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Katie Hansen – VGM Forbin, Web Marketing Specialist

If you had to choose your largest issue as a financial marketer, I bet it would have something to do with measurement. Whether it’s a bank president who wants to know how many conversions you’ve achieved, or one of your local customers who asks why more people don’t like your Facebook page; measuring the progress of your marketing initiatives is a never-ending process. Today, I am happy to share HOW you can measure these exciting initiatives, by using Key Performance Indicators or KPIs.   

 

KPIs are indicators which showcase your success or opportunity for improvement amongst various projects. They represent the metrics which provide the clearest view of success with each specific marketing initiative. For example, you may use some of Facebook’s most common KPIs, such as likes, interactions, and shares, to help determine how well your content is resonating with your audience. However, these measurements and variables can be tailored to whatever suits your business best.

You may be thinking, “If KPIs are whatever I want them to be, then why do they matter?” The truth is, they matter because they provide consistency.

When working analytically to evaluate your current marketing campaign, consistency is key. By constructing baselines centered on specific KPI measurements, you can create positive inclines or negative declines to indicate success or failure. This allows you to easily see which marketing efforts are working and which may need to be adjusted.

A great example of KPIs are Facebook’s boosted posts. Several months ago, we discovered that boosting content, as opposed to creating a dedicated ad campaign, seemed to have a more dramatic effect when attempting to gain likes for financial institutions. When we started a new boost campaign, we placed a marker at the current amount of likes. After each boosted post was completed, we would look and see how far that mark had moved, noting the number of likes we gained in the process.

This is analysis of Facebook likes is just one example of a KPI. Conversions, clicks to a chosen webpage, or how many customers responded to a direct mail are all great examples of other KPIs your financial institution may choose to use. The important thing with KPIs is to use them throughout the duration of ANY campaign or project to track your progress.

The KPIs you use, can help bring attention to your valuable contributions, and further encourage added support from peers and supervisors when displaying positive correlations toward success.

 

Choosing the right KPI is key.

The first thing to achieve a successful campaign is to choose the optimal KPIs for your financial institution. However, there are a few aspects you’ll want to consider before narrowing your list.

Depending on the type of campaign you’re trying to measure, the KPIs that could assist you best may vary. Typically for any social media campaign, there are designated KPIs through the platform’s analysis tools that can help you decode your campaigns movement through a given timeline. These can range from post reach, organic reach compared to paid reach, number of engagements, etc.

For print-based campaigns, options to consider may be the number of customers who responded “Yes,” when asked, “Did you see the mailer we recently distributed?” Alternatively, if you’re working to drive more attention to your webpage, tools like Google Analytics may offer more valuable KPIs to help measure page views, time on page, and traffic origination.

Whatever initiative you’re pursuing, you’ll want to ensure each KPI follows the S.M.A.R.T. logic.

S – Specific: The more specific the better! Typically you will need more than one KPI to measure the overall success or failure of a project. A social KPI setup may be one measurement to track likes on a post, another KPI to track the reach growth, and a third KPI to oversee the page’s total following growth.

M – Measurable: Each KPI in your process should be measureable. Whether that’s numerically, chronologically, or comparatively, you’ll want to build a baseline to differentiate it from last week’s or last month’s data during this campaign.

A – Attainable: Choosing to measure success by individually calling each customer is technically a potential KPI, but could prove inefficient. Be sure that the measurements you use not only provide good data or feedback, but are consistently feasible throughout your project.

R – Relevant: Comparing your Twitter followers to your Facebook followers may be an interesting insight, however the two are not necessarily correlated. When choosing KPIs, remember to look for options which directly showcase the success or failure of your marketing initiative.

T – Timely: Consistency truly is the baseline of all good KPIs, and that has a large part to do with time. Because marketing campaigns are not a one-hit wonder, and require long-term monitoring, you’ll want to be sure your KPIs accurately reflect the current status of your campaign, and not only where it may have been two months ago.

By crafting your KPIs with these five elements in mind, you can be sure you’re measuring your efforts effectively.

After effectively choosing your KPIs, you’ll need to begin implementing them among your current and upcoming projects. There are a variety of ways to go about this, however, we would like to share our current process in adding KPIs here at VGM Forbin.

 

Treat your marketing campaign like a science experiment.

No joke. If you remember back to high school science class, and the concept of variables, changing only one thing at a time, this is the fundamental structure of experiments.  Instead of making multiple changes to your campaign at a time, make one adjustment per week or per month to keep the measurements accurate and consistent.

 Additionally, when making any changes, we suggest keeping an ongoing document of notes to refer back to for the adjustments which responded positively or negatively. This will help to eliminate potential backtracking and excessive work that could otherwise be avoided.

Start with one KPI.

Like many learning experiences, utilizing KPIs takes time. To best begin using KPIs, we suggest starting with one measurement at time. Dip your toes in, and learn all you can about this specific KPI; how it works, what numbers are involved, how time plays a factor. Once you have all the information you need to implement this one KPI, try it out as your first variable. If you find that it accurately portrays the positives and negatives of your efforts, continue to use it for the next week or month. Continue to add new KPIs each time period until you have a well-rounded lineup to help you gauge the effectiveness of your campaign.

Analyze all of your KPIs once a month.

Each month we recommend setting aside some time to really dig into the data. By collecting the associated measurements from all relative KPIs in your initiative, you can get a large-scale view of how the campaign is moving. While one KPI may be showing success, others may be leaning the opposite direction. By having an accurate understanding of how each KPI weighs against the other, you can then determine if your campaign is working toward success or failure, and make any changes you feel necessary.

KPIs hold great potential for both your current and prospective marketing efforts. These distinct measurement tools can help your team to fine-tune campaigns, evaluate ongoing strategies, and bolster support for new ideas. At VGM Forbin we find the use of these measurement tools invaluable, and we hope you do too!

 

If you need help with your marketing efforts, we’d love to learn more about your unique marketing strategy. Give us a call, and we’ll help discover the best KPIs for your current initiative. 

 

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