KPI's and Metrics to measure your team's performance

Let’s talk numbers: KPI’s and Metrics to measure your team’s performance

juli 20th, 2016 Posted by communication, leadership, management, marketing, online No Comment yet

Departments within the field of marketing and communications are still organised in many different ways (joined, separately or divided into specialisms). Due to this diversity, marketing- and communications managers manage a broad variety of positions during their careers. Therefore, as a manager, assessing your team’s effectiveness based on individual performances can be rather challenging. Also, without the relevant management information, how should you improve the effectiveness and or efficiency of your team members accurately?

We have been asked to advice managers quite often in terms of how to get insight in the efforts of individual team members and how to link those efforts to bonus systems. The answer to both questions is quite simple:

The aforementioned needs can be realised by determining KPI’s per position and by linking these KPI’s to personal goals which you should determine, together with every team member personally, each and every year. These sets of KPI’s and Metrics should not only be chosen per employee but should also be linked to campaigns or specific time spans and later be analysed and evaluated in a predetermined manner. The personal goals should then be linked to a bonus structure, where the percentage of success per goal is translated into a certain bonus value.

Hereunder, we describe a number of KPI’s and Metrics on specific positions within the field of marketing and communications:

PR specialists

AC (Active coverage)

The amount of coverage in appreciated (read valuable) media / Number of written articles.

Insight into the percentage of realised AC is important because it shows the effectiveness of your PR specialists. How effective is their writing? Are they resonating with the target audience? This percentage will tell you if they know how to place an article via the right channels, how well their media network is and how attractive their writing is.

OSOV (Online share of voice)

The total amount of brand mentions / Total number of mentions of your brand and that of your brand’s competitors x .100 (filter results to make sure you only take positive mentions and neutrals mentions into account).

You can derive brand attention from the OSOV. It will tell you if you have a top of mind position within your target groups and it also tells you how well your PR specialists perform in the face of the competition.

Potential reach

The total number of readers (listeners) that could come into contact with your specialist’s creations.

If you want to be able to set realistic goals (GRP and TRP) and if you want to tie down your growth potential, then it would be wise to calculate your team’s potential reach. Success can only be measured by realising where the possibilities lie and what they are.

Percentage of negative coverage

The total number of reports / Negative reports.

The quality of your specialist’s efforts can also be verified by the percentage of negative coverage (controllability of the news). Important to determine at first is what defines a report as being negative. Markers are useful resources when you give meaning to words like these. In this case, a marker could be: When a report is written objectively and the principle of – let the other side be heard – is implemented in the report itself, the report is not deemed negative unless the conclusion within the report is going to lead to more bad press within valued media.
The aspect ratio of negative press against positive press tells you if your specialists are capable of keeping your desired brand image intact (this is a shared responsibility with the issue manager).

The aspect ratio of negative press against positive press tells you if your specialists are capable of keeping your desired brand image intact (this is a shared responsibility with the issue manager).

Brand sentiment and tonality

This is a valuable metric because it says a lot about the ability of your specialists (PR included) to influence stakeholder sentiment in an appropriate manner. With the help of automated programs, you are able to track how the public refers to your brand (online). These programs construct word clouds that show which associations your audience has when it comes to your brand within specific time frames and even in real time (would be interesting to find out what they say about you online right now, right?). These results should then be compared to the brands’ core values, identity and campaign goals. If the word cloud approximates your corporate identity, your team’s efforts are effective and if not, you will know what elements of the image need to be altered.

Reaction speed

The average time needed by PR to generate an adequate and well-founded response to negative press.

The reaction speed of your specialist shows you how well prepared (and equipped) they are for different scenario’s and how effective the issue management and crisis management processes are within your department. The better prepared, the better damage can be controlled when need be.


PR costs per reader / Costs of an advertisement (paid coverage) per reader.

The AVE offers more insight into the specific value of PR but is not an absolute given, for it doesn’t offer any information about the quality of the placement or the value of a reader.

Communication officers

Although communications is often divided into many subcategories, there are several common denominators within communications which can be used to assess teams and employees. The hereafter mentioned KPI’s and Metrics can be used to determine one’s individual contributions based upon:

Brand knowledge within target audiences and stakeholders

How well are your target audiences (either internal or external) informed on the offered services and products (awareness)? Your team’s target can be set after determining the baseline.

Behaviours of the target audience

Which attitudes and behaviour is seen and how do they relate to the goals and identity of your brand? After running a campaign or program, you can analyse if changes in behaviour have occurred or if attitudes have been altered. For instance, in the case of internal communications, this could be linked to retention of employees and company loyalty. If you have set targets before running the campaign or program, a success ratio can easily be determined.

Access to information

How easy is it to find desired information for all stakeholders and the public, what is the quality of the offered information and does it fulfil their needs? Which variations are there and how synergetic are all channels? And never forget to check how up-to-date and relevant the offered information is.

As easy as this may sound, creating workflows and/or checklists will help your team with keeping everything up-to-date and will offer you the opportunity to check their efforts quickly.

Customer satisfaction based on content

Are your target audiences satisfied with the offered content and coverage? What is the percentage of communications reach (to the target audiences)?

Obviously, you could also focus on the number of presentations given or the amount of conversations held with your stakeholders. Whatever you choose, make sure every metric is easy to grasp by creating standards for each of them. Who is held responsible for what, when have they complied with the standards and when are goals considered reached?

Again, when taking internal communications as an example, think about the guidance of new employees: a good metric would be measuring the success rate when it comes to offering all new employees important work documentation within 48-hours after their first day of contract consisting out of: HR guidelines, Corporate Guidelines (procedures, vision, mission, strategy, customer profiles, branch information, market analysis, clothing instructions, important contacts, use of devices (telephone, printer etc.), corporate culture and internal information systematics.

Social media marketer

To make our lives easier, the world of social media is built upon the idea of in-depth knowledge. Collecting important data is rather easily done because of that foundation, even for smaller organisations. These KPI’S and Metrics will help you focus on the most important data within social media:

MAS (Managed audience size)

The MAS can be set per channel or by the combined effort of all of the digital channels. Determining targets and then measuring them is fairly easy since all social media channels offer the needed data.

TE (Total engagement)

The total amount of interactions within social media (likes, comments, shares and messages).

Tells you how many moments of contact have been achieved through social media. If you divide this number by the number of followers per channel, you find your ER (engagement rate).

ASP (average shares per post)

The total number of shared posts / Total number of posts.

The ASP shows you how well your content is being received on social media, is your team successful in responding to the needs and experiences of the target audience? Problems within this area are not always due to a poor quality of content but could also mean their timing, reach or promotional efforts are inadequate.


The number of times your brand is mentioned on social media (per channel and in total).

Have your employees succeeded in creating enough buzz around your brand, product or service?

Content marketer/online marketer

CEI (Content engagement Index)

The number of visitors + (Number of likes x 20) + (Number of comments x 50) / Intended audience x .100

Shows the effect of your written content and perceived quality of the content offered.

SOC (Share of conversation)

The posts concerning a specific topic in which your brand is mentioned / The number of posts about that topic.

From this KPI, you can derive how well your team responds to specific topics. This is especially interesting when it comes to niche marketing since a leading position is often desirable.

UV (unique visitors)

The number of unique visitors on your website or landing page.

Shows your reach and is also an important number when it comes to determining the effectiveness of the sales funnel. When looking at content management, the amount of visitors that visit the blog is compared to that data.

ATP (average time on page)

The average time a visitors remains on your website or page.

The ATP is usually combined with the APV (Average Pages Visited) and holds information on how the content is appreciated by the site’s visitors (attention span). It, therefore, says something about the quality of the content. The more pages are visited, and the longer a visitor remains on the site, the more value is attributed to the pages.

RV (Returning visitors)

The number of returning visitors on your website or web page.

An important yardstick is often the percentage of RV’s because it tells you more about the relevance of the content written by your team. It shows a certain level of engagement (needless to say this is not always the most important metric). When speaking in terms of content management, the RV percentage of a Blog is often the most important KPI.

Visitors per origin

This will show you what traffic can be attributed to which marketing efforts in the digital world. It shows the percentage of visitors through referrals, social media, mailing, PPC, OS etcetera. It helps your team with gaining insight into the functioning of different campaign aspects.

Website conversions

The number of raw inquiries from the website within a certain timeframe per acquisition channel.

Informs you on the commercial effects of the efforts of your team per channel, shows you which channels are most effective (what we do best) and shows your growth potential (where we could expand). Also, calculate your teams CPC (Cost per Conversion) to gain further insight in cost efficiency.

SEO Specialist

TOS (Traffic from organic searches)

The number of visitors within a certain time period that stems from the use of a search engine.

The TOS shows the success ratio of your team’s SEO strategy. How well are you found and based on which words? As an SEO specialist, the aim is to reach the highest organic result as possible. This would mean that the content your team produces is deemed trustworthy and of high quality (amongst 200 other metrics are used to determine the quality) by search engines which then translates into a high organic ranking (placing high within search results without paying for it). You could complement this data with your domain authority data. Your domain score is easily found through using MOZ, MOZ has a program that estimates how well your website ranks within search engines.

Ultimately, your team’s SEO efforts are measured by researching the percentage of conversions through organic searches. Leads throughout the entire marketing funnel are then analysed and will lead to the conclusion if the SEO strategy targets the right audiences (are the words and the implementation tactics your team has selected effective?).

Upcoming ranking

Often, SEO targets are linked to specific words (long tail and short tail). Determining targets can be done by starting with a baseline (based on the current position) and then later check which improvement is realised. The results will show if an SEO campaign can be considered as successful based on word targeting (they do not, however, tell you anything about the number of visitors or lead quality).

Acquisition managers

MQLs (marketing qualified leads)

Monitoring the number of leads that are forwarded to the sales team.

The MQL is often analysed in combination with the SAL’s (leads accepted by Sales). In the end, SQL’s are the most interesting because it shows the percentage of concrete leads that offer a direct opportunity and are directly handled by the Sales team. If these numbers are low, something needs to change and quickly. It could mean your content quality is poor, your call-to-actions aren’t present (or visible), or it could mean you are attracting the wrong crowds.

Test Success Rate

The number of A / B tests that have led to a positive change within predetermined target results.

Traffic increase from testing

The increase in the number of visitors after testing (usually after a month), compared to the same period before testing was done. This number is analysed together with the conversion ratio and the number of bookings because the ultimate goal of testing is improving lead quality and conversion.


Often targets are set based on the data of competitors or others brands. That is usually not the best way to go. Start with your own as-is situation, based on realistic numbers. Determine the most important KPI’s and Metrics for your team each year and make sure that they contribute to reaching the organisational goals. Don’t let yourself get blind sighted by numbers either, Metrics based on values are also of great worth.

Monitor progress by looking at reviews, ranking, interviews, scores and hard numbers combined to determine your team’s effectiveness and more importantly, to find room for improvement.
In the first part of Let’s talk numbers, we focused on the overarching objectives (based on KPI’s and Metrics) within the field of marketing and communications. Have you missed it? Read it

In the first part of Let’s talk numbers, we focused on the overarching objectives (based on KPI’s and Metrics) within the field of marketing and communications. Have you missed it? Read it here

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Marketing and Communication Specialist at TAS - Tells a Story
Maike van Oyen is a mother, friend, sister, daughter and dedicated communications and marketing specialist on the side. She has written many articles for several websites in both Dutch and English about Corporate Communications, Marketing, Change Management and HR.

Maike loves to sink her teeth into complex projects of change and has a good knowledge of communication on a strategical, tactical and an operational level. She is trained to work in hectic environments (she manages to write blogs while also doing the housework, watching 4 misguided missiles and working for TAS at the same time). And is used to finding creative solutions for every challenge.
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