Lies, damn lies and statistics is a well known expression and whilst we don’t strictly adhere to the hostility of this line levelled at what is just an inert mathematical measure, it’s instructive that figures can get a bad rep if used in the wrong way.
We’d like to outline why you need to sweep away the negative thoughts and embrace measurements and assessment criteria as they are the lifeblood of any ambitious or growing company.
Picture this: your financial manager comes into see you one day saying we need to invest more money into a new marketing channel and when you ask:
They reply ‘I don’t know’
I don’t think it would be likely you’d grant their wishes. Marketing no longer needs to be conducted in a ‘hit it and hope’ fashion.
So why, fundamentally, does the bottom line matter so much? To understand this, lets take a look at SMART objectives, KPIs and measuring performance.
SMART-en up your thinking
Any growing business needs to be closely and carefully monitored and managed.
As your business grows you need to understand where you are today and just as importantly, it allows you to set the scene for target setting to influence your strategy for future growth.
As most marketing managers will be able to tell you, the best types of objectives are the ones which are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).
A non-SMART objective is no objective as the saying goes.
KPIs are the business
Key Performance Indicators or KPIs, are the specific performance measures for your business that you choose as your benchmark. They are your key business drivers and by definition, the parts of the business you should choose to focus on. You should be able to determine what your KPIs are. Put simply, the performance of these has the greatest impact on your business success.
Which leads neatly onto the digital world and the need to be able to measure the commercial benefit for any strategic or tactical digital activity.
There’s an apocryphal story of an advertising man saying:
‘I know that 50% of my advertising is working (and by extension, 50% isn’t!), the only problem is, I don’t know which 50%!’
That is no longer the case, with digital we have an opportunity to determine with both accuracy and confidence exactly what works and what doesn’t. And in the digital world, you really should be aiming to cut out the stuff that’s proven not to work, and maximise the stuff that is.
It sounds desperately simple, doesn’t it? Which makes it all the more surprising that many digital agencies seem to be focus more on the visible symptoms rather than the underlying disease, metaphorically speaking. By this we mean being more concerned with marketing activity metrics rather than what these metrics mean to the commercial interests of the company. Which seems very odd to us.
Measures that allow you to perform
When it comes to results and metrics and smart objectives, it pays to consider a company which first and foremost measures the bottom line for our clients (and is judged accordingly). Which is also why one of our challenges, to you, is to ‘do more’ because by doing more, and measuring more, you are more likely to achieve a successful result.
Which is precisely why most of our illustrations and case studies measure the commercial difference our digital actions made to our clients, rather than anything else.
‘Result’, as you (and we) might say!