The Most Important KPIs for B2B Veterinary Marketers in 2024

March 22, 2024
5 min

The landscape of marketing KPIs is very different in a cookie-less world. From the disappearance of third-party cookies and the iOS changes that have altered the value of email open rates to the zero-click content on Google that impacts our visibility and marketing attribution, the way B2B veterinary marketers evaluate performance is in a paradigm shift. It’s an exciting time! But one that requires a new outlook. 

So, let’s look at the metrics that no longer matter and uncover the essential marketing KPIs for today’s B2B veterinary marketer. 

But first, a brief review of data:

  • Third-party data is data you buy, such as list purchases.
  • Second-party data is someone else’s first-party data that you utilize. For example, if you run an email through the Clinician’s Brief database, you are leveraging Clinician’s Brief’s first-party data to reach your audience.
  • First-party data is data you own. It’s gathered from cookies you utilize on your website, based on visitor opt-in, or from contact conversions in your database.

Second and first-party data are becoming more crucial as third-party cookies are phased out and restricted by web browsers. B2B veterinary marketers are turning to media outlets such as Clinician’s Brief to leverage second-party data approaches to reach and convert leads into their databases.

Now, let’s dive into the key marketing KPIs you should track in 2024!


What we cared about yesterday: Impressions, pageviews, bounce rate, and open rate

What we care about today: Engagement

Impressions and reach are still important, but today’s B2B veterinary marketers focus on what happens after those impressions. It’s not enough to have eyeballs on your content (programmatic ads for brand awareness being an exception). What we want is engagement with our content. 

Google Analytics

Engaged sessions > pageviews

If you’re responsible for managing website metrics, you’re already aware of the changes that came with the switch from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). 

If you’re not, here are the main points:

  • GA4 functions differently than UA. GA4 measures engagement and conversions rather than sessions and pageviews. This fundamental shift has made measuring year-over-year metrics challenging. 
  • The bounce rate can bounce. Why? Simple. It wasn’t an accurate measure of engagement. If a user went to your site, found what they were looking for, and left, you did a great job quickly getting them to the right place. Historically, bounce rates were an indicator of site health, and high bounce rates meant an unhealthy site. Now, we look at engaged sessions to evaluate our success in connecting users to what they want. Engaged sessions are considered to last longer than 10 seconds, have one or more conversion events, or have two or more page views.
  • GA4 captures user-centric measurement across multiple sessions and platforms. The task of the B2B veterinary marketer has become narrower and more niche over the years, and the way we measure metrics is finally catching up.

Email Metrics

Click rates > open rates

We used to hang our hat on open rates! They were a critical marketing KPI, and we still keep a pulse on them. But today, the metric that matters most is the click rate because it’s an indicator of engagement. Taking it one step further, B2B veterinary marketers should also track the conversion rate of those email clicks. It can help establish target benchmarks for email performance.

Click rate or click-through rate? What’s the difference? And which is better? 

You’ll want to determine which metric to track as you establish your benchmarks and ensure your team knows which metric you are measuring and what it means. The click rate will be more accurate due to the iOS changes, but it will result in a much smaller number than the click-through rate. 

  • Click rate is the percentage of people who clicked a link in your email out of the total number of people who received it. For example, if 10,000 people receive your email and 100 click a link, your click rate would be 1%.
  • Click-through rate is the percentage of people who clicked a link in your email out of the total number of people who opened your email. This metric uses open rate data, which is less reliable due to iOS changes. For example, if 1,000 people open your email out of the 10,000 who receive it and 100 click a link, your click-through rate would be 10%.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

Marketing KPIs we cared about yesterday: CPC, Impressions

Marketing KPIs we care about today: ROI, Conversion Rate

To be fair, ROI is eternally important. However, the GA4 integration with Google Ads allows for a deeper understanding of the ROI of ad campaigns. As we say goodbye to third-party data, some marketers report less effective CPC campaigns. 

In a recent lecture at the Philadelphia Digital Marketing Summit, Randy Fishkin shared that Google automatically adds keywords to CPC campaigns it considers relevant. For some, this is not good news as it results in fewer conversions at a higher cost per conversion.

Focus on conversion rates and ROI data to evaluate the true success of your CPC campaigns. If you see a drop in efficacy on CPC channels, consider leveraging campaigns through media partners like VetMedux.

Cross-Channel Lead Generation Campaigns

Marketing KPIs we cared about yesterday: Impressions, Reach, ROI

Marketing KPIs we care about today: CPL, Conversion Rate, ROI

In the past, we focused on getting as many eyes on our message as possible. Today, we’re more savvy and selective, preferring the right audiences’ attention at the right time on the right channel for lead generation campaigns. 

Instead of focusing on impressions and reach, we’ve tuned into cost per lead (CPL) to establish an honest apples-to-apples comparison of campaign performance by channel. As promotional channels have grown, CPL data has become more important, allowing marketers to determine which channels produce the most leads, cheapest leads, highest quality leads, and the best ROI.

For best results, track lead generation from each promotional channel separately to evaluate:

  • Number of leads
  • Cost per lead (CPL)
  • Conversion rate of leads to sales
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA)
  • Return on investment (ROI)

Remember your customers. Have you ever found yourself chasing new leads and neglecting your current customers? Chances are it’s happened from time to time. Keep a close eye on customer lifetime value (CLV or LTV) to ensure you’re not neglecting your most valuable asset—your customers. Customer retention and expansion strategies can lessen the burden on your team to find and cultivate new business. 


Marketing KPIs we cared about yesterday: Traffic and Reach

Marketing KPIs we care about today: Conversions

Traffic is brilliant, but conversions are better. Historically, we paid attention to metrics like website traffic and audience reach. Now, we care more about conversions. If a campaign shows high traffic and low conversions, the campaign needs a tweak or a possible overhaul. On the flip side, if a campaign shows low traffic but high conversions, it’s reaching the right people, and the message is resonating.

Traffic and reach vanity metrics can inflate the sense of campaign success. For a clear view of outcomes, focus on conversions.


Marketing KPIs we cared about yesterday: Total number of leads

Marketing KPIs we care about today: Quality of leads

Not all leads are created equal. Marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and sales-qualified leads (SQLs) are much more desirable. MQLs and SQLs also cost more to convert than unqualified leads. 

Sophisticated B2B veterinary marketers establish lead quality goals in modern campaign planning to target realistic CPL goals based on the desired lead qualifications.

Organic Social Media

Marketing KPIs we cared about yesterday: Followers

Marketing KPIs we care about today: Engagement

When considering a social influencer to promote your brand, what’s the first thing you look at? Their number of followers, of course! You need someone with a massive reach. But what do you look at next? Your best next step is to check the engagement rate of those followers. When the rubber meets the road, the engagement rate is the critical metric for predicting the quality of the social influencer.

This same principle applies to your brand’s social media. You can buy followers, but there is no value in a large audience of unengaged people (and possible bots). It’s the right idea to invest in the quality of your social content to drive engagement.

Paid Social Pro Tip: When do you know it’s time to turn off a social ad? The answer is in the impressions and reach. Impressions indicate the number of times your ad has been viewed. Reach is the number of people your ad is being served to. If impressions are 2 or 3 times higher than the number of people your ad is reaching, it’s time to turn it off and refresh the creative, launch a whole new ad, or try a new audience. Typically, once your ad has been seen by your target audience 2-3 times, you’ll see results taper off.

Optimize Your Next Campaign 

Contact VetMedux to leverage our first-party data to reach your ideal customer. We can customize campaigns and audiences based on your goals and our behavioral and demographic information database.