KPIs: Why Are They So Important?

KPIs: Why Are They So Important?

Interim KPIs Help You Check Results and Allow Time to Pivot

By: Nina Rossi | March 3, 2020

A marathon runner maps out her goals and progress months before her race even begins.  A good student sets a graduation time for themself, and plans his or her schedule sometimes years in advance to make sure they achieve this goal.  Every successful business tracks and predicts their progress with KPIs.  A brand’s Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is uniquely tailored to them and used to measure their own success.  KPIs must be made in advance, easy to evaluate, and always provide results of a campaign’s performance along the consumer path to purchase.   

When it comes to mobile marketing campaigns, KPIs are essential and need to be a part of every campaign that you run.  Defining your penultimate goals is the first and most important step in making a KPI for your marketing campaign.  Without doing this, your campaign will fail epically.  No need to fear this happening to you: President of Purplegator, Bob Bentz, has developed a SMART goal set for you:

  • Specific: Exactly how much growth would you be happy with next year? How many more phone calls would you like to receive each month? If you already set your goals, then review them to make sure they are specific.
  • Measurable: Your goals must be measurable, so you know if you’re moving closer or further away from achieving them. With mobile marketing, you can use Google Analytics to measure many of your web-based goals. A wealth of statistics are available on social media engagement and from mobile advertising data. The great thing about mobile marketing is that it is far more measurable than traditional marketing.
  • Achievable: It’s fun to set lofty goals and dream big, but make sure they are achievable in the time period set. Goals should excite and motivate you and your team, not demoralize you when they are not achieved. When setting goals for your campaign, consider a goal that you have 50% chance of achieving. That will keep the staff motivated and in sync with your penultimate goal.
  • Relevant: Does your goal even matter? If you achieve it, then how does that goal impact your bottom line? Ranking #1 in Google for “West Virginia pediatric dentist” is specific, measurable, and probably achievable, but it’s not relevant for a dentist that doesn’t work with children. Relevance is an important aspect of goal setting.
  • Time Bound: Goals need to be set in advance. That seems so logical that it doesn’t even need to be said, but some people set goals while a campaign is running. That’s stacking the deck. It’s amazing how something as simple as setting a deadline can make all the difference in the world when it comes to accomplishing your goals. If the company goal is an increase of 25% in sales in a year and it takes you two years to meet that sales increase, then the goal wasn’t achieved.
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Now that our SMART goals are locked in, let’s work backwards a bit.  Define your goals, then work backwards from that day in the future when you plan on hitting your goals to calculate exactly when you will actually achieve them.  This will help you set up a monthly goal for your KPIs. Working backwards is key to developing a strong KPI, and necessary to achieve the end goal you are yearning for.  However, do not forget to be a realist when it comes to hitting these numbers you have set for yourself.  Speaking with an expert and doing extensive research will have to be done to make sure your goals are achievable.  If you come to the conclusion that these numbers are too big, you are going to have to start over and set more accurate numbers for your campaign.  Do not feel discouraged if this is the case. It is a lot easier to realize this now then trying to achieve unreachable numbers for a whole year and feeling defeated.  Especially if you are going to be evaluated by management, you should always under promise stockholders or bosses then over deliver at the end of the campaign.  The final step you want to take is determine what team members are going to be responsible for implementing and measuring progress each month.  Both weekly and monthly reviews are necessary to keep the whole team on track, or pivot if interim KPIs are not being met. If your growth plans are still bigger than your business can currently handle, it may be a good idea to hire in-house or outsource to hit your KPI goals. 

These are the steps your brand should follow when developing a successful campaign.  KPIs and goals are essential for every project and campaign in mobile marketing. With no set goal, how will you be able to measure your success rate?  KPI goals should be set in advance, but tweaking them along the way to help align your goals is more than acceptable.  Base your goals on past data so that you can set realistic targets.  Make your KPI goals easy to understand, easy to evaluate, and run these numbers by management to seek approval before setting in stone these goals.  KPIs act as your interim report card, so make sure you continuously check your progress to help measure your progress and long term success.

Nina Rossi is a Marketing Specialist at Purplegator: mobile-first marketing agency in Philadelphia with offices in Des Moines, Buffalo, Dallas, and Honolulu. Nina is a proud Purplegator studying advertising in the Lew Klein College of Media & Communication at Temple University.

12 Things You Must Do Right When Establishing KPI’s for Mobile Marketing Campaigns

12 Things You Must Do Right When Establishing KPI’s for Mobile Marketing Campaigns

Tips For Creating Mobile KPI’s

  1. KPI’s are required for all mobile marketing campaigns. — KPI’s are your mobile marketing promotion’s report card.  They need to be part of every campaign that you do.
  2. KPI’s must be set in advance. — All aspects of KPI’s should be set in advance of the mobile marketing promotion. If this isn’t done, then you can change the rules of the game after the fact to make your promotion look better than it actually was.
  3. The most important KPI’s must be based on past experience. — In the insurance industry, for example, tap through rate has not proven to be a prominent indicator of life insurance sales (Allstate). So, it should not be a KPI that a mobile marketing strategy will strive to improve.
  4. You must first get management approval. — Prior to launching your mobile marketing campaign, you will want to get management to agree that your KPI’s make sense to the overall goals of the business. If not, you may be pleased with the ultimate performance, but management may not be. For example, you may go to the boss excited that you have 500 new Facebook business page Likes, but the boss shows sales figures that are flat and wonders how that will translate to increased sales.
  5. KPI’s must be easy to understand. — Marketing, engineering, and finance personnel are going to be reviewing KPI’s. Make sure that each can easily understand them and their importance.
  6. KPI’s must be easy to evaluate. — If you need to run complicated reports to get results, then your KPI’s are too complex.
  7. KPI’s must have a means to be evaluated. — When establishing KPI’s, you should state exactly how you will evaluate it. For instance, if your KPI is to “increase foot traffic by 10%,” you will want to explain how you will ultimately find if you met that goal or not. Was somebody counting the number of people that will walk through the door every day? I doubt it.
  8. All KPI’s must be statistically measured. — Every KPI must be based on statistics.  “Improve brand awareness” is not something that you will be able to evaluate statistically. If, however, you provide a survey of customers before and after the mobile marketing promotion, this may be a way to statistically evaluate such a KPI.
  9. All KPI’s must have an established baseline. — Every KPI must have a baseline that you are hoping to improve on. For instance, if your mobile advertising KPI is “increase tap throughs by 10%,” you should have a baseline for this. Increase by 10% over what period? Last month? The same month last year?
  10. Different KPI’s must be present throughout the campaign. — At the end of the promotion, usually the most important KPI you seek is increased sales. But, that KPI may not be immediately available and you can’t wait until the end of the promotion to make enhancements to the strategy. Therefore, KPI’s must be set all along the promotional timetable. An early KPI in an SMS promotion, for instance, might be to “increase your SMS database by a net of 350 new opt-ins versus the baseline of July 1, 2017.” But, improved sales from those opt-ins may not be readily available until months later. The premise is that if you hit all of your early and mid-promotion goals, the end goal of increased sales will likely be attained.
  11. Establish goals for all of your KPI’s. — Every KPI you establish must have a corresponding goal. You can’t just say what you plan to evaluate; you have to also know what number needs to be obtained to deem the KPI a success.
  12. You need to establish what determines your overall success. — You will need to establish KPI’s prior to the start of the mobile marketing campaign. Each KPI will have a goal. But, what is the definition of the overall success of the campaign? Do you need to hit all of your KPI goals for the program to be deemed successful? Or, if you obtain 75% of the goals will you deem the promotion an overall success?

Want to read more about how to create key performance indicators (KPI’s) as they pertain to mobile marketing. Most of this information is available in my mobile marketing book Relevance Raises Response: How to Engage and Acquire with Mobile Marketing.

Need help in formulating your key performance indicators for your next mobile marketing campaign.  Contact The Purplegator for tips on how to establish your own KPI’s.