How the right insights will help you set the right KPIs
By Jonas Nilsson
Choosing goals based on data may seem like the most natural thing in the world — but it can be difficult when you don’t have the right tools, resources or the organization in your corner. Here we’ll explain what difference the right insights could mean when setting up your future KPIs.
The best KPIs derive from actual results
Many companies struggle from time to time with setting the right goals for their different teams, departments and projects. Simultaneously, we are collecting a large amount of data every day – data we seldom know how to integrate or put in context. When setting KPIs, they always need to be determined by the overall business goals; involved stakeholders should be able to affect the KPIs in order to reach them. And most importantly: although goals sometimes are set by people other than yourself, it’s essential these goals are translated into actionable KPIs on an individual level that you and your team can influence. Three carefully chosen KPIs are always better than ten picked at random in order to prove that you do collect data!
Specific KPIs are easier to measure
Setting “SMART” goals is a good practice that many companies could benefit from repeating. Your KPIs should be easy to understand, and you must know how to process them. For instance, avoid KPIs based on numbers and traffic that can’t be put into context. Reach can be bought and should therefore be placed in context with media spend. High value engagement, such as comments and shares resulting in organic discussion cannot be bought in the same way. Make sure you set specific goals, and avoid those that are largely determined by the size of your media budget.
Invest in the right things – start making an impact
When you are able to affect the results, it will be easier for everyone to know when and how to act in order to reach their goals. A unified view is important if you’re setting your own KPIs, you must assert that they’re correct and make sure to have a plan on how to evaluate the outcome. Not only will it be easier for your team to do the right thing, but you will also become a more effective, focused and better client when using partners to help reach your goals. In addition, you’ll be able to optimize your budget spend online and open up new possibilities if you invest in the right actions from the start (rather than spending your whole social media budget on Facebook Ads or betting it all on TV or print).
Analyze historical data to find focus for the future
If you have several years worth of data that might be relevant for future activities, you must start by analyzing your previous activities to see how these projects affected your results. Only then will you get an understanding of which KPIs you need to focus on next. When working towards your overall business goals, insights from any previous results could prove strategically valuable. By putting historical data into context, you’ll find it easier to define future goals and ways of reaching them.
Want to be sure to focus on the right things? Start with a pilot study!
By having your data analysed by professionals, together with an evaluation of the industry and your competitors, you won’t ever have to worry about choosing the wrong KPIs again.
Avoid data overload
Are you collecting too much data? Just as you should be careful about choosing the right KPIs, you should also be careful about what data sources you are using. You want to avoid data overload – otherwise, you might get distracted by data that isn’t relevant to your goals. Sometimes, the sheer amount of data could ruin the results from a whole campaign since you don’t know where to focus your energy and time to analyse it. And if you can’t analyse your results properly you won’t get proper insights for the next project.