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Marketing Metrics to Avoid

Which marketing metrics should we avoid?

We cannot measure everything in marketing. I believe it is prudent and more efficient, to not try and measure all that we can measure. So, what should we measure? A different way of asking this is, “Which marketing metrics should we avoid?”

What are marketing metrics and what do we use them for? 

According to Klipflio Marketing Metrics are measurable values used by marketing teams to demonstrate the effectiveness of campaigns across all marketing channels.” This seems clear. Marketing metrics are the things you measure to see how the things you are achieving stack up against the things you said you were going to achieve.

How many metrics do you need? 

Well, ‘how long is a piece of string?’ Numerous lists of ‘key’ marketing metrics are available. These range from 5 to 70 metrics. My view is simple, ‘measure the minimum number of things to accurately monitor how the things you are achieving stack up against the things you said you were going to achieve’. So, it depends on marketing’s purpose and objectives.

Are there right and wrong marketing metrics? 

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), which are based on purpose and objectives, are typically used by marketing, and numerous other business functions, to measurable value that demonstrates how effectively key company objectives are being achieved. Depending on the KPIs, it is more a question of ‘Appropriate vs. Inappropriate’ rather than ‘Right vs. Wrong’ marketing metrics.   

Irrespective of the KPIs, what is evident is that inappropriate metrics make accurately monitoring how the things you are achieving, are stacking up against the things you said you were going to achieve, extremely difficult.

Types of Marketing Metrics
  • Marketing Process Metrics are about the actual marketing activities – friends, fans, likes, followers, page views, unique visitors, for example.
  • Marketing Business Metrics are a step removed from the actual marketing activities and are related to outcomes – lead quality, lead volume, lead flow, sales closed, income generated, for example.

One of these types of metrics is of greater value.

Do not get hung up on inappropriate metrics

Marketers do. Why? It is easier to measure process metrics and lazy marketers often rely on these to the exclusion of business metrics. I am not suggesting that process metrics are unimportant. They do provide insight into the effectiveness and health of your marketing efforts. I am, however, suggesting that they are viewed with a degree of trepidation as regards business outcomes. This reminds me of one of my late father’s favourite jokes.

Late one night a police officer comes across a man crawling under a streetlamp and seemingly looking frantically for something.

Police officer: Evening sir, have you lost something?

Man: Yes officer, my keys.

Police officer: Where did you lose them sir?

Man: Over there (man points to a dark area about a block away)

Police officer: Then why are you searching for them here sir?

Man: Because the light is brighter here officer.

Focus on measuring what is meaningful, not what is available.

Marketing measuring tactics to avoid (at least at first)
  • Pride or ‘feel good’ metrics
  • Measuring what is simple, quick and easy
  • Concentrating on quantity, not quality
  • Measuring effort, not outcomes
  • Focusing on efficiency instead of effectiveness
  • Cost (vs. return) centred metrics
My preferred Marketing Metrics
  • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
  • Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
  • Funnel conversion rates (Across sales stages)
  • Brand awareness by customer engagement
  • Marketing spend per acquired customer
  • Return on marketing investment (By MQL, SQL and revenue)
Happy measuring!
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