At GlobalSourceIT we work with Fortune 2000 clients to deliver ERP, CRM and BI consultants. One of the major functions our placed consultants work with is building, maintaining or upgrading an ERP system. Part of that process also involves KPM’s, also called KPI’s. KPM’s (Key Performance Metrics) allow you a look into a system to analyze data, allowing you to adjust in areas needed to create more efficient practices/processes.
Being the “Marketing guy” I wanted to put a spin on this in relation to how I use KPM’s in my work. When most people think of what I do, they think of the sell sheets, logos, websites and social media activity. In general… anything creative. While I do love all those things, the truth is that one of the most important things I do is monthly tracking of our KPM’s.
KPM’s should be the driving force behind all the decisions you make, and all the material you create. It will allow you to analyze data in segments and layers. Your KPM’s should define the who’s what’s where’s and when’s… and of course, the how (much money we are making). I do this by creating a simple table on an excel spreadsheet and sorting the data points in sections that should play off each other.
As shown in the graphic below, your KPM’s should look like a funnel. By doing this you create layers that allow you to assess the effect that they have on each other. Each layer should feed the next. This is important because this is how you identify what areas need adjustment.
For example: If you put out more messaging, you should theoretically be able to grow your interactions. If your messaging increases month by month but interactions don’t… you know that the messaging may not be good.
Each layer should function like this so you can correct course as needed to run efficient and effective marketing. Starting from the top you should look at it like this:
If you are increasing the number of (effective) outbound messages, you should see a growth in audience size. –> If your audience size is growing, you should see an increase in interactions. –> If your interactions are increasing you should see a growth in sales activity.
Here’s how you analyze:
If your audience isn’t growing it’s probably because you are putting out bad messaging, using the wrong channels, or aren’t targeting the right groups.
If your interactions aren’t growing your content needs to be changed. This typically means your messaging isn’t focused on their needs/wants and likes. This is where you really have to show your value.
If your sales aren’t growing but everything above it is… the problem is probably with the sales team or with the product you are selling. This is when you need to analyze what your sales team is doing and if your product/service needs to be evaluated/updated.
Each of these groups will play off of each other, making it easy to identify where the opportunity is.
How, when and what to measure.
You could potentially measure anything and everything… but you can’t spend all your time on this, so pick top level things that really matter. I gave common examples in the above graphic, but every organization will be different. KPM’s should be tracked monthly and then analyzed quarterly and annually to allow for proper analysis of trends. Don’t dig in too deep or analysis paralysis will set in and you will lose track of why you are doing this in the first place.
How to get started:
Creating an excel spreadsheet is the easiest way to kick this project off. In “column A” start by listing marketing activity you have done in the past (or are currently doing). Use the infographic (above) or screenshot (below) as a guide for how to organize your info. Be sure to leave spacing in between areas to make it easy to read/find info.
Then in “row A” add months/years – going as far back as you think you can find info. Look through Google Analytics for website data, social pages for interaction/posting data and internal phone records and sales history. This will require a lot of research, but once you have all this data in one place, the organization as a whole will love you for it.
Finding success in KPM’s
To ensure long term success you have to stay consistent and do this every month. Once everything is set up, it becomes very easy. I would also recommend a cheat sheet on a different excel tab with any username/password info or data download instructions for all the different data sources. This will save you a ton of time and will enable you to delegate responsibility as needed.
As a long time consultant myself I can tell you one thing about why I use this model… it justifies my existence. Early in my career I found that marketing often gets the blame for low production (sales) numbers. That is mostly because the things marketing people do aren’t quantified in the way a sales person’s sales numbers are. It’s also because (in most cases) a single marketing activity is not tied to sales/revenue numbers. Having these KPM’s shows all the things you do, and how they affect other campaigns, channels and sectors of the business.
The key take away is that even though creating marketing pieces can be fun… it is important to know the facts. Before you can be the cool marketing person… you have to be the numbers nerd first!