Useless Argument #87: My Metrics Are Better Than Your Metrics

Posted by Patrick Kilgore on 6/22/16 11:49 AM

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Marketing metrics can get complicated. Many marketers now have access to a huge quantity of data – so much, in fact, that it risks becoming more overwhelming than helpful. That’s especially true for any marketers still accessing all their marketing analytics through spreadsheets that get sent back and forth within a department.

Numbers without context don’t really help anybody.  But a good marketing dashboard can give you meaningful insights that let you make better marketing decisions.  It should help you filter down and tease out differences in marketing channel conversion rates by region, product, campaign, etc.

Below are the four classes of metric measurement identified by SiriusDecisions.

  • Readiness metrics. For example, the number of people on the team, the skills that are represented amongst them, the size of your database.
  • Activity metrics. For example, number of blog posts you’re producing, how many emails you’ve sent, how many display ads you’ve prepared.
  • Output metrics. For example, email opens and clicks, blog post views, ebook downloads, webinar attendees.
  • Impact metrics. For example, marketing sourced revenue, marketing influenced revenue, increase in pipeline size and velocity.

While your dashboard can consolidate key metrics from all four categories, it’s important to focus on impact metrics.   

In a recent post, Visionedge Marketing says that most marketers are missing the mark when it comes to having an effective dashboard, because they are likely to be a mashup of activities and outputs only – not anchored to relevant business results. 

Other key points:

  • A good dashboard guides your actions and helps you mitigate risks. Your marketing dashboard should help you know what is and isn’t working. It should help you determine whether what you’re doing is moving the needle, and if so, how far and how fast.
  • Your dashboard should help you ascertain whether you are within proper operating and performance target parameters. If your marketing dashboard doesn’t guide your strategic and investment decisions, it’s time to return to the drawing board.
  • Begin with the end in mind. This approach will result in a much more effective marketing dashboard, one that will help you improve AND prove the value of your marketing.
  • Your dashboard should provide views for different groups of stakeholders (executives, marketing leadership, and marketing team).
  • Before you begin your dashboard, start by answering the following questions:
  1. What outcomes does your business need to achieve in order to meet your goals?
  2. What does senior management expect marketing to contribute towards these outcomes?
  3. How will senior management know that marketing has made a positive contribution?
For more information, check out this webinar with analyst Ross Graber from Sirius Decisions on Measurement as the Path to Improved Performance.

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