We’re 5 sessions into the 5th cohort of the Digital Marketing class at General Assembly. Each Monday, we take the first 15-20 minutes to answer the questions that the students post in our class tracker after each session. Below are the questions and answers from sessions 3 and 4, which were almost totally focused on the marketing funnel.

  • Q: At what point does inbound marketing apply outside of digital marketing?
  • A: It doesn’t. Inbound marketing can be considered part of or a subset of digital marketing. Hubspot, a leader in the inbound marketing space, defines “inbound marketing” like this: “inbound is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.” Hubspot’s inbound marketing visual illustration is shown below.

  • Q: What KPIs would you track for a blog?
  • A: First of all, everyone should blog. Now that we’ve established that, you must have goals for your blog, whether those goals are traffic, authority, leads, or even therapy. Writing can be extremely therapeutic and cathartic. Once you set your goal, then you create KPIs – key performance indicators – that help you know on a day to day basis if you are on track to meet your goal(s). For example, if you want to write 100 posts in a year, then you should average about 2 posts per week. If your goal is to establish yourself as an authority in your space, then your KPI might be actual views and shares of your posts within your designated market or community.


  • Q: What’s the best way to present these metrics/KPIs in an easy to understand way?
  • A: Think about the dashboard of your car. There are thousands of things you can measure on your car: tire pressure, engine temp, outside temp, RPMs, MPG, MPH, oil pressure, wind resistance, tire wear, left turns, right turns…you get the idea. But which of those things do you really care about seeing all the time, and which of those things do you really only want to know when something is really wrong? Below is a stand dashboard on a new car. You can see that there are only a handful of metrics that you watch on a regular basis. Everything else only shows up when something is wrong.

  • Q: Is the Marketing Funnel what is practiced among the people that do this for a living or do they use a different method?
  • A: The marketing funnel happens whether you are tracking and measuring it or not. Every organization’s funnel looks a little different. For example, an eCommerce site typically won’t focus on generating leads, but rather sales. A B2B SaaS provider will focus heavily on generating leads and then how well they close those leads with their outbound sales efforts. So, whatever method any organization uses to visualize their funnel, there is always a funnel because every organization targets a large number of prospects and ends up with a smaller number of leads and then a smaller number of customers who pay a certain amount and there are costs of clicks, costs of leads, costs of customers, and costs of sales.
  • Q: How do you find click through and conversion rates when you are starting from scratch?
  • A: When you’re just starting out, whether it’s a new brand or a blog you’re starting from scratch, your first marketing efforts and assumptions will be just that: assumptions. That’s a marketing word for “educated guess”, and you’ll have to get used to making solid, informed guesses until you are able to define your “normal” click-through rates, conversion rates, average order value, etc.

Now that we’ve built a solid base of understanding about metrics and measuring success, we’re now jumping head first into Google Analytics. A quick note on that: I’m leading a Google Analytics Certification Bootcamp on Friday, December 11, from 10am-4pm at General Assembly. If you need to learn and use Google Analytics for your job – or to get a new better job! – then this boot camp may be for you. You’ll actually take the Google Analytics IQ exam at the end of class.

What do you think about that?