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Measuring Up

February 7, 2012

Today’s post is written by Valerie Conyngham, an Associate and Marketing Manager with The Cecil Group and owner of vianne chocolat. Follow Valerie on Twitter @ValConyngham and @viannechocolat

pie chartsMetrics are a part of everyday life, both inside and outside the office. In our personal lives we might be tracking our BMI, weight, running speed, even our wii fit age (mine is embarrassingly pathetic), at school we might be tracking grades, and at work we might be tracking press hits, social media mentions and proposal hit rates. But are we tracking the right thing? There are lots of people that will tell you exactly what you should be tracking and what numbers you should be aspiring to. However, the reality is that only you can decide which metrics are worth your time and what your goal numbers are. The space where this is most apparent is proposal hit rates. Here’s just some of the advice I’ve been given by respected industry peers to track and aspire to:

  • Your hit rate should be 50%
  • Your hit rate should be 30%
  • Your hit rate should be 75%
  • You should make the short list 50% of the time
  • There’s no reason your hit rate shouldn’t be 100%
  • 20% of your proposals should be rejected outright as this shows you’re stretching your comfort level with what types of jobs you’re going after
  • If your hit rate is 30% and you want more jobs, you just need to increase the number of proposals you send out.

The point is, without knowing what you’re measuring and why you’re measuring it the data you cull is useless. Your first job in developing a system to track your firm’s metrics is to go back to your marketing strategy (or if you don’t have a strategy, create one). Define how you’re going to measure success against your goals and track the metrics that are directly tied to those goals. Once you define your goals and the metrics that will help show your success in meeting them you need to go back and figure out what your current metrics are and then establish reasonable goals for increasing them. For example, if your goal is to “win more business in the healthcare market” you might want to track some of the following:

  • Hit rate on healthcare related proposals, but make sure to establish a reasonable goal. If your current hit rate is 10%, how about doubling it?
  • Number of speaking engagements in front of your target audience.
  • Number of new leads generated – this could include email sign-ups for your healthcare related e-newsletter, new contacts made at networking events, leads from a direct mail campaign, etc.
  • Press hits in healthcare industry trade magazines.

Just remember, with each metric you’re measuring you should define what you’re measuring to. And make sure that number makes sense within your own environment. While we’d all love to have a hit rate of 99.9% it’s just not a feasible number for everyone, especially if you’re starting out with a hit rate of 10%.

Now for something a little yummier to measure:

Easy Chocolate Liqueur Truffles

9 oz dark chocolate, chopped

4 oz heavy cream

1 oz softened butter

1 oz liqueur

Cocoa powder

  1. Place your chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
  2. Bring your heavy cream to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Pour the boiling cream over the chopped chocolate.
  4. Cover with foil and let sit 5 minutes.
  5. Whisk cream and chocolate to blend (the resulting mixture is called a ganache)
  6. Whisk in butter until thoroughly blended.
  7. Whisk liqueur into ganache in a slow and steady stream.
  8. Let ganache sit at room temperature until firm (about 4-6 hours).
  9. Scoop hardened ganache and roll into balls with your hands.
  10. Roll balls into cocoa power to coat.
  11. Eat and enjoy.
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