By Chelsea McClain, Marketing Manager, Parthenon Management Group

This blog post is posted with permission from Parthenon Management Group


“But Moneyball is about baseball,” you say? Yes, but it is also a highly regarded business book that teaches the importance of DATA, DATA, DATA. Without data you are going on gut instinct…which is a very risky way to do business.

The book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis, is about how data, and the shrewd analysis of said data, trumped money in the game of baseball, making winners out of one of the poorest teams in the league. But the lessons learned from how Billy Beane ran the Oakland A’s can be applied to the for- and non-profits worlds. The big takeaway is how essential your data, and specifically data analysis, is to your organization. You must back up your decisions with data, not your gut.


So, my “game” is marketing. And in marketing, you will often hear complaints about how difficult it is to calculate an ROI for marketing efforts. I beg to differ. In the digital age of marketing, there are plenty of metrics to be had. If you can’t calculate an ROI for your marketing campaigns, then maybe you aren’t asking the right questions.

First, what’s the difference between a KPI (key performance indicator) and a metric? A metric measures overall business health, while KPIs measure progress toward a specific goal. So, a metric, tied to a specific business objective, is a KPI. What might be a metric to me could be a KPI to you. To get you started, here’s a list of marketing KPIs/metrics commonly used by association management companies (AMCs) to demonstrate both advancement and results for the associations they serve. Choose those that will best measure your progress toward your organization’s goals and voila! Your ROI awaits.

We would love to know your favorite KPIs/metrics for association management marketing - share your thoughts below.

Blog program

  1. Blog visits
  2. Traffic source breakdown
  3. Blog homepage visits
  4. Number of posts published
  5. Top viewed posts
  6. Average views per post
  7. Average inbound links per post
  8. Average comments per post
  9. Social shares per post
  10. Number of clicks to another internal page
  11. Internal click source breakdown
  12. Top click generating posts (topics)
  13. Topical relevancy
  14. Authorship stats

LinkedIn Article

  1. Followers’ demographics
  2. Number of followers
  3. Engagement rate (what kind of content engages most?)
  4. Post views and engagements
  5. Viewer information


  1. Unique visits
  2. Time on page (advertising the eBook)
  4. Emails collected (stats)
  6. Inbound links


  2. Bounce rates
  3. View-through rates
  4. Social media shares
  5. Returning users
  6. Unique users
  7. CTA (call to action) clicks

Email Campaign

  1. Number of emails delivered
  2. Number of opens
  3. Click-through rate
  4. Click-to-open rate
  5. Unsubscribe rate
  6. Bounce rate (hard and soft)
  7. Social shares
  8. Forwards
  9. Data leveraging to establish target demographics
  10. Growth of target demographics through personalized content

Social Media

  1. Follower count
  2. Impressions/views (total number of times users saw the post)
  3. Post reach (total number of unique accounts that have seen the post)
  4. Share of voice (SOV) – (your online visibility vs. your competitors. Decide on keywords, hashtags or categories you want to focus on.)
  5. Clicks
  9. Mentions
  10. Profile visits

Website / Landing page

  1. Bounce rate
  2. Unique visitors
  3. Pages viewed per session
  4. Average time on page
  5. Traffic by source
  6. Top landing pages
  7. Top exit pages
  8. Content refresh (frequency and number of pages refreshed)
  9. Join form activity

Surveys & Polls

  1. Unique visits
  2. Number of completed
  3. Bounce rate
  4. Traffic by source

Brand Kit Development

  1. Sentiment (what do people know and feel about your brand?)
  2. Social mentions
  3. Top-of-mind brand recall
  4. Share of voice – is the percentage of coverage and conversations about your brand, relative to your competitors. In other words, how often your brand is mentioned on the internet compared to other brands. 
  5. Share of impressions – is the percentage of times your ads were shown out of the total impressions they could have received based on your targeting – a number you can find in Google Analytics.

Press Release

  1. Click-throughs
  2. Conversions
  3. Reads
  4. Number of Yahoo and Google alerts
  5. Social media mentions
  6. Potential reach
  7. Engagement
  8. Media coverage


  1. Keyword rankings
  2. Organic traffic (from a SERP)
  3. Referral traffic
  4. Backlinks (how many and from where)
  5. Bounce rate
  6. High impression / low click pages
  7. Page load speed
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