The New KPI: Optimizing for Business Objectives

From left to right: Hoan Tchen, Senior Digital Strategist, Programmatic, AARP; Bryan Benavides, Director of Digital Marketing, Abt Electronics; Kevin Howard, Senior Director, Digital Marketing, Ally Financial Inc.; Matt Sweeney, CEO, NA, Xaxis 

Several executives from various industries came together for a panel discussion that centered on KPIs and how they need to be brought to bear on business success. For the most part, they agreed about breaking down siloes within an organization to let different departments share the knowledge gained by data.

Kevin Howard, Senior Director, Digital Marketing, Ally Financial Inc., said his company's focus is "how to create stickiness [in order] to have customers come to you for things other than just checking balance. Ally Financial has changed their KPIs to be focused on "true outcomes, and moving away from the common denominator to a meaningful metric."

Matt Sweeney, CEO, NA, Xaxis, said his company has moved to outcomes based on feedback from marketers and has moved budget to digital and programmatic. "We did an analysis to look at what clients were measuring [and found] they were the same old KPIs and proxies that were not leading to higher engagement, higher sales."

"We changed to work with progressive marketers so that our engagements are leading to revenue. We do a data audit, what' s in their CRM, website visitors. We take data and give ideas about what's missing." Xaxis is also using machine learning and AI to find people that look like those folks with a technology called "Co-pilot."

Bryan Benavides, Director of Digital Marketing, Abt Electronics, said attribution is a huge part of his overall strategy. "It used to be last-click showing that we need to look at first and last touch, linear, who's converting, who's not. We're using first-party data, which is making us smarter than our competitors."

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