The marketing process has two distinct sides, the creative process, and the analytically driven discussion. There are a variety of tools that can be used to gauge the success of your marketing strategy, and one such indicator is the Key Performance Indicator (KPI).
KPIs are a way to analyze if you are reaching your tangible marketing goals, which helps drive data-oriented marketing. Every company will have unique goals depending on their respective performance criteria and priorities, however, there are some general guidelines and principles that are applicable to all.
What is KPI?
A marketing key performance indicator (KPI) is a numerical measure, which a company can use to determine if they’re meeting their strategic marketing goals. They help you delve deeper and actually comprehend the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.
The KPIs used by each business are unique to their performance criteria or priorities. However, there are still indicators used decisively throughout the industry.
The following are characteristics that make up a KPI:
- Quantitative- the results come in a numerical format
- Time sensitive- set time parameters are in place to act as checkpoints
- Practical- integrate with current company goals and processes
- Directional- help determine if a company is improving
Types of Measurement:
Different measurements exist to gauge the effectiveness of a marketing strategy; the following are some of the most common in the industry.
Return on Investment (ROI)
This is said to be one of the most important KPIs because it compares the cost of running the marketing campaign to the amount of money generated. In addition it measures the company’s ability to generate new revenue through effective marketing in the future.
To calculate ROI, you need to determine the number of leads generated through each marketing strategy (banner ad, paid Facebook add, AdWords campaign, etc.) Then the opportunity value of each lead needs to be calculated.
You then use those two numbers to create a ratio that is the return on investment. One negative about ROI is that it is hard to get a completely accurate number because your marketing strategies cannot be directly equated to every single dollar of sales.
This indicator measures the positive levels of social media engagement you have achieved through your campaigns. This KPI is calculated by evaluating if you have high levels of sustained engagement and organic viral posts.
The social interactions KPI is important because you want to nourish the right kinds of interactions, not the ones that aren’t producing positive results.
Email Marketing Engagement Score
This measures how effective email marketing campaigns are at engaging your audience through open and click rates. Open rates gauge the performance of your subject line and the validity of your email campaign.
Click rates indicate how your audience perceives the content in terms of relevance and value of the message. This tool can help you tweak your email campaign by indicating the best time to send emails; the best received subject lines, and how to present the content within the information.
It is important to understand the effectiveness of your SEO efforts, and through keyword performance, you can measure your keyword rankings, which aid in driving organic traffic to your website. This indicator also measures “white hat” tactics such as social sharing and the generation of high-quality content that the search engines respect and favor.
Traffic Sources/ Site Traffic- This helps you understand which traffic sources are driving visitors to your website. There are three main types of traffic sources and they are direct, referral, and search. Knowing where you win come from can help you strategize and tailor your content.
In addition, this metric showcases the types of visitors you are getting (age, sex, location, etc.) and a number of unique visits.
This infographic by the Marketing Zen Group “The CMO’s Guide to 8 Vital Online Marketing KPIs” outlines other beneficial indicators to incorporate into your analysis.
What are major Companies Doing?
Even major companies are continually driving to achieve new goals and must employ KPIs for assistance. So, which indicators are major companies using?
- 3M Corporation: Customer service perception
- Dell Computer: Customer satisfaction
- Sprint: Customer satisfaction, brand recognition, volume of high-end clients
- Coca-Cola: Growth in new markets and brand growth
As you can see each company is utilizing different factors based off their companies’ unique objectives. There are no right or wrong KPIs; you just need to ensure that you are using the ones that will be the most beneficial for your company.
Utilizing any or all of these indicators should give you a picture of how your marketing plan is performing. Without using some kind of indicator you are ambling along in the dark without an educated guide. What areas are you excelling in? What areas need reform? KPIs supply you with the knowledge to analyze your marketing efforts and make sound financial and strategic decisions.