How to Find and Measure Business KPIs

You might have noticed an emphasis on measurable outcomes in this space and across digital marketing. That's because without a data-driven approach, you cannot reliably build a marketing strategy designed to build your business.

At the same time, an emphasis on metrics and data can be stressful as much as it is beneficial. How do you even know where to look to find the data you need to make better marketing decisions and help your business save resources?

Before you know it, you spend more time searching for data than you would have not worrying about the concept at all. And even if you find it, you still have to know how to sort through the data jungle to gain tangible insights.

Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that way. If you can define your most relevant business KPIs, you can take the first step toward better, more informed marketing. 

Now, all you need to know is how to find them.

Why Should I Prioritize Some KPIs Over Others?

It's easy to misconstrue data-driven marketing as a desire to look at as much data as possible. But in reality, not all data-driven decision making is created equal. Never forget that quantitative insights can differ significantly in how much they can help your efforts.

You might have heard of so-called vanity metrics, which describes data that can make your marketing efforts look good without actually being reliable predictors of success. Knowing how many times your ad or content was seen or read does not actually tell you how many new customers that ad will generate.

Include these metrics in your evaluation, and you risk getting overwhelmed with data that doesn't actually matter. In fact, two thirds of marketers report this exact problem. Given the continued growth of big data, that problem will only worsen in the future.

The only possible solution is to eliminate some of your data as irrelevant. Once you prioritize some of your insights over others, you can more easily move forward in analyzing and improving your KPIs.

How Do I Know If I'm Looking at the Right KPIs?

The answer to this question is deceptively simple: focus on the metrics most likely to actually predict business growth. In other words, prioritize your true key performance indicators.

To determine whether a potential KPI fits this description, think about how close it is to your actual goal: revenue. That's what makes Customer Lifetime Revenue such a crucial metric, and why conversion rates, new customer yield rates, and retention rates matter almost as much.

A secondary layer for your most important KPI should relate to audience attitudes. The more a metric can tell you about your audience's willingness to engage and learn more, the better.

That's especially true in professional services industries with long buyer journeys, such as real estate. Revenue-related KPIs still matter, but should not be your only measure of success. Other performance indicators, such as referral percentage, can also give you a better idea of how well your efforts are actually working.

Where Can I Find the Data to Compare Against My KPIs?

Of course, finding the right KPIs is only half the battle. In addition, you have to make sure you can find the data that will comprise your indicators of success. That process is where many marketers struggle, which is why this is such a common question.

The first place to start is your website. In modern digital marketing, it should be the hub of your attraction and conversion efforts, driving both traffic and customers (or clients) toward your business.

At the same time, not every interaction will take place on your website. As a result, pay special attention to the internal data you can gather from the tools you already use to conduct your marketing.

Email marketing tools, for example, can provide you with open and click-through rates. Similarly, social media networks allow you to easily verify the reach, engagement, clicks, and (if set up correctly) conversions for every piece of content you post and promote.

Which Tools Can Help Me Best Measure Business KPIs?

Unfortunately, knowing where to look for the right data means little if you don't have the means to extract it. If you truly want to save time and improve your marketing efforts at the same time, you need the right tools for the job.

Fortunately, plenty of free and inexpensive tools exist to get you started. Here are some of the most popular and effective marketing measurement platforms for your consideration:

  • Google Analytics. Without a doubt, GA is the grandfather of all free analytics tools. It allows you to track anything from web visits to audience demographics. You can even set up conversion goals and attach monetary values, allowing you to easily track and evaluate your KPIs.
  • Facebook Insights. Chances are you use Facebook as part of your marketing mix, in which case its internal Insights tool becomes invaluable. With a single click, you can not just get reach and click numbers, but also audience demographics and even the times and dates during which your followers are typically online. Pro tip: go beyond the dashboard and download individual reports for additional data insights.
  • Clicky. Are you looking for more qualitative ideas on how your web visitors actually behave? Clicky will become your new best friend. The real-time analytics tool goes into significant details on how your visitors behave on your page, allowing you to follow them through all the way to the most crucial conversions.
  • SEMRush. Big-name clients from Amazon to Disney know just how valuable this tool can be. From keyword research all the way to competitive intelligence, it allows you to get a full-picture view of not just your own, but also your competitors' digital marketing efforts.

Of course, these are just a few of the many tools available to digital marketers today. Together, these tools can help you gather the data you need to track, evaluate, and improve your KPIs over time.

What Should I Do After Data Collection?

Even focusing only on the most relevant data will eventually lead to a data jungle. After all, the amount of data produced online every day is nothing short of staggering.

To avoid instant confusion and burnout, you need to know your next steps. If you use any of the above tools, it makes sense to have a plan in place for what you should do with the data you collect.

Your first consideration should be storage. You will accumulate a considerable amount of data over time; do you know where you can save it? Look into a data warehouse as a safe and sustainable storage option.

At the same time, you also need a plan for putting your data into action. Use it to improve your reporting, or begin to compare your data over time to find both positive and negative trends.

Based on these trends, you can improve and automate your processes to save even more resources long-term.

When Should I Start Collecting Data?

Easy answer: today. Of course, that might not be possible, and it makes sense to set up an infrastructure that can support the data your marketing efforts will bring in for evaluation first.

But the sooner you can have your infrastructure in place, the better.

Think about it: can you reliably state which of your marketing efforts work best to grow your business? Do you know which of your resources are spent well, and which actually waste time and money?

If the answer to the above is yes, you probably already have a comprehensive data strategy in place. But if it's no, consider the resources you could save, and the improvements you could make, if you start sooner rather than later.

Extracting the Right Data to Emphasize Smarter Marketing 

Data doesn't have to be difficult. An emphasis on the right insights allows your business to save time and money, while at the same time still driving your marketing toward business growth.

Of course, that sounds simple in theory - but can be difficult to implement. Even if you know which KPIs to track, you need to know how you can collect the data necessary to actually evaluate your business against these KPIs.

In other words, you need to know where to start. Once you understand how to extract your KPIs and where to look for them in the first place, you're well on your way to better, more data-driven insights.

Let's Chat About Helping You Track the Right KPIs