Portland Marketing Analytics (PortMA) | Portland, Maine

Key Performance Indicators for an Experiential Marketing Firm

We’re in the business of measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of other people’s experiential marketing. That’s everything from research design to data collection, and from initial analysis to final reporting on the clients’ campaigns. But once a quarter, we take a step back to reflect on how we are doing and evaluate our effectiveness. We continuously measure key performance indicators, which, while not unique to us, say at least a little bit of the business viability of an experiential marketing analytics firm like PortMA.

In general, company-level KPIs assess the success of the business with more nuance than the profit and loss statement. So, it goes beyond determining whether the business is profitable, but whether the business is growing in the way we hope and expect. Of course, some of these metrics are tied to profitability. For example, we have KPIs that compare budgets to actuals, verifying that our work stays within the expenditures and staff hours projected back when we got the contract with the client. Looking at simple markers like these in aggregate force us to acknowledge perennial problems in planning that we would otherwise be inclined to ignore. Other KPIs are more strategic and measure the profitability of different project fee structures, which, for example, might indicate that our project planning is better rewarded at an hourly rate than through fixed fees. This is the kind of actionable insight we’re looking for from KPIs.

We also set indicators around staff hours to assess capacity. This set of KPIs helps detect any potential underlying problems with regards to employee performance and morale. Perhaps the company is too lean and we’re overworking our staff; if that were the case, we should consider adding someone to the team to alleviate their stress. On the other hand, our overhead and billable hours may be such that we ought to consider layoffs to become more efficient. Since we offer unlimited paid time off as part of our benefits package, our KPIs must verify that employees are neither working too much nor too little. We don’t want to pay people who take vacation because they have nothing to do. We also don’t want their work to be prohibitive of using PTO and having a personal life, otherwise they could burn out. Or worse, an overworked and resentful employee might abuse the PTO policy and hurt the team’s performance.

I don’t think this sets us apart much from any other company, except that it happens that experiential marketing analytics lends itself to business administration and KPIs. Anyways, I thought you would like to know that a small company like ours takes its management to heart, or at least to the bank.

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