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How to Find Your Marketing KPIs

One of the most frequent questions I receive on a regular basis is, "How do we determine what our marketing KPIs are?"

Marketing KPIs, or key performance indicators, are those numbers, those metrics that will make or break your marketing.

Here’s an easy way to determine what your marketing KPIs are.

Marketing KPIs

What metrics determine whether you will get a bonus or get fired?

While this sounds flippant, it’s completely true. A key performance indicator, by definition, is a measure of your performance.

Think carefully. What are the numbers that, if they went the wrong way, would show up on your performance review as being a substantial negative? What are the numbers that, if they went the right way, would convince your boss that you’ve earned a pay increase?

When we use this lens to consider the data before us, we get rapid clarity about what matters and what doesn’t. Very few people will be fired if a company’s tweets don’t get retweeted enough. Very few people will get a bonus if website bounce rates decline 5%.

What do you do if there isn’t a number that highlights your performance? Honestly… update your LinkedIn profile, because if there’s nothing that demonstrates your value, then there’s nothing you can do to prove your value if and when your company/your boss needs to trim staff, and the cuts will be arbitrary and meritless.

The easiest way to find your own KPIs is to understand what your manager’s KPIs are, and then identify which of your metrics directly feed into theirs. If your manager is the VP of marketing, and marketing is responsible for generating marketing qualified leads – the number your VP is held accountable for – then determine what in your work helps generate marketing qualified leads. That’s your KPI. Maybe it’s form fills. Maybe it’s newsletter subscribers.

An attribution analysis will help you make that determination, but once you know, you’ve identified the thing that will help your manager keep their job/get a bonus, and in turn your relentless focus on boosting that number will easily help you justify promotions, bonuses, or keeping your job when the ax has to fall.


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