spike and or day. Traffic is fluid and platforms change daily - keep this in your viewpoint while looking at traffic.
  • Add a segment to filter out spikes from bots that Google hasn't added to their algorithm. If you see jumps in traffic and drill down to find them all from a single location (usually from Ashburn, VA), build a segment to weed those low value, one second visits out of your traffic report. There's nothing worse than dirty data.

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Bounce Rate

Raise your hand if you’ve been asked the question, “What is the bounce rate?” and raise both if you’ve been asked right after that, “What is a good bounce rate?”

We’ve found the bounce rate metric to be the most elusive to understand and communicate with non-marketers because it’s, in fact, a fairly broadly-defined and studied metric.

A solid definition of your bounce rate is, “the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.”

bounce rate marketing analysis

That sounds pretty straightforward - what exactly is the problem?

Similar to measuring traffic, bounce rate alone as a number is pretty useless. Yes, 99% of people who visit a page leave and don’t go any further, but...do you know if it’s because they don’t like what they saw or maybe they got exactly what they needed and were able to move on?

Opposite to traffic measuring, it’s primarily the goal to see your bounce rate go down and to the right. Your bounce rate “should” be anywhere from 40-50% depending on the page type.

Man, all of these, “well, it depends,” when talking about marketing performance metrics might be one of the reasons CFOs’ eyes are glazing over when we talk!

Things You Should be Measuring:
  • Bounce rate on the most important pages of your site
  • You guessed it, the trend of the bounce rate on those pages
  • Bounce rate by traffic channel, does one source have a higher or lower bounce rate?
Tips for Measuring Bounce Rate
  • Pay attention to it, it is considered a fairly important SEO cue to Google on user behavior for your site
  • Use Hotjar, CrazyEgg or Full Story to grab recordings of actual site visitors sessions to see what they’re doing on the page, is something stopping them from moving to another page?
  • Only report on this metric IF you have something important to share OR if requested.

Time On Page

Time On Page is pretty self-explanatory. This is the time, on average, that your visitors are spending on each page on your site. Much like the traffic and bounce rate metrics, this number alone is well, useless.

Useless you say?! How dare we?!? Yes, we double dog dare. You have NO idea if you’re time on page is saying that your visitors LOVE your content SO much that they have to read every single word OR if they left their browser open to go and grab lunch (#Guilty).

But, like Bounce Rate, Time On Page is another behavioral metric that Lord Google uses to access the helpfulness of your page. So, you should care about it, just keep it in its rightful place.

Things You Should be Measuring:
  • We warned you that might start getting redundant and here we go: measure trends and not specific spikes in either direction.
  • Time on Page for important pages of your site, your pillar content and conversion pages
Tips for Measuring Time On Page:
  • Make sure your IP addresses are blocked in any tool that you’re using to measure this
  • Do not report on this UNLESS you have something interesting to share OR you’re asked to.

Conversion Rate

sales conversion funnelIf you’re a little taken back by our blasé attitude toward Website Analytics, you should be pretty pleased with the Conversion section. You see, Traffic is great, easy to measure and fun to make graphs for. It’s the first thing we all think to “fix” when we start on a project - but it’s not the Most Important Set Of Metrics Ever (MISOME), not even by a long-shot.

You’ll learn what we consider the MISOME in a later chapter, but Conversion Data is still pretty damn important.

Your conversion data, when measured and analyzed accurately provides the color and context to your website data. While we may never get to a point to be able to answer for every variable when it comes to data online, we can get really closed by looking at our Conversion rate.

Website Conversion Rate

Pop Quiz: You need to make a measurable increase in leads coming from the site in the next 90-days, what are you doing to do first?

  1. Create new blogs to increase organic traffic
  2. Push Facebook/LinkedIn ads
  3. Apply a CRO Strategy
  4. Take a 3-month sabbatical?

If you chose 1-3, you’re not wrong, but the right answer was 4. Just kidding, it’s actually #3.

Increasing traffic can take anywhere from 3-18 months through organic content depending on where you’re starting from.

Facebook and or LinkedIn ads will certainly help increase your traffic metrics, unless of course, you’re running a specific lead gen campaign, but the goal of the Pop Quiz is to increase LEADS. Traffic doesn’t always equal leads. Unless, you’re talking e-commerce, but that’s an entirely different topic. We’ll make a note to cover that in our next piece!

Taking a 3-month sabbatical might not be a bad idea over the course of your career, but dodging out when the stakes are high is probably not the best idea.

Now, to our winning option: CRO!

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the most underutilized tool marketers use.  CRO has taken a new name in the HubSpot, Growth-Driven Design. While the foundations of GDD are 100% CRO, the methods are a little different. What we’re recommending for this “quick-win” should not be confused with GDD.

CRO, when deployed correctly, is your best shot at making real movement on your lead generation. It requires much less run-time to deploy, fewer assets to create, and you can measure changes nearly immediately.

If you can increase your conversion rate by even .5%, you’ve generated MORE leads with less traffic than before. It’s the “back pocket strategy” of some of the best marketing strategists. Increase conversion, thus increasing contacts and leads will provide immediate value to your sales and leadership team and give the chance to develop important long-term goals like organic traffic.

We believe in CRO so much that we built an entirely free course to teach you the specifics of it.

The CRO Masterclass: Everything You Need to Know

Read the series
Things You Should be Measuring
  • Overall site conversion rate
  • Conversion rate by channel
  • Key pages’ conversion rate 
Tips for Measuring Site Conversions
  • Follow these people:
    • Rand Fishkin: A great name can put a lot of pressure on your personality to live up to such a rad moniker. Fail, and you’re Wolf Blitzer. Succeed, and your Rand Fishkin. The Moz founder and all-around compelling personality keeps his Twitter feed stocked with some of the best insights you’ll find.
    • Peep Laja: Next up on the Great Name team, is Peep Laja (pronounced Pep La-jah). Both his personal feed (linked in his name above) and his CXL Institute are amazing resources for powerful knowledge, links to solid research, and some really advanced stuff that will keep pushing your CRO education.
    • Joanna Wiebe: Joanna is the boss of words. She makes them work and work hard. A conversion copywriter of the highest order, Joanna’s Twitter feed is as good as it gets when it comes to CRO knowledge.
    • Contently: Ok, this isn’t really CRO-specifically, but creating better content will help you get the traffic that these CRO wizards and wizardesses (band name alert) will be teaching you how to convert into customers.
    • Growth Hackers: This is another account that doesn’t self-identify as CRO specifically, but is a steady faucet of info that will bolster the brain of anyone trying to improve their conversion rates.
  • Look for small incremental changes you can make and test. Small movements can lead to huge impacts.
  • DO report this as a strategy that you’re deploying and speak to the effectiveness and efficiency of this.
  • Measure everything! Keep track of where you started and what is happening as you make changes.
  • Use Hotjar, CrazyEgg or Full Story to help you determine where to start with your CRO.

performance metrics marketing

Lifecycle & Funnel Conversion Metrics

Now, we might start to sound a bit like your sales team here and that’s okay. Our partners on the other side of this business growth train can be really helpful.

HubSpot calls them Lifecycle stages. You may also refer to them as Funnel Stages, Journey Stages, etc. Whatever you call them - measure them.

Once you’ve turned strangers into a known-contact your job isn’t done and this is where the business-mind really kicks in. This is also where CROs and CEO will start to pay attention to what you have to say.

Your sales team should already have a convention on how they map the stages a lead goes through in their process. Get your hands on that and then build (or modify if you can) your stages to lead right into that. (Hint: we’re getting dangerously close to the holy grail of Closed-Loop Reporting!)

The more you know about what happens to your contacts after they convert the more valuable you and marketing becomes. Answer questions like:

  • How qualified are the leads from Facebook last quarter?
  • Are MQLs converting into revenue?
  • What process takes the longest in the entire customer-acquisition process?
  • How can marketing shorten (or should it) any of the earlier stages?

You simply can not answer those questions without tracking and measuring the conversion between those stages.

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Things You Should be Measuring:

The math here is pretty straightforward: measure the percentage of conversion between each stage of your customers’ journey, including:

    • Traffic to Contact % (=traffic/contacts*100)
    • Contact to Lead % (=contacts/lead*100)
    • Lead to MQL % (=lead/MQL*100)
    • MQL to SQL % (=MQL/SQL*100)
  • Repeat for each stage of your process

Also, include these percentages as well:

  • Net New Vs. Returning Contacts
  • Channel Specific Reporting (which is the best/worst?)
  • Closed Won
  • Closed Lost
Tips for Measuring Lifecycle Conversion:
  • Use whatever tool makes the job easier for you
  • Gather data from your sales team to complete the entire funnel report
  • Report on this to your leadership, speak confidently and come with recommendations to correct if needed

Ad Performance Metrics

Advertising Metrics

There is no shortage of data (and by data we mean numbers) to look at when monitoring and making movement on your paid search and display efforts.  But having a lot of data to look at doesn’t mean you’re looking at the right stuff. With Google Ads sitting as the top platform in this space, let’s look at what you should be measuring versus what you likely ARE measuring.

All of this is based on the assumption that you are already tracking goals according to your paid search strategy. Whether the goal of your strategy is to increase the number of contacts, leads, online sales or something else.

Remember: If you are not tracking toward a measurable goal, then you are wasting your money and your time.

Now that we’ve got that part covered, let’s get into it.

Every element of your account should be working in support of the goal, that includes your search terms, text ads, landing or destination page. All of the data to determine if these are “working” or where you can and should be improving is available to you, it’s just a matter of changing your view.

Start by updating you’re view to include data from the past, so that you can impact the future. Columns should include:

  • Quality Score: estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.
  • Impression Share: the total number of impressions that an ad has received divided by the number of impressions possible for that same ad.
  • Impression Share Lost (rank/budget): the percentage of time that an ad is not shown on the Search Network as a result of a low ad rank or lack of budget.
  • Bounce Rate: single-page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page

Quality score counts for a host of reasons. The most important is the impact that it has on how much your cost per click, and ultimately impacting how much you will spend on paid search.

Basically, the higher your quality score, the lower your average cost per click for a specific keyword you are targeting.

So you’re probably wondering now that you can see your score, how should you go about improving it?

While there are a number of factors, it’s likely that you can see improvements by cleaning out your keywords, refining the actual text ads, tightening up your ad groups, and updating or testing landing page content.

It’s easy to want to fix as much as possible, but it’s smarter to focus on the keywords that have some historical conversion data and a quality score of 5 (out of 10) or less.

cleaning out keywords

Cleaning Out Your Keywords

  • Find the Positives in the Negatives

Run through your search terms to see if there are terms that you are being found for that are NOT relevant to your business (do this by reviewing the Search Terms report). If you find those that don’t fit what you do, add them as a negative. This will keep you from racking up paid clicks, while avoiding quick bounces on your landing age.

  • Cast a Wide Net, But Not For Long

Find potential keywords by starting with broad match keywords, then scrutinize the search terms report to find the keywords that REALLY matter.

Start to add long tail, phrase and exact match versions to your campaign to focus in on the terms that visitors are resonating with, while lowering your spend on broad terms that can also catch some trash terms with the good ones.  

Textual Healing

  • Update Your Ad Text Based on Intent

Get into the head of the searcher. What are they asking for when they search? Do your ads say “pick me” as it relates to their query?

Once you know what they are searching for, make sure you have at least one ad per ad group running (but optimum is 3). Try testing a Dynamic Ad headline, if you’re feeling adventuresome.

  • Strong offer = Strong CTR (which impacts quality score)

Add action words to your ads. Consider using modifiers to help gain the click. Include words like:

  • Free Sample/Trial/Offer/Download
  • Discount /Promotional Code
  • Guarantee
  • Show Your Landing Pages a Little Love

Be sure that your landing pages live up to the offer being made, or you’ll end up with disappointed, one-time visitors. By improving the content and conversion opportunities on these pages, you reduce your bounce rates while potentially improving your quality score.

  • Build for Performance

Provide information on landing pages that offer some comparison, support for claims that your offering is the best for what they’re searching for and why (back up your claims).

Try offering gated content that proves to be a valuable resource and aligns with the searcher’s intent in order to capture more leads, improve your CTR and quality score; ultimately lowering your cost per click and working your way toward a measurable goal.

These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to steps that you can follow to  improve your paid search efforts to put you on the path to saving or stretching your spend while pressing toward reaching more of your goals.

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Sales Metrics

sales metrics

Yes, we know, you’re a marketer, not a salesperson. But, we don’t care and neither should you.  The data and information your sales team has on the performance of your leads are some of the most important math that you’ll be doing.

When approaching the sales team for data, keep in mind you’re asking them for THEIR metrics of success. Lean in that you really want to know how well YOUR department is doing for them.

Now, is it possible that you might uncover that some of your impediments are coming from sales? Of course! But, you’re just as likely to see that your department or service have some areas of responsibility, too.

Things You Should be Measuring:
  • Pipeline Growth (the other side of your lifecycle stage)
  • Churn Rate: This not a strict sales metrics, but we included it here because it really impacts their goals. Churn rate: percentage of current customer lost in any given period. You need to add the church percentage ON TOP of net-new revenue goals.
  • Close Rate: Of the leads “worked” in sales, how many closed into customers (read: revenue)? What is the percentage of marketing-provided leads that converted into customers?
  • Lost Rate: How many worked leads never closed and why? Were they not a good fit? What can you learn from that information that should change what you’re doing in marketing?
  • Time to Close: How long does it take from first-known time to closed customer? How long from going to sales to closed business? This tells you if you need to shorten the entire nurturing process to close faster OR... and here is where we’re going to go on a tangent... FOR YOU IN THE BACK... HERE is where you can show that you’re not a pretty-picture gal or guy, you can push back or provide support for the revenue goals set by your company. You can show if they are being too aggressive based on current business data OR you can provide your buy-in and whole hog. Pay attention! This matters! See more in the Business Metrics section.
Tips for Measuring Sales Metrics:
  • Automate as much as possible.  Connect your CMS to your CRM or use a tool like DataBox.
  • Be nice to sales. Buy them lunch. They are a huge factor in YOUR success.

Be accurate before standing up, do your math, check your math, and get more data before telling the CFO that the goals are STUPID. At the same time, be willing to stand up and use your math to provide ACTUAL business insight. (Do you see how this is all coming together?)

Related Post: 3 Signs You're Doing Your Marketing All Wrong

Chapter 4

Business Metrics

If you’ve been listening to something else in the background while reading this, now is the time to stop and pay all the attention. This is the math that isn’t heavily taught in marketing school and certainly is expected from marketers in the real world.


This is where you go from being a marketer to being a Marketer. Knowing this math isn’t just about impressing your leadership, though no one has ever complained about that before. It’s about giving you the RIGHT information to make the BEST marketing decisions and recommendations.

Everything you do in marketing should be reflective of what’s happening in your company. From service to operations and even sales.

Your recommendations to your leadership should never be a list of blogs you need to write, but a change you see coming in the market that you believe the entire company should react to OR in the case of Math for Marketers, a trend you’ve noticed internally that can help keep clients longer, close more clients, or save the company money.

Business Metrics for CFO
The tactic? live and breathe these metrics: 
  • Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Cost Per Lead (CPL)
  • Cost Per Customer Acquisition (CoCA)
  • Lead Velocity Rate (LVR)
  • Customer Retention Rate (CRR)

*Disclaimer: this section is not intentioned to be an MBA In a Day course. We know and respect that there are MANY more metrics leadership uses to determine all sorts of things about the health of a company. We are purposefully focused in on the ones that matter MOST to you as a marketer as your job relates to your CRO & CEO.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Definition of ROI:

Return on Investment (ROI) is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. ROI tries to directly measure the amount of return on a particular investment, relative to the investment’s cost. To calculate ROI, the benefit (or return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment. The result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio.

How to Measure ROI:

ROI = ((Current Value of Investment - Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment) x100

ROI formula

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Cost Per Customer Acquisition (CoCA)

Definition of CoCA:

The CoCA determines how much marketing spend was required to generate the number of customers during a given time period.

How to Measure CoCA:

CoCA (cost) = (total marketing spend/total paying customers  generated)x100

Cost of customer acquisition formula

Lead Velocity Rate (LVR)

Definition of LVR:

The Lead Velocity Rate is the growth percentage of qualified leads month over month. It measures your pipeline development. That is, how many (quality) potential customers you’re currently working on converting to actual customers.

How to Measure LVR:

LVR = ((total # of current leads - total # of last month’s leads)/total # of last month’s leads))x100

lead velocity rate formula

Customer Retention Rate (CRR)

Definition of CRR:

Customer retention rate designates the percentage of customers the company has retained over a given time period.

How to Measure CRR:

CRR = ((total # customers  - total # of new customers)/ total # of customers) x 100

customer retention rate formula

Chapter 5


The Call-to-Action

Alright, fellow marketers, here is where we all know that it’s time to put in the CTA. The next step, the expected action we want you to take. As with any good piece content we do have a next step for you. Three actually.

Stop reporting fluff metrics.

If we want to be taken seriously as business-minded marketers, we have to act like. You should track web analytics, engagement metrics, and anything else that you need to determine the best strategy forward toward your goals, but stop presenting those things as the complete value you provide to a company.

New call-to-action

Get better data insights.

The value of your role in a company is huge and even with minimal data connection between departments, you’re in a position to spot, raise, and help solve some of the biggest issues your company might not know they’re having. For example: if you’re pipeline analysis shows that 45% of the MQLs delivered by marketing isn’t following up with for 6 days, then that’s an issue! If you find during your research that your traffic isn’t converting in any way to conversations, then you need to figure out if you have the right traffic.

Demand more seats at the table.

We strongly suggest doing this kindly, but don’t want to be asked for marketing insights, go get them and share them with those who need them the most. Make your value in business meetings so great that you’re invited to the most important, decision-making ones. Demanding doesn’t mean to bang your fists on the table, instead it’s create the demand. Create demand for your marketing insights.

call to action math for marketers

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