Advancement of marketing technology enables leveraging data points for marketing and decision making an everyday-matter. As marketers, you can access any data on the fingertips. You can track advertisement placement and user interaction to understand user behavior and understanding of messaging that works well. You can also merge different data sources from all over the place to add more depth or to fine-tune your targeting. Big data and other marketing technologies enable you to process large quantities of data at much condensed time. From a decision maker’s perspective, this trend is blessing and curse, depending on how you use different metrics available.
"Amongst stakeholders, it is critical to determine what is relevant business metrics and what is performance indicator"
To ensure you are focusing on key metrics, you should keep in mind of three things; internal alignment, identification of key metrics and measurement plan.
1) Internal alignment
When there are too many cooks in the kitchen, it is hard to ensure quality of food as there are too many stakeholders. However, the story is different when you have one cook in charge of preparing ingredients, one cook at cooking, one cook assembling dishes, and one cook assuring quality. Deciding how to pay attention to the data is similar. A person in charge of media would want to focus on boosting media performance and another person in charge of Website would want to use data to highlight Web-initiated behaviors. If all stakeholders come to the table only to insist on their key metrics, it would be hard to conclude on where you should focus. However, when each stake holder can clearly elaborate their goals and align on priorities, you can move forward to decide what could show aligned goals, which would be defined as ‘what’ you want to achieve. In the example, if a media person focuses on media influence on Web conversion and Website owner can trace media driven conversion with a firm standard, you can easily set a measurement goal.
2) Identifying key metrics
Once you have aligned goals, it is important to find out ’how’ you are showing the achievement. Most organizations have business goals, where you show your achievement for investors or shareholders. Those are tied to monetary value. However, marketing activities often has non-monetary goals, such as increasing favorability or brand positioning. Amongst stakeholders, it is critical to determine what is relevant business metrics and what is performance indicator. From there, you can determine conversion metrics for non-monetary goals. For instance, you can show how much dollar amount is needed to increase one point of favorability and prove out return on investment while you show point increase/decrease per exposure (impression) as performance indicator.
3) Measurement Plan
Last step to pay attention to the key metrics is to build a measurement plan. With key performance indicators aligning with goals, you can build a plan to show what analysis will be provided to support which tactics and goals. Here, you can also add any secondary metrics or supplementary analysis to show performance. This will guide your way to navigate through the sea of data and help making decisions to focus on key metrics to prove success of all stakeholders.
Soft skills, such as aligning goals with internal stakeholders, determining key analysis/metrics, and writing out the plan are overlooked when you have so many data and different analysis at ease. However, these principles and integrated approach is as important as adding more data sources and leveraging marketing technology.