Cosmetrics are those annoying metrics that show up every week on the marketing dashboard, in the meeting, and somebody runs through the numbers and nobody learns anything really, nobody asks any questions, no useful discussion occurs, and nobody does anything different. These cosmetrics are common in businesses. They’re metrics that are created after the fact kind of for show, and they’re a waste of your time. Here are three things you can do to reduce or eliminate cosmetrics from your business.
Metrics before tactics
First, this is the key to the whole thing. Start with your metrics. Before you’ve chosen a tactic, before you’ve spent money on a tactic, certainly before you’ve started working on that program or tactic, you want to think about what you are trying to accomplish with your marketing that requires a tactic. What are you trying to get as a result of your investment in your marketing? And before you choose a tactic, figure out what success looks like. How would you know if that tactic is doing what you needed it to do? And how would you know if it’s not? If you do that first and then choose your tactic, you create accountability, because now the priority, the thing that you’re focused on is the outcome that is needed, not the activity that you’re working on.
‘Hire’ tactics to do a job
Once you’ve chosen those metrics, that’s your job description for the marketing tactic that you’re going to hire to do this marketing work to achieve that metric. By doing things in that order, you are able to focus on ‘is your marketing tactic doing its job?’ And you can now, your metrics are relevant and create conversation because the work that you’re doing is being judged by its progress in your marketing outcomes.
Keep it simple
And the the third thing to make cosmetics go away is, whatever metrics you have, choose as few as you need to to track your progress. A larger dashboard is not a better dashboard. You won’t want your metrics work, what the effort your team is putting in to track and measure and report on your metrics to be a significant percent of your overall work, because you only have so much time, right? Ideally, your metrics are a low effort, a low overhead for your team. And also, the fewer metrics create more focus on those that you do have and you have less of that eyes glazed over situation during the metrics conversation in your weekly meeting.