Don’t know your KPI? Prepare to fail
Don’t know your KPI? Prepare to fail
Don’t know your KPI? Prepare to fail

It’s true, I can get pretty preachy about stuff from time to time and sometimes, I admit, some of my ideas are lofty and esoteric and occasionally unrealistic in practice. I can be very pie in the sky about a lot of stuff. Whatever the case, I know I get pretty soapbox-y about measurement. I happen to feel that measurement may be the most important issue of our time as marketers. The world is so omni-channel and ambient that it is overwhelming to start implementing measurement strategies, practices, and tactics. I get it. It’s like trying to build a car while you are in a NASCAR race. It doesn’t feel feasible. But, despite this, it is going to be mission critical that you get measuring right now.

Knowing KPI = $$

Do you ever wonder what happens when you don’t KPImeasure? Well, our friends at HubSpot and Qualtrics recently published a report that was pretty dire for those who are not measuring their marketing efforts. And coincidentally gives my assertions of the importance of measurement even more oomph! The study found among other things that 74% of companies that weren’t exceeding revenue goals did not know their visitor, lead, MQL, or sales opportunities. One could make the leap that not knowing your KPI makes it harder to exceed revenue goals.

When you couple this with the fact that many CEOs do not trust their marketing team because we are not measuring, we should all be placing calls to IT to figure out where all of the data is located. It doesn’t have to be hard; let’s look at that list: visitors, leads, qualified leads, and sales opportunities. We should all be able to get at this information pretty quickly. But very few of us seem to be making it a priority. I have to wonder why? I know it is hard to look at the data because we are worried we might be failing. But in reality, that’s a story we are telling ourselves. If you’ve never looked before, it can’t be as much failure as it is a baseline from which you can start measuring.

You will fail if you do not start measuring.

Where to start

This information should be easy to get, easy to track, and easy to adjust tactics because of. And if you are not looking at this information regularly and planning your campaign tactics around your data, this is where failure is going to be found. You will fail if you do not start measuring. In fact, according to the study, if you don’t know your KPI, you are likely failing to meet revenue objectives. And for the department charged most frequently with growth, we must start measuring the KPI of growth, traffic, lead volume, cost per lead, cost per acquisition, and sales. The rest doesn’t matter a whole lot.

Much of this data is available to us. You need to get into your Google Analytics (or similar) account today. If you don’t know where your data is, call someone right now and find out. Get access. Start looking. If you need help looking or making sense of it, tweet me, I’ll help. You need to set up goal conversions in your analytics account. I know this sounds completely stupid to even write that in this blog, but I am guessing that many people do not have that set up yet. Again, need help? Ask. There are people all around you who probably know how to do this, and if you don’t know who can help you, ask your agency partner. You need to know this, and you need to know it right now. Your brand’s revenue goals are depending on it.

Now you’ll need to partner

This will at least get you the traffic and leads. As for qualified leads and sales, you need to work with your partners in sales to get at this information. You need to be able to access this information within your systems, and you need to be tracking this over time so you can see what your efforts are generating in terms of traffic, leads, MQL, and sales. Then you can simply do the math of what you spend on marketing to calculate the cost per lead and cost per sale. If you really want to shine, make a sweet little dashboard and share it with your boss so they can see the company’s month-over-month and quarter-over-quarter progress.

When you know these things, you are in a position to generate better results; you have information from people who consider and buy your product, and that is the only feedback your marketing strategies need. You need to know what works for people who consider and buy, and, until you know your KPI you’ll never grow the brand effectively.

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About the Author

Tracey Parsons
Since 1995, Tracey has been developing digital solutions. Currently SME Digital’s lead strategist, she continues to be dedicated to bringing cutting edge, thoughtful and measurable solutions to marketers. With more than 15 years in digital, Tracey not only brings vision, but the tools and strategies to execute against complex next generation concepts. She has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands to develop and devise cutting-edge social, mobile and digital marketing practices.

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