How do you really measure marketing success? Cost per lead? Client satisfaction? What Key Performance Indicators work for you? I'm still looking for the answers here.
Yesterday, as I reviewed some draft writing on measuring performance and metrics, I had a sinking feeling: Have you ever run into situations where you preach not what you practice?
Here, in advocating concepts like "Key Performance Indicators" and the use of the Net Promoter Score to measure client relationships, I realized we have never bothered with these potentially important concepts and approaches to assessing business performance. I've reported earlier how client surveys are sometimes gamed, providing distorted and meaningless results.
But where are our real measures of success, and how can we implement a proper measurement program?
Like most businesses, of course, we have some regular reports -- receivables (volume, delay to payment and so on), bank balances, debt levels, and our balance sheets and income statements. These are shared freely with all employees -- no secrets here. But the raw financial data, while useful, doesn't capture any one's imagination (including mine).
How can we solve this problem? Here I am turning a problem (okay, a challenge) into a marketing and relationship-building opportunity. Yesterday, I asked my network for their own insights, and proposed an article on metrics and marketing/business performance measurement to Randy Pollock, editor of the SMPS Marketer. He responded by asking me to write a series on the topic. (Well, I can think of few better ways to solve a problem than to use my abilities/strengths to research some answers.)
On a more immediate level, I asked my sales team to compile a list of their leads, their quality, and their total expenses for the recent Construct Canada show. Hard to believe, but we've never actually measured the cost per lead and actual revenue generated from participation at previous shows. Time to change our ways, I think.