Ask the Expert: Nick Panayi Discusses Essential B2B Marketing Metrics

January 22, 2016

Digital marketing expert Nick Panayi has more than 20 years of experience in B2B marketing. Nick currently serves as Head of Digital Marketing and Global Brand for Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), a global leader in IT services and solutions, and he was also a founder of Emorfie, a marketing consulting firm.

In this interview, Nick describes how he uses metrics and analytics throughout the funnel to achieve B2B marketing success.

Read on to discover which metrics Nick recommends for measuring and improving B2B marketing results..

Q&A with Nick Panayi, Head of Digital Marketing and Global Brand at CSC

LinkedIn: How do you define the difference between metrics and analytics?

Nick Panayi: Metrics are very important numbers you track across dashboards. But that’s not the end of the story – that’s just the beginning. Analytics is really about the investigation – the so what? Analytics help you drill deeper into the metrics and understand the variables at play so that you can identify actions to take to meet your business objectives.

LinkedIn: What is your desert island metric? The one metric your business can’t live without?

Nick Panayi: I’d say the ratio between Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) to Sales Accepted Leads (SALs). This is a very important hand-off. If you fail at the hand-off you lose credibility with sales. We treat this hand-off very carefully and actually spend a lot of energy shooting holes into our own leads before we give them to sales. We qualify, we put humans on top of it, we double qualify and handhold leads to make sure that ratio stays in the mid 80’s to 90 percent.

LinkedIn: What advice would you give to marketers for determining which metrics are the most important?

Nick Panayi: Start by asking yourself, “What does success look like for the business?” Are you looking to grow the base or get deeper into your existing base? Are you looking to move into other regions or raise brand awareness for the business as a whole?

After you’ve identified the strategic goals for the business you can then determine as a function what is most important to measure.

Also, it’s always a good call to sit down with your CMO and see what success looks like from their perspective.

LinkedIn: What would you say are the critical upper funnel metrics every company should be looking at?

Nick Panayi: Brand awareness is key to the upper funnel. If the right businesses don’t know who you are, you’re already in the hole.

The other important metric at the top of the funnel is engagement. Engagement can be defined many different ways by many different people. We look at the various avenues we try to reach you, the tactics leveraged to engage you across all channels and then segment our marketing across varying degrees – very engaged, engaged and not engaged. It’s critical we move prospects from the last bucket to the other two.

LinkedIn: What would you say are the critical lower funnel metrics every company should be looking at?

Nick Panayi: An important metric is tracking your ability to create qualified pipeline for the sales team through direct marketing initiated actions, aka the marketing sourced funnel.

Another critical metric to track is the marketing influenced funnel. There are companies the sales team are already engaged with but there are always individuals from those companies engaging with your marketing campaigns.

Even though you can’t claim marketing as the source of the lead in those cases, it’s important to track what individuals within that account you’ve influenced, and through which campaigns. The marketing influenced pipeline is important for not only credibility to sales but also because it identifies what marketing activities complement sales engagement.

LinkedIn: How often are you checking your data and adjusting your marketing accordingly?

Nick Panayi: Every single morning before my morning coffee. We use GoodData as the aggregator of multiple feeds from platforms like Salesforce CRM, Eloqua and Adobe. This live dashboard is what I call the “single version of truth.” We have this dashboard segmented by key metrics categories like leads funnel, campaign performance, content ratings, web stats, social engagement, etc. I’ll scan these visual indicators for outliers right away, every day and demand the same of everyone on my team.

To learn more about Nick and his company, visit CSC’s website. Also, check out Nick’s posts on LinkedIn for more of his marketing insights.

To learn more about measuring your marketing efforts to get better results, read The Sophisticated Marketer’s Crash Course in Metrics & Analytics.