How to Develop Marketing Metrics That Deliver for Your Business
The Importance of Deliverable Marketing MetricsWhat does it mean for a marketing metric to deliver? How can a number impact the real-world development of a company, determining strategic direction and, ultimately, whether or not that business is a success? Data-driven decision-making is a common phrase thrown around in marketing meetings nowadays. While just uttering the term "data-driven" won't magically make your business decisions more reliable, a commitment to understanding your data and using it to create meaningful performance metrics will contribute to long-term success. For this reason alone, it's important to develop marketing metrics that go beyond basic headline numbers. Instead, marketers must commit to numbers that evaluate the overall cost of marketing and then put them in the context of key business measures such as revenue, brand awareness, and customer experience.
Start at the EndFar from being an illogical approach to measurement, beginning from your objectives and working backward to develop marketing metrics forces you to keep goals at the heart of your reporting. Set your metrics in the context of what you want to get out, compared to the time you're willing to invest. Your company probably has several business objectives depending on the department, so try to select the few that are mission-critical before working back to numbers that quantify the progress you're making. This approach tends to works best when you can boil the objective down to just a sentence or two. Begin with terms and phrases that define the things that influence your desired outcome, then align those elements with numbers that demonstrate movement towards and away from that objective. Examples of objectives that you might turn into measurements are:
- Raise brand awareness
- Improve customer experience
- Shorten our sales cycle
- Generate more sales leads
- Increase average customer order value
- Improve customer retention
- Develop brand loyalty
SMART Goals and Meaningful MetricsMany businesses pride themselves on being responsive. Answering customer questions promptly and efficiently is clearly important, but how many companies actually translate that broad goal into a metric they can use to track performance and achieve their objective? As with many measurement efforts, the tried-and-trusted approach of SMART goals can be used to move from intent to action. For example, that broad objective of being responsive to customers can be translated into a SMART goal like this one:
Specific: We will respond to all customer questions immediately and resolve issues within 24 hours of receipt. Measurable: Calls will be answered within three rings of the line. Support tickets will be closed within 24 hours of being opened by a service rep. Attainable: We will have sufficient service team members on hand to meet the response and resolution metrics. Relevant: Improving response rates and connecting with customers is the core of our brand; therefore, we must exemplify that quality to all customers. Time-based: Response and resolution metrics will be reviewed every month for compliance. If targets are not achieved, we will implement improvement measures that will restore service levels before the next monthly review.Check out this recent article by Fit Small Business for more examples of SMART goals your company could emulate.
Calculate and ContextualizeEven when you've developed marketing metrics that reflect the company's core objectives, it's important to remember that the job is only just getting started. It's still vital to understand the ins and outs of your calculations, adjust as appropriate, and gain insights that help your business to change direction. These insights are more important than the numbers in isolation. Remember, the reason for these reports is to guide decisions, even if they are tough to make, not to do everything you can just to make the accompanying graphs look good! [search-tag]
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