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The Metrics You're Most Likely to Overlook (but Shouldn't)

by Pat LaPointe  |  
September 29, 2006

The greatest insight often comes from unexpected places. We think that's true of the mixture of metrics you'll eventually select for your marketing dashboard. Here, we look at some critical metrics you may not have considered for your marketing dashboard but that may be among the most insightful and predictive you'll install.

There are quite literally hundreds of prospective dashboard metrics to consider, but only a few that will provide any leading-indicator insight. The goal here is to point out some of the places where we normally find high correlations to company profitability.

Some of these measures are often viewed as tangential to "marketing" but are, in fact, very much related to the quality and effectiveness of marketing activities. Others are frequently dismissed as "softer" measures, but are nonetheless critical to a foundation of success. Keep in mind that only you can determine which of these are right for your dashboard.

Let's begin with one of the most often overlooked areas: channel management.

Channel Metrics

If you have various distribution channels for your products, then your success is largely dependent on the strength of those channels. The right channel metrics can monitor your progress at shaping, influencing, and managing your business to ensure that the end customer is getting the best brand experience and you are getting the best return on your channel investments. Here are a few potential channel metrics to consider.

Channel Coverage

If you're selling wireless phones through independent retailers, you'll want to make sure you're covering all the places where people are buying those phones. Companies that manage their distribution chains contractually—through independent agents, sales representatives, or other partners that help them get business done—can get clarity on prospect reach and market penetration from a dashboard metric on this issue. It can be even more forward-looking if coverage incorporates prospective channel partners in various stages of finalizing agreements and building out facilities.

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Pat LaPointe is managing partner at MarketingNPV ( and the author of Marketing by the Dashboard Light: How to Get More Insight, Foresight, and Accountability from Your Marketing Investments.

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