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Setting KPIs can often feel arbitrary, especially when entering new markets. How do you get past this uncertainty to set realistic goals?

4 Answers
Jack Wei
Jack Wei
Sendbird Head of MarketingJanuary 27

Such is life in business? At the risk of sounding like a corporate stiff, we must set markers to swim towards, otherwise we're just swimming in circles... So if the KPI feels arbitrary, narrow the scope or make the number smaller. If other stakeholders disagree, that's a different problem to solve.

We go by setting SMART goals (google it). It is a cheesy acronym but it works. It forces you to scrutinize and be honest with yourself and your team on the goal. And it will be realistic if all boxes can be checked across Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based.

928 Views
Leah Brite
Leah Brite
Gusto Head of Product Marketing, EmployersOctober 1

I’d set expectations upfront -- this is all new to us and our primary goal initially will be learning. Start with your hypotheses and treat your work as tests to help you learn faster with more structure. These investments upfront pay off in the long run, allowing you to validate / in-validate hypotheses before spending too much on something that wasn’t quite right, or doesn’t pan out.

Also, it can be helpful to set ranges and implications. If we achieve below X, we won’t invest further. If we achieve between X and Y, this will be our course of action. If we achieve Z, it clearly warrants further investment.

423 Views
Christine Sotelo-Dag
Christine Sotelo-Dag
ThoughtSpot Senior Director of Product MarketingAugust 3

This challenge definitely resonates. Without historical data, it can be hard to know what is good, great, excellent, etc. A few tactics we've used in the past, when there wasn't historical data to base our measurements against.

  • Lightweight market research. We've often looked to some industry standards and benchmarks to set our initial goal - for example, what conversion rates should we be seeing on our website visits, or what kind of open rate should we be expecting from our emails, etc. These kinds of benchmarks can serve as a starting point and you should expect to iterate as you watch your results. In this vain, check out similar companies entering similar markets to gage if there is any benchmarking you can leverage there.

  • Talk to external experts within your space. I spent a lot of time meeting other marketing teams / PMM teams / PMM leaders to learn from them, how they measured specific launches or projects when I wasnt sure - especially within similar markets.

  • Be comfortable with flexibility, iteration. Of course you're going to want to set realistic goals - but you also need to be ok that your starting point might be to set conservative estimates - monitor, learn and iterate. That's normal and although it may feel arbitrary -- one has to start somewhere.

532 Views
Jodi Innerfield
Jodi Innerfield
Salesforce Senior Director, Product Marketing Launch Strategy & Emerging ProductsMarch 21

You have to start somewhere! What do you know about this market that may help you identify the right targets? What do you know about your existing markets that might help you set a target? Is it possible to set a goal based on existing knowledge of a different market or product--5% increase in CTR, 10% increase in new logos--and see how it goes? Even if it's the first time YOU'VE entered a market, someone else has done it before. There has to be SOME data out there that can help you build a framework for some initial targets, and then you adjust.

2311 Views
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