All marketers know the jargon-laced, inside baseball metrics that get thrown around in leadership meetings:
And yes, you absolutely should be tracking these and more, because data drives decisions.
But what happens outside of the pixels and fancy reporting dashboards? What actually matters in marketing, even if it doesn’t show up on your main dashboard?
1. Word of Mouth Referrals
Word of mouth is, in many cases, the silver bullet of marketing. What people are saying about you when you can’t listen – over coffee, or at the grocery store checkout, or at the school field trip – is as if not more persuasive than even the most strategic and inspirational ad campaign.
“Who do you use for…?”
“Have you ever had to pick between X brand and Y brand?”
“When you hired a videographer for your last event, who did you go with?”
The answers – delivered casually between friends, family and colleagues – can drive your biggest and best clients, customers or donors…and you never saw (or heard) a thing about it.
‘Fess up. Do you have a folder full of screenshots on your phone, or snapshots taken as you’re out and about, that you saved as inspiration or to follow up on later?
So does your audience? But those saves don’t show up in click rates or social media followers. They’re the offline indicators that can actually lead to conversations. And conversions.
3. Mentions in Podcasts and Live Events
Sure, backlinks are cool…
…but have you tried hearing your brand mentioned in a podcast or during a speaker’s presentation at an event or conference? Those brand mentions can have a massive impact and be heard by thousands of people who in turn look you up, reach out and engage with your services.
But you won’t find those in your traditional marketing and data dashboards.
4. Butts in Seats
Churches know this: butts in seats really matter. (Just ask our Healthy Church Growth clients!) Increased attendance leads to increased giving, and while you can and likely do measure your physical attendance numbers, this isn’t something that most marketers consider for conversion metrics!
If your organization relies on people coming in person or online – “butts in seats” matters more than just some random metric that doesn't translate to your bottom line.
5. Frequency of Merch-Wearing
Look around, the next time you’re in public or at an event. How many logos do you see on shirts, jackets, hats and other apparel? Your overall impressions may be much higher than you can measure on paper, because of the visibility your brand has outside of the Internet, and in real life.
How many times did Joe wear the shirt featuring his favorite band in 2021? And what about Sally, who proudly wears the hat that sports the name and logo of a local non-profit for which she is thankful? We don’t know. And neither do you.
But it sure counts, even if you can’t actually count it.
So, yes: be mindful of your Objectives and Key Results, your Click Through Rates, your Customer Acquisition Costs, and your Return on Ad Spend.
But don’t forget the power of these marketing metrics that actually matter – dashboard or not.
*We had to make sure you were paying attention! “If you know you know” may not be an actual bit of marketing jargon, but then again…if you know that, you know this too!
If you’re looking for help with strategic marketing and branding services that can make your organization’s metrics really matter, let’s chat.