This past weekend I was lucky enough to catch up with a friend I hadn’t seen in over four years. We decided to keep it safe and distanced and go hiking. It also meant I got to meet her super cute puppy!
While we were talking through all the things that have happened over the years she started talking about her job. She mentioned that the part she loves is instant feedback. I asked her what that meant and she went on to explain:
In previous jobs, my marketing efforts would go into the void. I never knew what was working. The sales cycle was so long, years in fact, and we never had a good system to measure anything. Now, I get feel back on my campaigns, even if it’s negative. I love it!
I started thinking to myself, “How does that even happen? How can a company sustain if they never measure anything?”
Then I remembered, I’ve worked at that kind of organization. I was working at a company that was transitioning from government grants to commercial offerings. With grants, there was no need for sales or marketing teams. When the company started standing up these teams, there was so much that they didn’t know about what they didn’t know. There were tools and platforms purchased, people hired, and things created. However, there was no real strategy, tactics, or measurement plan in place.
I cannot speak to all organizations that struggle with measurement. But with the ones that I’ve had exposure to, it comes down to not being aware of what’s possible. It’s not a priority because the company is still moving along, making money, keeping customers. Taking a step back and learning how to better measure their efforts doesn’t seem important.
What if you could measure your efforts? What if you could make more money? Imagine a scenario where your team or company is doing well, you’re profitable, but you don’t know how to take it to that next level. Where do you start?
I asked our slack community what advice they would give and here is what they said:
“Line up your business goals and key principles. Then your strategies, tactics. With all that in place, you can then figure out which metrics are important to your goals, principles, strategy, and tactics. There’s so much to measure, so you have to have some alignment for the metrics to tell the right/best story.”
“Focus on only a handful of KPIs that truly have an impact on their business goals. There are a lot of things you can look at, but which indicators will really move the needle for them? They shouldn’t try to measure too much, and separate the nice to have from the essentials to simplify their reports.”
“Keep it simple. Select three to five metrics to track. The metrics must align with their business goals. Also, since they’re just starting out, they’ll need to align on how the metrics will be tracked and the cadence they’ll use for reporting. Ideally, the tracking would be transparent and open to stakeholders, but that may not be feasible. Alternately, they’ll share progress periodically. The team will then agree on who owns the tracking and reporting, and memorialize those decisions. Also, they’ll schedule a future conversation to check-in and find out if the metrics are meaningful and applicable or if they should be modified.”
“Start slow then ramp up if needed. You don’t have to become a measurement metric maven overnight. And you don’t have to marry the KPIs you choose right now. Consistency is key, but if you find that measuring “X” is not as valuable as a metric as you thought it was, allow yourself the opportunity to revise or upgrade your dashboard. And every KPI needs to have an owner.”
What advice would you give? Let me know in our free slack community, Analytics for Marketers
Need help with your marketing data and analytics?
You might also enjoy:
Get unique data, analysis, and perspectives on analytics, insights, machine learning, marketing, and AI in the weekly Trust Insights newsletter, Data in the Headlights. Subscribe now for free; new issues every Wednesday!
Want to learn more about data, analytics, and insights? Subscribe to In-Ear Insights, the Trust Insights podcast, with new 10-minute or less episodes every week.