I’ve long been enamored by the concept of the marketing dashboard. You know the picture, you show up each morning and fire up the one screen that gives you the snapshot picture of the health of your business. Dial down a bit and you get to see sales, productivity, profit, expenses and how your favorite college football teams did.
It’s a nice picture and one that a lot of software programs can probably deliver. The problem is, it’s an incomplete picture – maybe even misleading.
So much of what’s really important is strategic, intangible and not measured by software.
Here’s what I mean. I decided strategically that the Duct Tape Marketing brand would evoke the word practical. I believed there was a significant opportunity in a small business coaching brand that was thought of as practical – turns out I was right. (Doesn’t mean I have a clue how to capitalize on the opportunity, but that’s another post.)
There is a lot of marketing value in being able to occupy a single word in the mind of your ideal prospect. But, in traditional ways of measuring success, how do you measure a word like practical? Well, practically speaking, you can’t. What you can do though is develop a list of stuff, that, if it happens, and you measure it, you can determine, strategically, that you are moving in the right direction.
So, mentions in the press using the word, referrals looking for that word, testimonials citing that word, surveys asking about the word, even use of the word in all your marketing materials, become the benchmarks for measuring a strategic and intangible thing like a brand.
A list of key strategic indicators that capture the intangible and specific actions designed to move those indicators may ultimately be as important as measuring cash flow.
Think of the game you could create inside your company employing this kind of tool.
So, what would you measure?