10 Marketing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Every Association Should Be Measuring

Consultant presenting a dashboard with key performance indicators

Presentation By:

Dave Martin, Chief Marketing Officer, Aptify
Michael Skiados, Director, Membership, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

May 3, 2017
Washington Convention Center
Washington, DC

You might be measuring your association’s marketing data, but are you measuring the right data? Content marketing rests on a bedrock of data, and, in the end, you’re only as good as what you measure. As The Next Web put it, “If you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing.” In this session you’ll hear about the top 10 marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) that all associations should be measuring – and why you should know them inside and out.

You’ll come away with some amazing tools that you can implement right away to drive more traffic to your website, convert more visitors, and generate more membership and non-dues revenue! The goal here is to create a stress free plan to embrace digital tools to turn your metrics into actionable reports the C-suite will love. Simply put, you’ll become a marketing rockstar!

Dave Martin (@15davemartin) and Mike Skiados (@mskiados) identified 12 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to be tracked:

  1. Website Traffic (Unique Visitors/Organic Search)
  2. New Leads
  3. Visitor-to-Lead Ratio
  4. Lead-to-Member (Customer) Ratio
  5. Landing Page Performance
  6. Email Click-Through Rate
  7. Blog Traffic
  8. Blog Subscribers
  9. Keyword Ranking
  10. Backlinks
  11. Diversity Index – Measure
  12. Engagement Index

To help track these KPIs are more tools than ever: from 150 in 2011, the number of martech tools has soared to 3500 in 2016. With all of these tools and the importance of knowing your data, Dave and Mike emphasized that everyone should be able to “rattle off” monthly visits and top referral sources. It’s important for marketers to know these numbers like a CFO is expected to know an organization’s P&L Statement.

Dave Martin

In the middle of reviewing each metric on the list, the audience took a quick break to discuss the biggest KPI challenges, which includes the transparency that consistent metrics: good news and bad news both become very obvious, increasing accountability. “You can’t hide from data,” as Dave says.

Another challenge is targeting content to your audience. Organic traffic is a measure of how valuable your content is, so keeping that number high means maintaining a consistent focus on writing, podcasting, image and video quality. One more challenge is resisting the temptation to present data in a false light that shows illusory success. While leading to more pleasant short-term conversations with your boss and even Board presentations, it ultimately masks problems that must be exposed for long-term success.

Dave recommends AHRefs to determine competitive keyword rankings. Mike recommends maintaining a diversity index for associations attempting to drive diversity as an important element of their growth. Regarding engagement, ASHA has created a single metric that encompasses what it wants its members to be engaged in and performance toward those goals.

Michael Skiados

When asked whether this sophisticated approach to consistent KPIs organically grew over time or was the result of a sudden initiative given the importance of data to marketing, Mike and Dave answered that, for both Aptify and ASHA, the answer was in the middle. KPI development has taken place at both organizations over many years, but as the metrics become more reliable and more widely used in reports and decision-making, and new tools become available, the system is conscientiously perfected with more emphasis on measuring how effective content is at generating leads.


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About NSI Partners

A digital marketing company with almost two decades of experience, NSI Partners helps clients achieve robust results in search marketing, social media, and other digital marketing spaces.

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