What You Ought to Know about Marketing KPI’s for your Startup
Every company has some kind of KPI with which it measures its goals, achievements, profit, and growth. It might be related to sales, marketing, or product development, but whatever the KPI, any organization can benefit from implementing this popular method.
Before understanding how they can be useful for startups, it’s important to first understand exactly what KPI means. KPI stands for ‘Key Performance Indicator’. It is essentially a method of measuring how an organization meets its specific targets. Just like a sales team is required to meet certain goals every month, a KPI helps a company clearly identify a team’s objectives.
These tools assist teams in accomplishing tasks and help them stay motivated. Without implementing KPIs, it’s easy for a company to become stagnant, lose momentum, or deviate from its goal. In the absence of a KPI structure, organizations may find it difficult to bring a product to market in the first place.
Startups and large enterprises have many things in common, from developing and selling a product to hiring staff, to raising additional capital, and a lot more. Another area of common ground is the use of KPIs, but the KPI objectives for startups are distinct.
Marketing is the process of using creative and intuitive strategies to educate an audience and promote a company and/or its products. The Marketing industry is flooded with seemingly endless methods of capturing the public’s attention.
Businesses use tools like video, animation, and graphic design combined with email, blogs, and other written materials to develop a cohesive marketing plan. Marketing budgets can run from the thousands well into the millions.
According to Sageworks, small businesses spend an average of 1% of their revenue on marketing. This can also vary by industry. The Wall Street Journal reports that large companies spend between 10%-15% of their budgets on marketing costs, which evidences its significance in business parlance. Without proper marketing, no one’s going to hear about what is it that makes your business unique.
Understand the different needs of startups, SMB’s, and large organizations are key.
Speaking of uniqueness, unlike their more experienced counterparts, startups have usually been in business for a shorter duration. The newer they are, the greater the likelihood of small office spaces and few employees.
On the other hand, they also tend to get to market faster and more efficiently than longer-term organizations. As much as this sounds diabolical, this does make for some creative thinking and development.
So how can startups identify what KPIs they need to accomplish tasks and progress?
The first impression is critical.
One of the most important marketing KPIs for a startup is website traffic. A website is more than just a company’s products, history, and contact information. It is the company’s business card; the first thing people see, touch (virtually) and feel. As we all know, first impressions matter.
A startup should always measure how many visitors their site gets and break it down into small measurements of time.
How many per month?
How many each week?
Use analysis tools like Google Analytics to determine how many site visitors drop off after clicking on the homepage. They can also obtain details such as age, gender, region, device and browser info, and a lot more.
One idea for a proactive approach for web traffic KPI could be to monitor site visitors by the time of day.
If the company’s VP Marketing sees an uptick in traffic during 10:00 am – 12:30 pm, for example, he/she could decide to advertise product launch announcements during this time period.
This could serve as an indication that time-based web content changes are positively impacting the brand.
It’s a mobile-first world.
It goes without saying that ours is a “mobile-first” society, so companies who don’t cater to this approach would do well to intersperse this approach now. Startups that include a mobile KPI in their strategy are better equipped to meet this growing demand.
In today’s day and age, mobile development requires a healthy mix of UX and UI, design, and data science. This is because before you can create something for your users, you need to understand what it is and what it involves.
To that end, ask questions like:
What do our users need?
What will our mobile app accomplish for them?
What would someone tap on next in this screen?
Does this make sense for the simplest user or is it too complex?
Does this screen have the same color scheme as the previous ones?
Entering your users’ mind will make it easier for a team to understand the audience’s pain points and design/develop a great product that their users will want to use.
A helpful KPI could be analyzing the user flow of the mobile app and identifying weak points. Once these elements have been addressed, test out the new version and ascertain discrepancies in outcomes, if any.
Email marketing builds loyalty, trust, and brand awareness
Yes, email is still a thing, and it has remained an effective tool for countless businesses. Composing 1 or 2 emails may be easy for some, but crafting an email marketing campaign is a completely different ballgame.
Most of us would like to think we’re fine email writers, but writing in this context entails a lot more than stringing together a few sentences and clicking the ‘send’ button.
Email marketing requires creative talent, understanding effective sales techniques, coupled with a generous dose of consumer little bit of psychology. You need to grab your readers’ attention quickly with powerful content and an engaging tone.
Depending on which startup product is being used and the type of audience they’re targeting, incorporating methods like comedy, pop culture, and music, or tapping into emotions like fear, love, anger, pity, or joy can be used creatively to engage readers.
Knowing who your customers are and what they want is the first step towards reaching them effectively. Using a great KPI such as email metrics is helpful in that it clearly indicates what’s working and what’s not. Needless to say, it is an incredibly effective way to gauge the efficacy of an email marketing campaign.
The pillar of any marketing plan.
By now, all companies with an online presence are beginning to fathom the immense potential of social media. Not doing so is pretty much a cardinal sin, if not an egregious error that can have seriously adverse ramifications on commercial pursuits.
Ads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have witnessed a meteoric growth in size and popularity over the years – proving their ability to attain beyond-good results.
Like email marketing, social media can also be measured by some smart and results-oriented KPIs. For example, Facebook makes A/B testing ads both fast and easy.
Using the Ad Manager tool, a startup’s team can run multiple ads, monitoring the results in real time and simultaneously undertaking data comparisons.
In this case, social media KPIs could include a pre-determined number of click rates, signups from a specific region, or a number of video views. Twitter and Instagram have similar features, but using smart KPIs means that team must be incisive enough to understand the difference between each platform.
Nailing the Impact
Virtual tools aside, nothing beats an in-person, face-to-face meeting. After all, companies – big or small – don’t attend industry events, trade fairs, and networking events without a reason.
Inexorably, the same should hold true for startups as well. In fact, this aspect assumes more importance for them because they’re the ones who need to make the right connections and attract the right media buzz more than their well-established counterparts. Put succinctly, business events create a level playing field.
Implementing KPIs for in-person marketing tactics can be particularly useful in myriad ways; there’s nothing quite a personal interaction where a lot can be said, heard and read between the lines. It’s also a lot more likely you’ll remember them for a long time and perhaps develop a great professional connection.
While you do that, make sure you collect business cards and add a small note about where you met and what you discussed. Don’t forget to connect with other people on LinkedIn, send a follow-up email, schedule a conference call, etc.
Remember, a sports team would never begin a game without adequate practice, understanding their opponents, and infusing a healthy dose of motivation. Similarly, startups who implement well calibrated KPIs will be in a far better position to scale new heights.