Business depends on profits to survive and to thrive. Whether you sell products or services, all the processes that keep money coming in must be given particular focus to keep the pipeline open and healthy. Marketing sometimes gets shifted off to the side, but it is still an integral process.
Marketing is not just getting clicks or sign-ups. It has evolved to take a bigger presence at the decision-making table, and shouldn’t be relegated to a ‘follow-up activity after product development.’ You can’t afford to do that. Technology, competition and communication-wise, there’s too much going on to leave things to chance. At the speed which commerce moves, important business processes like R and D, marketing, and customer and public relations must be aligned and responsive, not reactive.
Marketing contributes to the bottom line too. It’s not just a money-pit. To see that, you have to have the hard numbers, get the quantifiable data. You put money into marketing, you have know the returns you’re getting on that.
The proof will lie in the solid results and analysis that comes from in-depth data-crunching and aggregation. Anything that gives you an edge over your competition, advances your position in your market, and helps you give your customers a better experience? You better know about it.
What are the metrics that matter?
Don’t just glance at the surface metrics that garner surface attention. The number of ‘likes’, re-tweets, and followers can easily swell the ego, but ego means squat to the bottom line when you can’t measure the impact of these numbers on your revenue. Get an objective assessment: You need to pin down where your marketing dollars are making the best contributions towards your profitability so you can make the best decisions on where to spend more money, now and in the future.
A KPI is any measurement that assesses and clarifies the return on investment (ROI) of an activity taken to further your business’s goals. You pick a channel, a platoform, an activity and use it, you measure whether or not using that particular channel or platform, etc. is actually bringing in the desired results (subscriptions, sales, sign-ups, etc.) that contribute to your bottom line. Using KPI’s helps you understand the framework of revenue contribution and contribution per KPI.
KPI’s are kin to setting SMART goals. They show the progress and obstacles of your activities, and record measurements so marketers can benchmark their performance and have an idea of where to start improvement and innovation. KPI’s demonstrate the clear, connected impact or non-impact of identified actions on business .
Now, every business has its own particular focus points, but all KPI’s fall under three types that you should be aware of: tactical metrics (the things you do), strategic (the overview) and operational metrics (the goals).
The nature of business evolves with the times. Those who can’t adapt die off. If you want to adapt, if you want to make improvements, you need to know where to start, what to focus on, and how to arrange things to be stable while you make the tweaks–measuring and assess all through out the process. Your adaptation means you’re becoming smarter about using what’s available.
Result: By using the right mix of operational, strategic and tactical KPI’s, your marketing can ramp up revenue. You can keep an eagle eye on where and how to allot your marketing budget where it does the most good.
Going back to the 3 types of KPI, tactical is the level closest to the consumer. Tactical KPI’s count things like visits, downloads and submissions. Go up a level, you get Strategic KPI’s, which build on the patterns that can be analyzed from the reports of tactical KPI’s (for example, revenue generated by your selected marketing channels).
Go up another level, Operational KPI’s look at the lower KPI’s to check their cross-functional alignment –are they working together to contribute measurable contributions to revenue? Which channels are the most effective in customer reach, generating sales leads, or making sales?
Blogging is a channel, video is a channel. Websites, social media…the analytical tools we use to check the impact of such channels are great tools to record, aggregate and assess trends and historical data of our channels, and the response of the target audience.
Tactical KPI’s show marketers how they’re performing in their in-use channels, such as mobile platforms, social media, email and website performance. The measurement usually focuses on the target audience responses in your selected channels, like page visits, downloads, sign-ups, click-to-opens, account creation, un-subscribe rates, and submissions. Based on these figures, you can zero in on how to optimize your various social media, email marketing and website programs, and get ideas of what to include, tweak, or discard next.
Strategic KPI’s focus more on the results of the reports from the tactical KPI level. If tactical KPI focuses on consumers behavior and how to increase the number of sales, visits, clicks and sign-ups, strategic KPI focuses on marketing performance. How many leads were generated becasue of the marketing campaigns created and pushed out over the last quarter? Of those various marketing campaigns, which ones generated the most positive results, and how much revenue did the results generate?
Strategic KPI’s are important in quantifying the return on investment (ROI) within multi-channel campaigns as well. Cross-selling and upselling are tactics that can increase the effectivity of marketing campaigns. A well-designed website can funnel subscribers to direct sales or even to a webinar series, which can cross over to buying strategic reports and video packages, which can go on to exclusive member access and even more sales, etc.
Strategic reportage focuses on opportunities opened for the business. How much money did the best campaigns generate? What made them successful, and how can we use that impetus to repeat the success? How can we leverage this, and so on.
Operational KPI’s are the top level. It is at this point that the reports and campaigns are analyzed to see if all those activities are in sync and working together, and where problems in the revenue-generating process can be identified. Operational KPI’s form the basis for a high-level performance review — a report card which shows the places where improvement is needed, the exact places where planned actions resulted in outstanding results, and what to build on in the near future to keep up good performance and good returns
Tracking these three types of KPI’s in your business help you create a more accurate picture of what actions, working in concert, contribute or take away from income and revenue generation. Based on the metrics you can assess which non-performing activities to drop and focus on the best practices that end in supporting revenue generation. When you’ve identified the numbers that matter, you can make them work for you.
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