Key performance indicators or KPIs — the sense of “proof” that what one does in marketing (or some other business field) nets results that a company can use as measurement.
Getting that raise or promotion or bonus often gets tied to a KPI. In today’s digital world, I’ve seen my share of the artificial KPIs.
Get more “Likes” on Facebook, more Followers on Twitter, get a hashtag trending or more retweets or shares or whatever.
But when does a “Like” on Facebook truly indicate that a potential customer or consumer is engaging with your brand? When do you know that the person on the other end meets your target demographic, job or decision-maker?
For direct-to-consumer products, it’s a lot easier than B2B or B2B2C, where the target can be more elusive and difficult to pin down. Short of a little research to see whether the audience self-identifies, the challenge becomes a virtual Easter egg hunt.
That KPI goal might be to get another thousand “Likes” whether or not the button-clickers matter.
I’ve recently noticed a couple of new followers on my Twitter @michaelcheek with more than 30,000 people. I’m thinking damn impressive. Then I notice that those accounts each followed more than 30,000.
Is it that my new followers found something I’d written interesting and wanted to read what I’d been writing? Or will I become another click to hope for a little reciprocal linking to pump up those numbers to reach 40,000?
For my own Twitter, I hope to cultivate people who occasionally read what I write, get something out of it.
Although I doubt many of you read this far (if you have, how about giving me a thumbs up or a comment).
The same goes for the virtual KPIs with business. We need to create a new way to measure performance that isn’t about a quantity but the quality.