How does a CEO measure the success of digital marketing?

Of all the phases of the digital measurement process, undoubtedly the most strategic is the selection of the most appropriate metrics to report, and what is more important, so that we can make the decisions that allow us to optimize our strategy.

The amount of data (it is not the same as information, much less knowledge), to which we have access is immense. And it does not stop growing as our ability to measure (knowledge, experience, tools , etc.) evolves .

Selecting a correct indicator is the Bahamas Phone Number List equivalent of answering a question. Very often they ask me things like: “What are the metrics to measure xyz?” Sometimes you can give some base metrics, but the full recipe is different for each case . There are no (there shouldn’t be) two identical dashboards for two different companies. Each one has specific needs.

The same thing happens when reporting to a CEO: we need to answer their questions (adequate metrics) and there are no two CEOs, or the same businesses (the same indicators are not valid for two different cases), but what I can do is give you some basic guidelines and the most basic metrics, to serve as a guide.

Let’s start by putting some context .

We must give marketing visibility from a CEO’s perspective
We must offer the view from the top down and not vice versa. That is, it is not about reporting the most relevant metrics for us, but the most relevant of our work for them. It seems the same, but it is not.

Before defining the most interesting metrics, applicable to most CEOs, we must understand the context.

How to define a marketing dashboard for a CEO?
What characteristics does a marketing dashboard have to have to be useful for a CEO?

We need to start looking at things from their perspective.

1. Strategic vision : the first thing is to understand that what happens in the digital area (I have purposely removed marketing), is part of a larger strategic plan. Therefore, this dashboard should better describe how we are progressing in this plan from the digital area.

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Therefore, this dashboard must report on very different things:

Global vision.
Digital sales.
Status of the projects.
With this vision, we must decide where to focus, and for this our opinion is essential, but above all that of the person who will receive the dashboard.

2. Involvement of the CEO in the definition of the scorecard : if we want to report someone correctly, it is best to have a previous meeting to collect their needs, and combined with our expertise, they will give rise to the scorecard.

It is an obvious thing, but it is not common for it to happen, especially when it comes to the CEO. It seems like we have to guess what you need to know. We seem scared to ask or we are supposed to know by now. Whatever the reason, the reality is that these dashboards are often defined without this prior work.

Either directly or indirectly, we must ask you about your needs for information and knowledge (not data), in order to do a good job. It is not about being fortune-tellers and setting the indicators that seem best to us.

This in addition to wasting the CEO’s time, causes many other problems due to lack of visibility. The right decisions are not made because what is happening is not well understood. Imagine the amount of things that can go wrong.

3. Adapt the language and the visualization to the CEO : for this dashboard to be useful it must be actionable and for this its recipient has to understand it. For this to happen, we must adapt to the receiver (CEO), both the language, the metrics (and their explanation), the visualization and the necessary degree of detail (no more, no less).

All these variables will be different depending on the person, their level of knowledge, their involvement in the digital area, etc. so it is a tailor-made job for each case. And we must do our best, because the visibility of the area and the decisions made about it depend in part on this.

With the initial clarifications made, let’s move on to the description of basic marketing metrics for a CEO.

How to measure success in digital marketing? Metrics for CEOs
Reviewing the approach I made for marketing managers ( Basic Metrics for Marketing Directors ), I see that part of the metrics are redeemable for a CEO.

Defining metrics is one of the things I like to do the most when defining a dashboard , and doing this summary is quite a challenge!

Taking into account what has been said before, I am going to make my selection of metrics separated into two groups (what the area contributes and what the company is betting on it:

1. Marketing and sales : performance of the digital marketing area in relation to digital sales.

Sales : digital sales and digital sales vs total sales.
Return on investment ( ROI ). And for the cases in which there is greater proximity to the digital area, I would talk about the ROAS and give visibility of the acquisition costs (CPA and CPL).
Market : vision on the state of the brand vs. direct competition. This can be numerical metrics and / or highlights.
These metrics describe what digital contributes to sales, but to understand it well we must see it in relation to the company’s commitment to the area.

2. People and projects : variables that help us understand the performance of the previous point and gauge its success / failure through internal indicators.

People :% rotation of the area, score from the weather survey vs. rest of the company.
Projects included in the strategic plan : DE Phone Number and percentage of completion, basic metrics of the projects.
Investment in the area vs. rest of the company : in people, projects and technology.
As I mentioned at the beginning, this is a generic recipe to which we can make many clarifications. But I hope it has inspired you and helped you better focus on your next scorecard.


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