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If you measure everything, you don't know anything.

We should talk a bit about KPI's.

I've never known a Client that didn't have too many.

They stopped becoming the vital overarching measures of the success that truly mattered, the end goal, the ideal state.

And they started to become micro gates to the tactics and the strategy and they themselves became the job.

The approach in the image below is entirely wrong.

People at the most, should be given the highest order KPI's possible for the role, and the fewest. They should never be proxies for things that matter, but what actually matters.

Ideally a CMO would be targeted by one KPI, profit growth.

That's all companies really care about. And the person would have total freedom to accomplish that how they see fit.

Since they may not have control over the Costs, or sales teams, it's more likely they'd be given KPI's on :

Brand Awareness, price elasticity, Value sales growth, Customer Lifetime Value, Market Share.

And more than this and you're not measuring success, your telling someone how to do the job.

Sometimes this may be needed, if a company is making a push to direct sales over wholesalers, you may need the CMO to be a part of changing not just top line numbers but how they are made up.

Yet I swear as the industry has become lost, as trust in Marketers has decreased, we're seeing KPI's being build from tactics up.

We're seeing people measure utterly meaningless tiny things, and spent time in the pointless chasing of numbers for defensibility of action, not what we know to be best for our company.

Hitting these KPI's BECOMES the job.

Peoples days are spent figuring out how to get people to spend longer on websites, how to increase open rates of newsletters, how to increase futile NPS scores, how to decrease CTR rates for ads, despite the fact many of these are either utterly useless but easy to measure, or they are stupid proxies for things that matter far more, they just become vanity metrics.

You goal when setting KPI's isn't to focus on whats easy to measure, fast to measure, cheap to measure, easy to see in real time, it's not to ask someone to paint by numbers and tell them how to do their job.

It's to set long term goals, on metrics that may be slow to change, hard to measure, difficult to attribute, but that matter,

It's to aim for as few but as big and as high up KPI's as possible.

Unlike this dumb chart, the KPI's should be on the Objective or the Strategy, never the tactics, unless you're just trying to merchandize your career.

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