Selecting Digital Marketing Data for KPIs

select digital marketing metrics

Hone in on the right digital marketing data for your reporting program.

Identifying your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is crucial to setting up your reporting program. The abundance and depth of digital marketing data available can make it difficult to focus on which metrics actually provide valuable and usable insight. You don’t want to build a report just for reporting’s sake. You do want to provide digital marketing data that both relates to company initiatives and resonates with different stakeholders.

Draw a Direct Line from Your Digital Marketing Data to the Company’s Success

Your Data and Organizational GoalsWhat marketing data is important? Back up and take a high level view. Why do you need marketing data? Consider both departmental and organizational initiatives. How can their successes be measured? What data will help you show this? Most departments and organizations make regular and annual presentations related to their ongoing goals. Check out your company’s annual report or your department head’s presentation to upper management. What are the themes? How can you speak to them through digital marketing data? Use this line of thinking to help you select the data you track and organize your report into meaningful KPIs.

Choose Digital Marketing Data Based on Your Stakeholders

digital marketing data for stakeholdersWho will be reading your digital marketing reports? Who will your digital marketing efforts impact? You should determine who your stakeholders are and what data is important to them. If you’re a digital marketer, you want to know that website visitors are accessing a company site that functions well and is easy to use. Your marketing team members want to know the success of collaborative initiatives. Your executive team wants to know the return on investments made in marketing programs. Try to put yourself in their respective roles and anticipate their questions. For example, when I’ve managed analytics for a company website, the pr manager wanted to know about awareness for the company’s name. The sales director wanted to know more about the sources of website leads. The executive team wanted to know if the time and money invested in updating the website paid off. Different audiences have different interests. Your digital marketing data can tell a story that’s compelling to all stakeholder groups.

Three Tips for Confidence in Your Digital Marketing Data

Once you’ve identified the right KPIs, how can you double check them? Confidence in your data is key, especially if you or your management are using your reports to make budgetary or strategic choices at a high level. Establishing checks and balances in your reporting program gives you a solid base on which to make informed decisions and recommendations.

  • Double check your data. You can corroborate your reports by identifying additional sources of data. Web traffic is typically reported in several places like Google Analytics, web hosting platforms and CMS systems. The data may not be apples to apples, but is it close? Does it show the same trends?
  • Cross check your data. If you’re part of a marketing team, find out what types of data your team members can access. What data can their tools provide to support your reporting program?
  • Benchmark your data. Benchmark your company’s digital marketing performance by doing some online research and compare what you’re reporting to what your peers and industry analysts are saying. You can also tap into your LinkedIn network to see if your connections in similar roles are wrestling with similar digital marketing questions.


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