John Wanamaker is most famously attributed with the quote: “Half the money I spend on marketing is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
And then the internet came around and no-one has to guess.
Late last year I designed a Journal from scratch, tested it myself, and when it did what it was designed to for me, got a copy made and sent it to each and every client I work with.
It’s got a few elements to it, but one of the most important is how it encourages me/ my clients to track progress week-by-week and specific metrics monthly and quarterly.
It’s already paid for itself for me when it:
a) Helped me spot when I was breaking my own cardinal rule of starting a new project before the current one was finished,
b) Helped me get clear on where I was doing wasn’t getting the desired result.
We all know that tracking some type of metrics in our business is useful. You don’t need to be a business owner for very long to learn that.
The key question is which one and, in the case of marketing, what are the best ones.
There are dozens of relevant metrics. Here a list off the top of my head.
- Qualified Leads
- Website Visitors
- Bounce Rates
- Content Pieces Published
- Campaigns Run
- Cost of Customer Acquisition
- # Referrals per conversation
- Number of referral conversations
- Sign Ups to list
…and we could go on and on and on
The real question is which are the BEST to track.
Here’s how I look at it.
QUALITY > ACTIVITY > OUTCOME
Outcome metrics are what you want at the end of it all – Leads, Qualified Leads, New Clients, Sign Ups to List. The trouble with using ONLY these metrics is sometimes you can’t DIRECTLY control them. I mean I can’t physical make anyone become a Lead, right?
Which is why I like to focus more on ACTIVITY metrics which focus on what you’re putting in – number of referral conversations, number of campaigns I run, how many content pieces I publish, the number of touchpoints I have with strategic partners. These I can control and, assuming I trust I have the right process for doing it, I trust that my activity will result in outcomes. Ultimately, if you don’t do the work it’s unlikely you’ll get the result.
The final QUALITY metric is my insurance against doing the work but doing it wrong – consistency of posting, article views, and page conversion rates. It’s always nice to have a few metrics that ensure I am focused on HOW I do things as well as HOW OFTEN.
Add a Good Year Journal in there and analogue tracking of metrics has never been so easy.
What metrics do you track?