The Critical Importance of a KPI Roadmap

February 6, 2018

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – Winston Churchill

Marketing is a science and an art, with the science side of this equation getting a lot of press lately, especially in the area of marketing ops. The primary implication is that marketers will experiment, collect results, analyze those results and then make decisions based on the insights. These data-driven-decisions, or 3D, are the hallmark of a science-based marketing team.

Selecting KPIs is a critical function of leadership.

As marketing leaders, our purpose is to maximize the potential of our teams. The selection of Key Performance & Predictive Indicators (KPIs) directly impacts our fulfillment of that purpose. Done correctly, the right KPIs foster harmony and collaboration. They empower our teams and focus their effort where they have meaningful impact. Misstep here, though, and the wrong KPIs create dissonance and drain creativity out of our teams.

A KPI Roadmap is the strategic roadmap of specific KPIs your team should adopt for data-driven-decision making:

  • It ensures your team is generating the right insights by focusing them on the right measures.
  • It provides the framework for defining process and data structures that support these measures and ultimately generate reliable insights. You can’t lean on the data if you don’t trust your data!
  • Finally, it provides a timeline for when a BI tool will be necessary, reigning in the premature purchase of a shiny new BI system if it’s unwarranted or providing the strategic justification for the acquisition of this tool.

What is a good KPI?

Simply put, it’s any goal you can benchmark and measure to determine the success of your efforts. But your KPIs should be relevant to core business objectives!

Let’s start with a minor example. Let’s say you have a fresh blog post with some original content you think will resonate with your market. A good KPI here could simply be a goal for how many people read it, which will allow you to market to them at a later time with new content through remarketing.

Other potential KPIs (depending on what you want a person to do) could be webinar registrations, PDF downloads, or even contacting you.

Now, let’s take a much larger example with significantly different outcome.

In this case, you’re a CMO and are deciding what to invest marketing dollars in for the next fiscal year. It could be upgrading your CRM, improving the integrations of a marketing automation platform, etc.

What is a good KPI on your investment?

Here, the KPIs are return on investment, marketing-sourced revenue, increased customer value, etc. The KPIs are significantly different based on the core objectives … and the question(s) you’re trying to answer.

(Hint: If you’re well-versed in revenue marketing, then you can probably provide a more thorough answer!)

No matter what it is, having clear key performance indicators is a must to chart a successful course and knowing if you made a wise investment.

Don’t fall into this trap

You do not need to measure everything.

Seriously. Pick a few primary metrics to measure for a given campaign, project, or process … and stick to those! Too often, marketers get bogged down in too much data. Focusing on irrelevant data is almost as bad as having none to begin with!

As our Kevin Joyce likes to say, “Too often marketers forget the ‘key’ part of the phrase key performance indicator.”

You are measuring trendlines and reporting progress – so make sure what you focus on is pertinent, and keep it as streamlined as possible.

So, what now?

If you aren’t sure what KPIs you may need, enroll in our introduction to KPIs course (it’s free, and totally online) first!

You can also take this data visualization quiz or read our blog on when it’s time to upgrade your marketing attribution solution to something more robust.

Want more? Our Marketing Operations consulting or custom training may be exactly what you need to do more with your data and reporting!

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