Key performance indicators are a great tool in improving marketing and communication – if used to their full potential.
Every firm with a true focus on success will be wanting a whole range of things better. That might be reflected in grand aims of growth, increased turnover, new recruitment and exciting new products and services, but it can’t just be achieved through grand ambitions.
The nuts and bolts of any company’s success come down to getting the best out of all of its people, which can best be done through having a structured and measurable way of achieving individual or group targets that will collectively add up to a better performance.
This can be as true for marketing and communications as any other department in a firm and one of the best ways to do this is through the establishment of key performance indicators, or KPIs.
Of course, the use of such terms will in many cases get the eyeballs rolling. It may sound like more meaningless corporate jargon, a strange language spoken by management that is alien to any normal human.
While there may be many legitimate criticisms of some of the jargon used; however, that cannot be applied to KPIs. These are not a vague or nebulous term, but a genuine tool that truly can make the difference.
A good KPI should have all the following aspects:
- It should aim at a realistic goal.
- It should outline what has to be done to achieve it.
- It should have a stipulated timescale of when it should be achieved.
- Everyone should have a clear understanding of what part they play in achieving it.
The point is that everyone should be left in no doubt whether they have achieved the goal, as well as being able to understand what needs to be done to improve if they have not done so the first time.
Why applying KPIs to marketing can help you plan better?
There are many ways in which marketing can apply KPIs. In devising a marketing plan, managers will, of course, set out just what they want to achieve, as well as how.
Ultimately, a digital marketing strategy should be the basis of the “how”, while the KPIs are the “what”.
However, the two cannot be completely separate. A strategy will be its very nature need to use different tools depending on what it is looking to achieve and when. The KPIs must be set in line with this.
For example, if you are new to producing optimised organic content such as news and blogs, patience is needed. Using SEO for law firms can be very effective in the long run, but it takes six months or more to build up your search engine ranking to ensure you reach the first page of the Google search rankings.
This may in itself be a KPI, so it is important for it to be realistic. But, what will also matter is that the results in terms of leads generated will be longer coming in this instance than if other methods were used to generate them, such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
If your marketing strategy uses a number of different methods, it is important to ensure these are factored in when considering overall KPIs about market penetration, leads and sales. As some methods may bring quick returns on investments but others take longer, it may be worth segmenting these between different activities. So, for example:
- There may be one KPI for a PPC advertising campaign, focused on lead generation.
- There may be another focused on organic content, based on analytics data of the number of reader engagements.
- There may be KPIs for different emails in an email marketing campaign, each for leads at different stages of the buyer journey.
In short, the KPIs cannot just be linked to the final outcomes, as this would fail to get to the heart of what worked well, what didn’t and what might need to change to ensure any KPI targets missed this time would be hit in the future.
What can KPIs do to boost your communication?
KPIs can be particularly useful for law firms in improving their communication. A startling finding of the 2015 Lexis Nexus Bellwether Report was the huge gulf between the perception law firms had of their own ability to communicate with clients and the way their clients thought. Thus, while 80 per cent of lawyers believed they were good at communicating, only half that number of their customers thought the same.
Whenever this sort of gulf between perception and reality emerges it can be seen as a reality check, but also an opportunity. Firms that can improve on this and communicate well with their customers will be able to create far more goodwill. The alternative will only produce complaints and prompt people to take their future business elsewhere.
This taps into the reality that the greatest marketing asset is an existing customer who can be retained. Delight them with the level of service they receive and they won’t just keep coming back, they will also recommend your services to their friends, family and colleagues.
Good examples of how you could use KPIs to boost client communication include:
- Setting timescales for replies to communication such as emails,
- Providing swift updates on the progress of cases,
- Offering extra language-based facilities and services for those with limited English skills,
- Providing upfront guidance on the processes involved in a case.
The exact details of these may vary according to the kind of legal work you are undertaking, but the aim should be the same; creating a measurable and clearly defined way in which you can provide the best possible service to clients.
Moreover, since many other legal firms will fail to do this, you can be sure it will be a major selling point, if not a unique one, adding to your appeal and helping build your reputation.
How can BeUniqueness help?
At BeUniqueness, we know the importance of meeting targets and ensuring we keep our customers happy. By using KPIs in both communication and marketing strategy, there is no doubt that work can be more focused on meeting goals and achieving them – leading to happy clients and fulfilled staff with much to celebrate.