KPIs for Marketing

KPIs for Marketing: cost of goods sold

Learn about the essential KPIs for marketing and how to measure the cost of goods sold.

In today's business environment, measuring and analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) has become more important than ever. For marketers, one KPI that deserves special attention is the cost of goods sold (COGS). In this article, we'll delve into what COGS means in marketing, how to calculate it, and why it matters to your marketing strategy.

Understanding the Importance of KPIs in Marketing

Before we dive into COGS, let's take a moment to appreciate why KPIs are crucial for marketing success. KPIs are metrics that help you track the progress of your marketing efforts, measure their effectiveness, and identify areas that need improvement. By setting and monitoring KPIs, you can optimize your marketing campaigns to achieve better results, streamline your budget, and make data-driven decisions.

Marketing is a complex and ever-evolving field, and it can be challenging to determine which strategies and tactics are working and which are not. That's where KPIs come in. By measuring specific metrics, you can gain valuable insights into the performance of your marketing campaigns and make informed decisions about how to allocate your resources.

Defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Key performance indicators are quantitative metrics that measure how well your business is achieving specific goals. KPIs can vary depending on the nature of your business, but they should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

For example, if your marketing goal is to increase website traffic, your KPI might be the number of unique visitors to your site within a given timeframe. If your goal is to generate leads, your KPI might be the number of leads generated through your marketing efforts.

Other common KPIs in marketing include conversion rates, customer acquisition cost, social media engagement, email open rates, and more. By selecting the right KPIs for your business, you can gain a clear understanding of how your marketing efforts are contributing to your overall success.

The Role of KPIs in Marketing Strategy

When it comes to marketing strategy, KPIs serve as a compass that guides your decisions. By tracking your KPI performance, you can understand what's working and what's not, and adjust your tactics accordingly.

For example, if you notice that your website traffic is increasing but your conversion rates are low, you might need to adjust your website design or messaging to better align with your target audience. Or, if you find that your customer acquisition cost is too high, you might need to explore new marketing channels or adjust your targeting criteria.

KPIs also enable you to align your marketing goals with your business objectives. By setting KPIs that are directly tied to your overall business goals, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are contributing to your bottom line.

Finally, KPIs allow you to measure the ROI of your marketing investments. By tracking the performance of your marketing campaigns and comparing it to the cost of those campaigns, you can determine which strategies are most effective and make informed decisions about how to allocate your marketing budget.

In conclusion, KPIs are an essential tool for any marketer looking to optimize their campaigns, measure their effectiveness, and make data-driven decisions. By selecting the right KPIs and tracking their performance over time, you can gain valuable insights into the success of your marketing efforts and make informed decisions about how to move forward.

Breaking Down the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)

Now, let's turn our attention to COGS. Simply put, COGS is the cost of producing the goods or services that your business sells. COGS is an essential metric for any business that sells physical products, as it directly impacts your profitability. The lower your COGS, the higher your profit margin.

Understanding COGS is crucial for any business owner, as it allows you to analyze your production costs and make informed decisions about pricing, inventory, and profitability. By breaking down the components of COGS, you can identify areas where you can reduce costs and increase efficiency.

What is the Cost of Goods Sold?

COGS is the total cost associated with producing and delivering your products. This includes the cost of materials, labor, shipping, and any other variable expenses directly related to production. In other words, COGS does not include fixed costs such as rent, insurance, or marketing expenses.

COGS is a critical metric for any business, as it helps you determine how much it costs to produce each unit of your product. By calculating your COGS, you can set prices that are competitive and profitable, while also ensuring that you're not underpricing your products and leaving money on the table.

Components of COGS

COGS consists of three main components: direct materials, direct labor, and overhead costs. Direct materials are the raw materials and supplies used in production, such as wood, steel, or plastic. Direct labor is the cost of labor directly involved in producing the goods, such as wages for assembly line workers. Overhead costs refer to all indirect costs associated with production, such as utilities, rent, or maintenance.

It's important to note that the components of COGS may vary depending on the nature of your business. For example, if you're a software company, your COGS may include the cost of developing and maintaining your software, as well as the cost of hosting and delivering it to customers.

Calculating COGS for Your Business

To calculate COGS, you'll need to gather data on your direct materials, direct labor, and overhead costs. Then, add these figures together to get your total COGS. For instance, if your direct materials cost $20,000, your direct labor cost $10,000, and your overhead cost $5,000, your total COGS would be $35,000.

Calculating COGS can be a complex process, especially if you have a large and diverse product line. However, there are many tools and software programs available that can help you streamline the process and ensure that your calculations are accurate.

Remember, understanding your COGS is essential for running a profitable business. By analyzing your production costs and identifying areas for improvement, you can increase efficiency, reduce waste, and ultimately boost your bottom line.

COGS as a Marketing KPI

So, why is COGS a meaningful KPI for marketers? First of all, as mentioned earlier, COGS directly impacts your profitability. By reducing your COGS, you can increase your profit margins and allocate more resources to your marketing efforts. Additionally, tracking your COGS can help you identify areas for improvement in your production processes and supply chain, which can translate into better customer experiences and brand loyalty.

Why COGS Matters in Marketing

Another reason why COGS is important from a marketing perspective is that it affects your pricing strategy. If your COGS is too high, you may not be able to offer competitive pricing compared to your competitors. This can result in losing potential customers who are looking for a better deal. On the other hand, if your COGS is too low, you may leave money on the table and miss out on potential profits. By setting a target COGS and monitoring it regularly, you can optimize your pricing strategy to maximize your profits and attract more customers.

Moreover, COGS can also impact your marketing budget. By reducing your COGS, you can allocate more funds towards your marketing initiatives, such as advertising, promotions, and events. This can help you increase your brand awareness, generate more leads, and ultimately drive more sales.

Setting COGS Targets for Marketing Success

To set a COGS target that aligns with your marketing goals, you'll need to consider various factors such as production volume, materials costs, labor availability, and more. Setting a realistic and achievable COGS target requires thorough analysis and forecasting, but it's an investment that can pay off in the long run.

Moreover, setting a target COGS can also help you streamline your production processes and reduce waste. By involving your production team in the process and incentivizing them to meet the target, you can motivate them to optimize their performance and identify areas for improvement. This can result in better quality products, faster turnaround times, and ultimately, happier customers.

Monitoring and Adjusting COGS KPIs

Finally, it's essential to monitor your COGS KPI regularly and adjust it as needed. By tracking your COGS trend over time, you can identify patterns and anomalies that may affect your marketing strategy. For example, if your COGS is increasing or fluctuating unexpectedly, you may need to investigate the root causes and take corrective actions.

Moreover, by optimizing your COGS on an ongoing basis, you can gain a competitive edge in your market and deliver better value to your customers. This can result in higher customer satisfaction, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

In conclusion, COGS is a critical KPI for marketers as it directly impacts your profitability, pricing strategy, marketing budget, and customer satisfaction. By setting realistic COGS targets, involving your production team, and monitoring your COGS trend over time, you can optimize your marketing efforts and drive long-term success.

Other Essential Marketing KPIs to Consider

COGS is just one of many KPIs that marketers should track and measure. Here are a few other essential marketing KPIs to consider:

Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI)

ROMI measures the revenue generated by your marketing efforts compared to the cost of those efforts. By calculating ROMI, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and adjust your budget accordingly. ROMI can help you allocate your marketing budget to the channels that generate the most profitable results.

For example, let's say you spent $10,000 on a social media campaign and generated $25,000 in revenue from that campaign. Your ROMI would be 2.5 ($25,000 / $10,000), meaning that for every dollar you spent on the campaign, you generated $2.50 in revenue.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

CAC is the cost of acquiring a new customer, including all marketing and sales expenses. By calculating CAC, you can determine how much you need to invest to acquire each new customer and compare it to the lifetime value of that customer. CAC can help you optimize your marketing funnel and focus on the channels that bring the most valuable leads.

For example, if you spent $5,000 on a marketing campaign that generated 50 new customers, your CAC would be $100 ($5,000 / 50). If the lifetime value of a customer is $500, then your CAC is relatively low, and you may want to invest more in that marketing channel.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

CRO measures how well your website or landing page converts visitors into leads or customers. By optimizing your conversion rate, you can increase your revenue without spending more on advertising. CRO involves testing and refining your website design, copywriting, and user experience to eliminate friction and boost your conversion rates.

For example, if your website has a conversion rate of 2%, that means that out of 100 visitors, only 2 become customers. By optimizing your website's design, copywriting, and user experience, you can increase your conversion rate and generate more revenue from the same amount of traffic.

In conclusion, tracking and measuring marketing KPIs is essential for any business that wants to grow and succeed. By focusing on KPIs such as ROMI, CAC, and CRO, you can optimize your marketing campaigns and generate more revenue from your marketing efforts.


To sum up, COGS is a vital KPI for marketers as it influences your profitability, pricing strategy, and customer experience. By setting a COGS target and monitoring it regularly, you can optimize your production costs and improve your marketing outcomes. However, COGS is just one of many KPIs that matter in marketing. To achieve marketing success, you need to track and measure a variety of KPIs and adjust your tactics based on data-driven insights.