The Only Metric That Matters in Corporate Blogging

For Corporate Blogs, is something important because you measure it or does the act of measuring something make it important? Take email marketing. One of the favorite metrics client want to use is signups. I’m more interested in conversions. Or at least the percentage of new conversions from the baseline. But, the client wants to focus on signups. Which metric is most important?

email metrics
email metrics

Corporate Blogging: What Gets Measured?

Chris Penn reckons the only metric that matters is this: qualified leads. Though he does warn that ‘You can deliver 100% quality leads and with a poor sales team still have no money at the end of the day.’
Here’s the dilemma. When you start an email marketing, you’re looking for specific ways you can:

  • justify your fees
  • make the project work
  • increase the chances that you’ll be rehired

Let’s work backwards.
You’re only going to get hired IF you please the client. To do this, you need to achieve objectives, which helps justify your fee.
But, what happens when you and the client disagree on what metric matters most?

Corporate Blogging: Who Determines What Gets Measures?

Here’s a suggested approach. Remember the customer (client) is always right.
Ask them to:

  • Identify what they want to achieve, ie increase signups
  • Agree on a critical success point
  • Describe what they will do with the signups, ie upsell premium products

Then

  • Determine the cost for these signups, eg $50 per signup
  • Do a cost / benefit analysis, eg if you get 1000 signups the project is a success
  • Explore what you will do with the signups, eg sell these premium products

Remember, you need to set a baseline before starting this project.
Why?
So, you can gauge the success of the email campaign.
But, we’re not finished there.
Now that they’ve got the 1000 signups they wanted, encourage them to look at Phase 2. What’s this?
This is where you convert new leads into paying customers. Otherwise, they are ‘non-paying’ browsers.
Outline how you will:

  • Segment the customers – the more the better
  • Personalize the content mix to their needs and
  • Track the responses, which include a call to action, eg buy an item, download a white paper, or signup for a webinar.

PR Metrics: What really matters

Crawford PR have an interesting angle on capturing metrics in PR:
What matters more:

  • (Level 1) The numbers of potential customers who happen on your story by thumbing a magazine or scrolling through TV channels;
  • (Level 2) those who spot an online headline or show about you and click on it; or
  • (Level 3) the most valuable ones of all — those who actively seek you out by coming to your site?

It’s the same dilemma. You need to be clear on what you need to measure before you starting measuring.
Otherwise, what you measure may not have the same impact.
Conclusion
As a web marketer, you sometimes know better than your customer. But, you’re dependent on them for work. Be careful how you manage their expectations, especially if they want to achieve (not measure) that’s close to their heart. Once you have their trust, bridge them to a more rewarding activity where you can demonstrate your expertise and… show them what’s really worth measuring.
That’s one way of looking at it. What do you think?
Photo Credit: Darren Hester at Flickr.

5 thoughts on “The Only Metric That Matters in Corporate Blogging”

  1. Thanks very much for the Crawford PR shout-out, Ivan!  Good thoughts — we’ve written more on online metrics and PR, but the basic premise remains the same: ongoing review and consideration of data-driven feedback.  More succinctly: pick a goal and track it with a vengeance.

  2. Ivan
    I love this article as it is the only metric to measure. If we are blogging, we want to attract and while some can argue that not everyone that is reading will ever be a client so attracting more will eventually bring in a client, on the flip side there is the thought of focusing on a smaller group.  It is easy to say that we want only conversions however we know that this not all we want. I really like the way you broke this down in to 2 steps as it is.
    So great, thanks Ivan!

  3. Ivan
    I love this article as it is the only metric to measure. If we are blogging, we want to attract and while some can argue that not everyone that is reading will ever be a client so attracting more will eventually bring in a client, on the flip side there is the thought of focusing on a smaller group.  It is easy to say that we want only conversions however we know that this not all we want. I really like the way you broke this down in to 2 steps as it is.
    So great, thanks Ivan!

    1. Hi Suzanne,
      I’ve been guilty of examining waaaay to many metrics and not seeing what really needs to be done.
      Right now, I’m trying to focus on the big things only and let the small stuff slide.
      A part of me really doesn’t like this as I try to manage everything but run myself into the ground in the process or… don’t focus on what really needs attention.
      Ivan
      PS – apologies for the delay as we’re all down with the flu here. Summer in Ireland 🙁

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