Marketing Metrics Aren’t Cool, Context Is.

Too often, we come across resumes filled with metrics that fail to provide value to the reader. Including metrics such as CPC, CPL, CPA, CPM, or CPP (or any metrics, really) without accompanying context does little to your resume. Simply mentioning numerical figures without providing context to potential employers will not impress recruiters

Why is it not cool?

I know exactly what they are trying to do—showcasing metrics to demonstrate that you know what you are doing, and hoping that the recruiter will be impressed.

Not only from the recruiting front, but this is also happening in day-to-day marketing operations. Be it in a meeting with a marketing agency or within my team, I often find myself in a situation where they only speak marketing languages and showcase a lot of metrics with surface-level insights to the other team (non-marketing).

I don’t think it’s bad in a sense; it’s just not that helpful and feels incomplete. And if you feel you are currently doing that, I have one more easy step to level up your game: to bridge the gap between marketing metrics and business objectives.

Understanding the Business Objective Puts You One Step Ahead

I just want to emphasize that wherever you work, at whatever scale and across industries, marketing metrics are always a subset of business metrics
Let me explain with this lead gen funnel below…

Lead generation funnel from SME & Large enterprises.

I am using the lead generation funnel as an example because I think it’s simpler compared to the transactional funnel. And, of course, I have more experience there 😉.

The most important part is that we need to clearly define which marketing metrics we should focus on, considering the industry, business model, and scale.

Company with ~300 employees will need to invest in brand metrics (brand recall reach, impressions, etc) because they need more volume & scale at top of the funnel to impact their bottom line revenue. However SMEs will not care(or rather should not) that much on such metrics because it does not effectively increase their business metrics. I am not saying that going viral on TikTok will not help the business; this is just a super simplification of the concept.

Ultimately, it is always a numbers game. How can all the marketing metrics we optimize and focus on help the business metrics in general? So, next time you present or working on your resume, try to think and explain why that metrics you show are important to the business!

How to Choose the Right Metrics?

Now onto the sexy part! You can write & present metrics like CTR, CPO, CPC, COO, CPM, CPL, CPA, CPR, or whatever metrics you can gather from all marketing platform, but it will not be very helpful if you don’t clearly showcase how they can benefit the business. And I bet you are not aware I made up some metrics there :))

If you are asking me how to pick the right metrics, I will do it by exercising three simple step:

Step 1 – Is there any marketing metric that can be tied directly with business metrics?

Taking an example from the lead gen funnel above, are number of leads sufficient? Or should we consider number of leads that got connected? I don’t know the answer; you know better!

I recommend you to discuss this with your direct report & other department to align which one is more important to the business. Once aligned, use that as our primary marketing metrics to be optimized towards.

Step 2 – Is there any supporting metrics from marketing that can help us understand our marketing performance?

With that primary metrics, now we can go one step deeper into marketing metrics (or marketing languages). Ask yourself that questions and try to come up with metrics that can help you understand your marketing performance. It can be cost, it can be competition (CPM / CPC), it can be anything.

On our example above, I would include cost and use Cost Per Leads or Cost Per Connected Leads as a supporting metrics.

Step 3 – What is the campaign about and who are we targeting to?

This one is quite simple but often overlooked; you need to clearly define which campaign are we working on—is it overall funnel, a retention funnel, a nurturing funnel or an acquisition funnel?

Each segment will resonate & perform differently because each one is at different stage of their customer journey. Let your audience know which segment are in discussions!

Last but not least: context, context, context.

Cost and leads volume, weekly & monthly comparison.

Chart1 – Including trend

  • Leads volume is on an increasing trend by 2.6x on the first 3 weeks.
  • Cost have also increased slightly by ~12% in the same directions on the first 3 weeks.
  • Cost is slightly declining on the week 4th of July but the leads volume drastically dropped.

Chart2 – without trend

  • We spend about $3.8k on July.
  • Garnering around ~19 leads.

Now, isn’t it super obvious which chart gave us more insights? Of course, there are some nuances in each report, but I know you get the idea. Last but not least, we always need to put context on what was happening. Is it doing better? Is it doing worse?

By laying all that context in such a way, we can understand the root cause of why is it happening and easily align on the potential action items or initiatives to improve performance.

Isn’t it clear that context is cooler than the metrics themselves now?

At the end of the day, marketing is a subset of any business function, it is critical to share context on why that metric is so valuable to the business. The closer you are to the revenue or business function, your role to share that context is becoming more important.

Putting all that fancy marketing metrics when there is not one marketing person in the room is just plain stupid. Ideally the marketing job is to tone down that “marketing language” & “marketing metrics” into something that is easier to comprehend by our audience.

Lastly, remember to know your audience and what are they trying to achieve. If you can share some insights & context that can help them do their job better, it will definitely help you present & showcase your job better.

Don’t forget guys…
Context, context, context!

Thanks to Shaffa Renaningtyas for reading drafts of this.

PS: Would love feedback to my writing, feel free to reach out at