Many brands use site traffic as a key metric to judge their marketing effectiveness. But sometimes, less can be more.
One marketer recently implemented an ABM strategy, and was excited to present the results to his board. While preparing the report, he notice something alarming: Not only had the company’s website traffic decreased, it had plummeted.
This was when he noticed something alarming. Not only had the company’s website traffic decreased; it had all but plummeted. He started to feel panic, until he realized what was actually happening.
No offense to anyone who loves showing site stats to execs to showcase who is visiting their web presence, but website traffic can sometimes be a false positive metric. It makes you feel good, but doesn’t really give any valuable insight.
Let’s say your company just put out several press releases about leadership hirings and a bunch of partnership announcements. This is all great, positive news—but it doesn’t really have anything to do with your customers. These announcements might generate a bit of buzz and get more eyeballs to your website, but are these really the people you want to attract?
Back to our panicking marketer. After getting past their initial alarm, he and his team dug into the issue deeper and found some enlightening discoveries. For starters, they found that 70 percent of the traffic they had been getting prior to starting the ABM program was coming from non-target accounts. This means they never would’ve wanted, or had much success with, 70 percent of the people visiting their website.
Then after engaging in their ABM strategy for six months, their traffic was steadily decreasing. But, at this point, 70 percent of the traffic they were getting was actually from their target accounts. This unleashed a whole new world of depth, proper fit and customer possibilities.
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When you start evaluating traditional metrics, like site traffic, and questioning their worth, it’s going to feel weird. It’s going to feel counterintuitive and you might run into a few situations where you’re seeing numbers that seem really scary. But this is a natural part of the progression that’s taking place in marketing today—and it’s a very necessary step.
As an industry, we’re finally moving on from placing a premium on vanity metrics, like site traffic and lead volume, to measuring whether we’re targeting (and reaching) the right people at the right companies with the right messaging. That’s huge. It’s causing us to fundamentally challenge the status quo, and improve as marketers, and that is exciting.
So the next time you see your site traffic decrease, or your lead volume go down, ask yourself why this is happening. It could be for a negative reason, or it could be because you’re finally targeting and attracting the people who are most likely—and best suited—to become your customers.
As fiction writer Ray Davis once said, “Status quos are made to be broken.” This is never more true than in the fast-moving, ever-evolving world of marketing.