No doubt, there is a lengthy spreadsheet floating amongst the office with rows upon rows of data. But is anyone using it to its full potential? While it is a good idea to track everything just in case a metric becomes important later, it’s not helpful for tracking KPIs. Luckily, there are digital tools that can help track all of your KPIs for you. More on that later.
When you begin a new project or create business goals, you must identify the right metrics to focus on for growth and improvement. It is much easier to measure performance when you have a handful of the most valuable metrics. Defining key performance indicators, aka KPIs, narrows down the metrics that matter most to your business.
With so many metrics available to measure, there’s an overwhelming amount of data you can collect and examine. But not every metric is a KPI.
All KPIs are metrics, but not all metrics are KPIs
Defining your business’ KPIs means focusing in on metrics that can help you understand the performance of your implemented strategies. Your successes and your failures. They provide insight into what is working and not working. In other words, your KPIs measure quality.
For example, you can track the number of email subscribers, but open rate, click-through rate and even forwards carry more weight. These KPIs show the true value of your subscribers. Who cares if you have a list of a million subscribers if none of them open your email?
Some metrics, like number of subscribers or page views, are simply vanity metrics — things that initially seem important but provide little insight. However, KPIs are unique to every individual business.
Startups starting from scratch or businesses that just created social accounts for the first time, will want to watch their follower or page view count. In the beginning, it is about driving traffic. You can’t exactly determine value of subscribers if you have zero.
Set goals but don’t be afraid of reality
You don’t want to be afraid of failing strategies — you want to be afraid of not realizing you are continuing with failing strategies. With fewer, stronger metrics to follow weekly or even daily, you’ll be able to make adjustments to strategies on the fly.
You shouldn’t have to wait until the end to determine the project’s success. If you track metrics in a live dashboard, you can actively examine how they are impacted and what might be causing your numbers to shift. You can proactively optimize your campaigns and anticipate potential problems on the horizon. If KPIs for a new campaign start to plummet, it just means it’s time to make a quick adjustment. Clients (and your boss) love seeing that you are paying attention, nobody likes a ‘set it and forget’ kind of campaign.
Plus, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, your KPIs. It’s hard to argue with data. KPIs not only help you analyze your project’s performance; they give you leverage, too.
Assigning KPIs will also have a psychological impact on defining and meeting your goals. Each project should have their own set of KPIs that will help measure the performance. Goals not only show progress, they create competition and push employees to do their best work. Just remember to make them realistic.
While you shouldn’t be afraid of failure, you certainly want to avoid it if possible. KPIs are a valuable tool for your team to measure successes and failures for next time. They create hard numbers to leverage during your next campaign strategy and keep your company and clients happy.
At Agency Creative, we track campaign metrics through our dashboard technology, called Radar. It’s a dashboard, pulling all of your important metrics into one easy-to-use space. Monitor SEO, AdWords and even sales related data. And with 24/7 access, both our clients and us can track our KPIs in real-time and act accordingly.
Read more about Radar and the power of dashboards, or contact us for further assistance in meeting your company goals.