Marketing metrics

Jun 08, 2017

There’s a critical set of benchmarks you need to measure so you’ll know what works, what doesn’t, and how to be more effective.

Zweig Group’s 2016 Marketing Survey found that 27 percent of A/E/P and environmental firms did not create a formal marketing plan. You can’t improve what you don’t measure.

Make your marketing count. Here are seven marketing metrics you need to be tracking.

  1. Revenue/sales goals. While not exactly a measure of your firm’s marketing success, revenue or sales goals should be the cornerstone of your firm’s marketing plan and strategy. Are you consistently meeting your goals or falling short? If you don’t like the answer to this question, maybe you need to adjust your goals or re-evaluate your marketing techniques or spending. Zweig Group’s 2017 Marketing Survey found that only 49 percent of respondents had revenue/sales goals as a part of their firm’s marketing plan. Related to this is measuring the actual dollar volume of work sold. Only 71 percent of all firms track this metric and only 33 percent share this information with marketing staff. These goals should be directly correlated with the firm’s marketing budget. It seems like a no-brainer, but only 45 percent of firms prepare an annual marketing budget. Not only does your firm need to do this, but someone needs to hold your firm accountable to sticking to it. On average, a marketing budget is 5 percent of net revenue.
  2. New/repeat client ratio. Only 75 percent of firms track this. You have to know if you are retaining clients. It’s also important to know if a large volume of your work is dependent on one or two main clients – that’s a dangerous position to be in. Set goals to keep repeat clients as well as develop new business. For the average firm in this industry about one-quarter of all work comes from new clients and the rest from repeat clients.
  3. Proposal hit rate. You have to know how many proposals your firm is sending out both in dollar value and actual number, as well as your average win rate. According to the 2016 Marketing Survey, the average A/E firm submitted 332 proposals in 2015 for a total dollar value of $69.4 million. These firms were shortlisted for 22 percent of proposals submitted and ultimately won 41 percent of those they were shortlisted for. Fast-growth firms submitted 53 percent more proposals than the average firm! If your win rate is far less than this, you may need to take a look at what you’re doing. Think about how much more revenue you could earn by winning just 4 percent more proposals.
  4. Total number of contacts in the CRM database or contact mailing list. Do you know either of these numbers? If not, you should.
  5. All the statistics relating to your website. According to the marketing survey, the average number of unique visits per week in this industry is only around 750. You also need to know your website bounce rate and average length of visit.
  6. Qualified leads via each marketing channel and leads that result in jobs. While this can be hard to measure, do your best, then spend money on the things that are bringing in the most money.
  7. Social media statistics. You should know followers, average engagement, and overall impressions. This is one area where constant growth is possible. Set goals and achieve them!

If you aren’t measuring these things, it’s not too late. Start now and see how much more effective your marketing becomes.

Christina Zweig Niehues is Zweig Group’s director of marketing. Contact her at

This article is from issue 1198 of The Zweig Letter. Interested in more management advice every week from Mark Zweig, the Zweig Group team, and a talented list of other guest writers? Click here to subscribe or get a free trial of The Zweig Letter.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.