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Being Prepared with Back-Pocket Metrics

Back Pocket Details
You’re walking towards a conference room when one of the senior executives at your company passes you and stops for a minute to inquire into how everything within your functional area is going. Not having had the proper time to rehearse your KPI slide as you typically would before meeting with them, you quickly provide a generic answer such as: “Everything is going great. We’ve launched a new blog and it’s being shared a lot.” The executive nods, wishes you a good day and continues on their way as you duck into the conference room to take a deep breath after being caught off-guard. Did you leave an impression that will stand out amongst the other team members that executive will speak with today? Probably not. You were just another person who shared an update with them about a project you’ve been working on.

So, what can you do to improve that interaction next time? Be prepared with what I call “back-pocket metrics” – those strategic metrics that you can quickly share which are meaningful to the business. Sure, these “back-pocket metrics” could be the KPIs which you report on regularly but there are other meaningful metrics from within your industry.

In the above example, instead of providing the generic “we’ve launched a new blog” answer, a more impactful response would be: “Everything is going great. Last month we launched a new blog and have noticed that in the past 30 days, 40% of the most visited content on the website are blog posts.” Not only does this provide that executive with an update on a project but also provides them with a metric that shows the impact of your efforts.

In my experience, being armed with metrics and readily being able to share them in a concise manner has always been successful. This not only applies to briefing executives within your company. I’ve found that having back-pocket metrics available is beneficial when speaking at conferences, networking or just having casual conversations.

Schedule time each week, even if it’s only 15 minutes, to review and internalize key metrics. It’ll take practice to memorize metrics especially if it’s something you’re not used to doing. But keep working at it and find opportunities to share these metrics.

Do you find value in back-pocket metrics?

Photo Credit: MacQ