By Eric Dickmann

April 22, 2023

Business Metrics

Businesses must track their progress and measure their current position relative to their past and future goals. This data will guide their strategy and tell a story over time. It's crucial to identify the most important business metrics and collect the necessary data to build them.

Business metrics are used to measure performance. They are also known as KPIs or Key Performance Indicators. Metrics are tools that show a company's progress towards fulfilling its strategy. They highlight trends, problems areas, and opportunities for growth. However, for metrics to be meaningful, they must be based on good data. Accurate data is essential for reliable numbers.

Definition of a Business Metric

Business metrics are measurable indicators used to monitor and evaluate the success or failure of business processes. These metrics can be included in mission statements or strategic plans of different departments. Consistency is crucial - there must be a single version of the truth that is shared across all departments.

Why Do We Need Metrics?

Measuring metrics in your business is essential because it allows you to track your progress and make informed decisions. Metrics provide you with data that can help you identify areas where you need to improve or make changes. For example, if you are measuring customer satisfaction, you can use that data to improve your customer service or product offerings. Metrics also help you set goals and benchmarks for your business, which can motivate you and your team to work towards achieving them. By measuring metrics, you can also evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, sales strategies, and overall business performance.

Ultimately, measuring metrics helps you to make data-driven decisions that can lead to improved business outcomes and growth. They allow employees and managers to see how they are performing. Tangible goals can be set and monitored for achievement. Saying "We need to increase sales" is not actionable or measurable, but setting a goal of "We need to increase sales 15% by December 31st" is. Progress can be monitored and actions can be taken to reach the goal. Metrics are essential tools for managers to make informed decisions about the business.

Key Business Metrics

To effectively measure your business's performance, focus only on key indicators. Avoid tracking every single metric available. Several popular business metrics can indicate growth or decline:

Sales Revenue

To calculate sales revenue, subtract expenses from income. This calculation reveals the level of interest in your product or service and the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. It is an important metric for evaluating business performance.

Net Profit Margin

To calculate net profit margin, subtract monthly sales expenses from revenue. This indicates the company's profitability. It's also a tool for predicting future business growth.

Gross Margin

To calculate Gross Margin, subtract the cost of goods sold from total sales revenue, then divide by total sales revenue. A higher Gross Margin means greater earnings for the company. It can also indicate improved production processes. This metric is especially important for startups. 

Sales Growth

Sales Growth year-to-date measures the rate of increase or decrease in your company's sales revenue. Determine this by subtracting last year's sales from this year's sales. A positive result represents a gain, while a negative result indicates a loss.

Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score is a reflection of your product's quality and customer satisfaction level. It indicates the likelihood of customers recommending your product or service to others. To measure this marketing metric, customer surveys and interviews can be conducted and scored on a ten-point scale.

Monthly Website Traffic

Utilize Google Analytics to monitor your website's monthly traffic and traffic sources, to gain insight into how people discover your site. Increased awareness of your product leads to increased website visits. This metric also serves as a valuable performance indicator for your brand awareness campaigns.

Employee Satisfaction

Research indicates that happy employees tend to be more productive. In fact, studies show that productivity can increase by up to 12% when employees are satisfied with their work environment. To gather quick feedback on teamwork and personal satisfaction levels, consider conducting team surveys.

Essential Marketing Metrics

There are several essential marketing metrics that businesses should measure to evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. Some of the most important metrics include conversion rates, which measure the percentage of visitors to a website who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. Another key metric is customer acquisition cost, which calculates the cost of acquiring a new customer through marketing efforts. Additionally, businesses should track customer lifetime value, which measures the total revenue a customer generates over the course of their relationship with the company. Other important metrics include website traffic, bounce rate, social media engagement, and email open and click-through rates. By tracking these metrics, businesses can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize their marketing strategies.

Not All Businesses Have a Chief Marketing Officer

It's important to note in this discussion that not all businesses have the executive role of Chief Marketing Officer. This is especially true of small and midsize companies. In those firms, they might have a VP of Marketing, Director of Marketing or even a Marketing Manager. The title really doesn't matter. The concept of a fractional CMO is an experienced marketing manager who can help create a comprehensive strategy and manage its execution.

No matter what title may or may not exist within your organization, if you're looking to grow, chances are you'll find significant value and should contemplate the decision to hire a fractional CMO for your business.

A fractional CMO, or Chief Marketing Officer, can help improve business metrics by bringing in expertise and experience in marketing strategies and tactics. They can assess the current marketing efforts of the business and identify areas for improvement, such as targeting the right audience or creating more effective messaging. They can also help develop a comprehensive marketing plan that aligns with the overall business goals and objectives. Additionally, a fractional CMO can provide guidance and support in implementing the marketing plan and measuring its effectiveness through various metrics such as customer acquisition, retention rates, and revenue growth. By leveraging the expertise of a fractional CMO, businesses can improve their marketing efforts and ultimately drive better results.


Tracking essential metrics in your business is the key to success. By paying attention to these numbers, you can make informed decisions, identify areas for improvement, and ultimately grow your business. Remember: what gets measured, gets managed. So start measuring, start managing, and watch your business thrive!

It's time to grow your company!

Learn how a fractional CMO can help your business grow!

Contact us today to learn more about our Virtual CMO advisory service.

Eric Dickmann

About the author

Eric Dickmann is the Founder / CMO of The Five Echelon Group, host of the weekly podcast "The Virtual CMO" and YouTube series "Work-Life" and a fractional CMO for a variety of small and midsize companies. An executive leader with over 30 years of experience in marketing, product development, and digital transformation, he has worked with large, global companies and small startups to develop and execute marketing strategies to bring innovative products to the market.

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