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How to Discover Your Marketing’s Key Performance Indicators

Posted by Ryan Hilliardon Nov 30. 2017 12:00:00 am

Key Performance Indicators communicate essential aspects of your business. Are you listening?

Knowing what to target in marketing can be tricky sometimes. Even when you think you have a solid handle on your market, customer pain points, and your business’s performance, you still might underperform! It’s one of the most frustrating experiences imaginable – and it’s universal. Thankfully, there’s a way to track and improve any digital marketing effort: Key Performance Indicators (or KPIs as we like to call them).

Finding the right KPIs to track, how to follow them, and what the data you’ve gathered means is the only way to get better at digital marketing. That’s why we’re devoting some time to helping you understand these Key Performance Indicators, what they look like for your business, and how to implement them in your marketing efforts.


Understanding KPIs

Put simply, Key Performance Indicators are an itemized list of your objectives, how you plan to achieve them, and who can use that info. It’s a shorthand way for businesses to keep track of progress toward specific objectives. They’re a measurable and specific gauge of success or failure that are meant to provide insight on future action.

Each KPI you set should be related to a specific business outcome – or better yet a tactical growth objective. The goal is to push all levels of the business to be better and achieve loftier goals in the future.

KPIs can be set for a high level (your overall business performance) or a low level (individual or department performance). In fact, their flexibility brings to light the biggest issue with KPIs: there are thousands of possibilities for tracking and attributing information across an organization. Many organizations struggle with finding relevant KPIs and just rely on industry standards, which isn’t always a good thing.

Don’t Forget to set SMART Goals!

Just remember Each industry – and each organization – will have unique KPIs. Set goals that reflect the capacities of your business. Keep them concise and relevant.


How to Get Started:

Nailing down your KPIs will take some time, but it’s worth every second you give it. Use the following guide to help you discover your Key Performance Indicators, and then get started tracking them.

Step 1: Define the Results You Want

Remember to use specific, measurable statements. Things like: Increase sales by 10% next quarter, or acquire 100 additional leads each month next year.

Step 2: Lay out why the Outcome Matters

Does your profitability rely on your success? Do you want to expand, thus needing your KPIs to succeed?

Step 3: Outline how Progress is Quantified

Are you tracking marketing ROI? Do you want to see sales number improve per quarter? Keeping track of

Step 4: Determine ways to Influence the Outcome

Can you hire more sales staff? Is there a specific platform that you want to focus on improving? Find steps to take toward accomplishing the goals you’ve set.

Step 5: Set up a Finish Line

Quite simply, how do you know you’ve accomplished your goal?

Once you’ve gone through the process for one KPI, then it’s time to rinse and repeat. Set as many KPIs as you think necessary, but for the sake of clarity, we recommend starting with just a few.


Some Marketing KPI Examples:

Now that you know what a KPI is and how to set one for your business, let’s talk marketing KPIs.
As with any other KPI, there are tons of ways you can look at your marketing performance. For the sake of keeping it simple, I want to propose four categories:

1. Overall Performance

How much traffic does your website get? How many leads do you win? What’s your total reach?

2. Channel Centered

What is performing best? Your Website? Social Media? Blog? Search Engine Results?

3. Source Yield

Where are leads coming from? Direct traffic, PPC, referrals, Organic search, email?

4. Campaign based performance

How is each specific campaign performing? Are they generating leads, click-throughs, and conversions?

Keeping track of your marketing by breaking your tracking information into these four categories will help you understand how you’re doing and set reasonable expectations. Knowing where leads are coming from – and where potential customers are dropping out of your sales funnel, will help you shore up the weak spots in your digital marketing.


If you’ve found this guide helpful, we highly recommend checking out our Ultimate Marketing Checklist. It’s a concise guide that will help you understand the basics of digital marketing. Check it out!

Topics: Digital Marketing

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