There’s an awful lot of talk in digital marketing circles today about the importance of “diagnostic metrics.”
Here at the official Fang Digital Marketing blog, we’d like to take a few moments to diagnose the importance of diagnostic metrics.
Of course, we believe that diagnostic metrics are important.
In the world of social media, for example, things such as Facebook “likes” and comments and Twitter “followers” and “retweets” are indeed vital, because social media is really all about having an audience to interact and share information with.
But as important as these things are, they should also NEVER be the end goal or guiding principles of your efforts and focus as a business or brand.
What should be, you ask?
Well, how about Key Performance Indicators. Otherwise known as KPIs.
KPIs, after all, are how an organization or company truly defines and measures progress toward organizational goals.
Once an organization has determined and defined its mission, identified all its stakeholders, and outlined its goals, it must establish a way to measure progress toward those goals. Those measurements are what we call KPIs.
In other words, things like sales. Revenue. Brand awareness.
Or, in the example of a less purely profit-driven and -motivated organization such as a university, graduation rates.
Whatever KPIs are decided upon by your organization, they must reflect your goals, be vital (or key) to your organization’s success, and be quantifiable and measurable.
They should be also be long-term considerations. Meaning the way in which they are defined and how they are measured should not change much or often over the years. The goals for a particular KPI may change as your organization’s goals change, however, or as the organization gets closer to achieving a specific goal.
Your company’s KPIs need to be a lot more solid than a fleeting Tweet or retweet. And a lot less fickle than a “like.” It’s important to define your company’s KPIs, and stay with the same definition from year to year. For a KPI along the lines of “Increase Sales,” you need to address considerations like whether to measure by units sold or by dollar value of sales.
You also need to set targets for each KPI. While keeping in mind that while many things are measurable, that does not make them true keys to a company’s success. In selecting your KPIs, it’s vital to limit them to those factors which are essential to your organization reaching its goals. It’s also important to keep the number of KPIs small, in order to best keep everyone’s attention focused on achieving the same select KPIs.
There’s a lot more to learn about KPIs, but that should serve as a solid primer.
In short, we believe that these kinds of exercises, processes and evaluations we touched on above – ones that are focused on KPIs – are of far greater value to the true success, evaluation and growth of your business than many of today’s popular “diagnostic metrics” like…likes.
You might say that when it comes to much about “diagnostic metrics,” especially in the realm of social media, it’s a lot “like” that classic quote from “Catcher In The Rye” Author and renowned recluse J.D. Salinger:
Real results earn real respect. Especially in the sink-or-swim waters of business.
What do YOU think about this topic? What do you like about diagnostic metrics? KPI?
We’d love to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below this blog.