Everyone talks about the importance of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) when developing and implementing strategic communication plans, but very few are used to really drive tactical and strategic decisions. Why? Because we measure everything, which complicates the ability to understand the true relationship between a piece of data (the what) and its importance and meaning (the why).
Don’t overthink it. Just start with your business goal and marketing objectives, and create a dashboard. This will help you focus on the pieces of data that can help you make decisions based on what is working and what is not. Set up your dashboard metrics by sorting them into three simple categories: acquisition, behavior and outcomes. Acquisition is all about how you use paid, social and earned media to engage your target audience. Behavior looks at the interactions and engagement factors you should expect. Outcomes are just that. If you set up the first two categories correctly, you should know what the outcomes will be. Dashboards are not meant to have all the data; their purpose is to provide a simple and visual way to access your KPIs. If a piece of data is not a key driver for a KPI, it should not be on the dashboard.
Once you have set up the dashboard, use it to guide your decisions on how to modify elements in each category to improve your expected results (outcomes). This may seem simple, but the hardest thing for every brand and marketer to do is find the time and resources needed to make the incremental, small changes that will help improve your results.
That’s the bad news. The good news and wonderful thing about digital marketing is that we have so many options to reach our audience and ways to measure every touch point. The digital world is massive. Keeping it simple will help you identify the best tools and approaches available to improve your results.