To quote the master of well-laid plans, Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, we love it when a plan comes together.
Only we don’t fire up a cigar every time a campaign hits its goal.
(I apologise in advance for any pop-culture references I may make in this post. As a person, I am blursed with the ability to think of a quote from tv or film for nearly every situation I find myself in.)
Often, businesses just think of marketing as a goal unto itself and go directly to putting together a communication plan of some sort. A plan is never a bad idea. To reach a hailed cigar-worthy moment, however, a plan must have a specific set of objectives to reach. Along with the appropriate metrics to measure success.
Where do you start from?
Before you can delve into the nitty gritty of specific marketing KPIs, you need to start with your overarching business goals for the time period – in this case, 2022.
As we talked about in the introduction to this series of articles, it’s worth setting both attainable and ‘unrealistic’ goals.
More on that here.
These goals are your pillars, and once they have been clearly defined, you can start thinking about exactly and with which tools you’re going to use to achieve them.
Start by making a list of all your current and potential communications channels.
Which of these channels provide you with measurable metrics that, if focused on, can contribute to the achievement of your business goals?
Let’s take a more concrete example.
Example: eCommerce Website
You may understandably guess that the best measure for an eCommerce website is how much revenue it generates during any given period.
And what do you need for more revenue?
So, just send more traffic to the website and that’s a job well done, let’s go home, right?
In reality, while volume revenue goals are definitely important, it doesn’t really tell us just how well the website is performing in terms of generating revenue efficiently. A wiser approach is to first analyse what further value you can get out of your already existing traffic. Rather than spending more money sending traffic to a website that might not be working efficiently.
Just like it’s not worth pumping fuel into a thirsty old engine rather than investing in a new and more efficient electric motor. Putting money into a website that’s not working efficiently is a waste.
A metric that gives us a better idea of how well the website works is conversion rate. This number tells us what percentage of website visitors are actually converting into paying customers. If your conversion rate is currently sitting at 1%, optimising the website to improve that number to 2% literally doubles your revenue without making any changes to your outbound communication strategy.
This said, optimising a website for better conversion rates isn’t always straightforward. It requires an in-depth analysis of current activity, a prioritised list of areas of improvement, and an actionable plan. Along with the resources to execute said plan.
This is an example of a cost-effective, long-term KPI that contributes very directly to business goals without having even touched external communications.
Optimising your website isn’t the only way to increase your conversion rate, though. Once you have a plan to increase your conversion rate, you can begin analysing which current traffic channels provide best conversion rates and highest average revenue per sale.
You might discover that you’ve been spending 80% of your marketing budget on social media, but traffic coming from your Google Search campaign has a 3x better conversion rate. This could mean that your communication on social media might not be attracting the right audience, or that you should refocus your marketing on search engines.
Let’s break down what we just described.
First, we identified a business goal: eCommerce Sales
Second, we identified a KPI that directly contributes to the previously identified business goal: Conversion Rate
Finally, we found several ways to improve said KPI: website optimisation and channel resource reallocation.
This process can be repeated across every marketing channel, with several KPIs to identify for each. These KPIs will then serve as the measuring sticks for each and every piece of marketing communication that you place in your plan for 2022.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be going into more detail about how to plan more specifically for some of the most important marketing channels around. From B2B to social media, to performance marketing.
Keep an eye on our feed for more.