Marketing plan metrics are the data points you will use to assess the success or failure of your marketing plan. Without metrics, you have no way of knowing whether you've chosen the right marketing activities and spending your marketing dollars wisely. The ability to prove marketing success can have additional benefits, such as helping you attract investors.

Hard Metrics


Jupiterimages/ Images

Quantifiable metrics are those that can be measured objectively and are often referred to as "hard metrics." Your marketing plan might include reportable data such as click-through rates for online advertising and email campaigns, as well as return rates for physical reply cards or information submissions and use rates for a direct mail campaign or coupon code. You can also use company data such as the number or dollar value of annual sales or -- in the case of a non-profit -- donation dollars. Social media metrics often include the number of followers and viral scores.

Soft Metrics


Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Qualitative, or "soft," metrics are those that don't come with a hard number attached. You may find it more difficult to prove and explain these metrics, but they are important in the marketing arena, because they reflect how customers and potential customers feel about your company, product or brand. Examples might include an improved perception of your company's reputation or products or increased awareness of your brand by the general population. You can evaluate these metrics through anecdotal data such as positive customer satisfaction or market research surveys, social media comments and physical and Internet-based "buzz."



Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Review the "goals" section of the plan, then develop a combination of hard and soft metrics that will help you determine how well you meet each goal. For example, if one goal is to increase customer interaction, your metrics might include social media data and comments, website visits and contest participation. All hard metrics should include a benchmark -- a number representing your starting level such as current annual sales or current gross profit -- so that you can measure how much you improve or decline.


Bizfluent Images

Unless you own your own company, you will most likely be expected to report on plan metrics annually if not more frequently. Always report data honestly, even if it does not reflect success. Otherwise, you will be unable to make the adjustments necessary to meet your goals. You can choose from a wide variety of reporting formats including text, spreadsheets, charts and infographics depending on who will review the report and how much data you need to include. Many marketers create a one- to two-page quick view of key metrics or top successes, then provide a full report on all metrics as backup.