How to set KPIs in marketing communication

How to set KPIs in marketing communication

In Marketing Communication we tend to look at objectives or KPIs as something dirty. We’d rather not make any promises or we expect our campaign to blow up the internet and rock the 8 o’clock news. I guess we should be more realistic and a little less dramatic.

Fact is: it’s not about us. Our success does not only depend on our effort.

We’ve once developed an online LSS course that helps teams on a distance. This class is useful to sketch the landscape in which we operate. What are the real challenges we deal with?

If you translate these simple LSS ideas about problem solving and problem context to marketing communication you can actually be more realistic about your objectives.

Three levels of environment

Like the example in this lean six sigma lesson your marketing communication also has three levels of environment. This is how you should apporoach them when you set your KPIs.

Don’t pretend you can control the contextual environment

The context in which your target groups receives your campaign, your mailing, your message, just like the economy, the weather, the personal situation, is absolutely out of your control. All you can do is respond to these factors. If you expect that these will have a significant influence on your KPI then it is wise to...

  • avoid the KPI. Read: delete,
  • sketch the ideal situation for this KPI. Read: Add an only-if-rule,
  • downsize the result. Read: be very VERY pessimistic.

For example. If you send a promotional team to the beach to give away free ice cream, you want to do this in summer. However, whether it’s a sunny day is not in your hands, now is it?

Agree on the operating environment

Some operational things can influence the success of your campaign big time. These factors are within your reach, yet not completely or not directly under your control. You have to agree on these KPIs only if...

  • your client promises to do as asked (and fulfils this promise)
  • you have full access to the KPI meassurement tools
  • you are certain all facts are checked
  • you have tested the campaign

For example: if you send an emailing to a database of 2000 addresses you want to be sure it’s not corrupted and the actual target group will be reached. It might be wise to test the waters first and agree on a test mailing; let’s say you send out the mail to 10% of the mailing list and set your KPIs based on that first trial.

[quote imgid="273" text="Control your own destiny or someone else will" name="Jack Welch" info="Business executive"]

Optimize your own ‘system’

Lean speaks of a relevant business system. However, in marketing communication, or advertising as you might like to call it, your system is your team including operations. If you set any KPIs with your client make sure your team is the best and that they agree on these same KPIs. It will only work if...

  • your KPIs are clear and set in stone
  • you address each KPI to a person that will be responsible for it
  • your team members take full responsibility of their own tasks and respective KPIs
  • you frequently check in on the progress of the KPIs
  • you have regular contact with your client about the KPIs
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Hugo Kalf - Managing Director

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