Four Ways to Find Your Metric that Matters

November 6, 2019

By Jim Huffman

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How do you drive action at your company? How do you get results for your entire marketing team?

The answer lies in how well you and your department focus. Focus comes from not taking your eye off the most important thing and following your “north star.” That north star usually comes in the form of a metric or key performance indicator that’s connected to your goal.

So, the real question is this:

What is the metric your team is laser focused on?

This answer can vary based on your industry, your customers, the lifecycle of your product and your overall business model. There isn’t a one size fits all answer for this. To help you uncover the right metric for your team, here are four ways to think through how your team focuses on data.

  1. Point of Friction: What are the common issues or points of friction you hear from visitors or leads that don’t convert? Is it price, quality, not understanding the value proposition, or a logistical question? To uncover this, you can conduct user surveys for visitors that don’t convert with an exit question. Simply ask, why they decided not to purchase. This simple user research study can point you in the direction of where to focus and what to start measuring.
  2. Insights from Top Performing Customers: Do you know what motivates your customer to make a transaction? Of your top 20 percent customers, why do they love your company? You might have some assumptions, but do you have the data to back it up? For example, on one e-commerce client we found that 65 percent of first-time purchasers had two actions in common. They read the about us story and then they viewed social content of a product they liked in their size. Those two actions become the metrics we measured for every first-time visitor going forward.
  3. Uncover Leading Indicators: Before a visitor becomes a customer, what action did they take? For one software-as-a-service client, we found that if they downloaded a specific e-book before a demo call the close rate shot up. The e-book download percentage became the leading indicator we measured all leads against.
  4. Quantify Your Magic Moment: When are your customers the happiest with your product or service? It’s that moment when they will make a transaction or tell a friend about your product. If you can quantify and measure this magic moment, then you want to optimize your marketing funnel to get to this moment as fast as possible and remove any points of friction in the way of this moment.

Before you point your team in a certain direction, consider these four things when picking out the right metric for your company.

Jim Huffman is an ANA Instructor for the Marketing Training and Development Center. For more on this approach, be sure to view Jim’s workshop, Digital Metrics that Matter.


The views and opinions expressed in Marketing Maestros are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.


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