Feb. 4: Simon is ON FIRE, John refuses metrics. KPI’s are good and bad.

Beate

5.30 peeps!

John

*comes in and sits down…

Beate

welcome, welcome

We are two bozos short

John

lol

Simon

Hello

Beate

⏱👈🏼

John

#BALLBUSTERBEA

Beate

Jeeeeeen…?

Jennifer!

John

JLO?!?!

Jen

I’m here I’m here

oh good morning all!

Beate

ok! So. Our surprise guest host is stuck in a snowstorm, so it’s just the familiar lobsters today.

John

BOOO

Beate

I still want to talk about the stuff that we’re measuring. Metrics and KPI’s.

Any immediate hot takes?

Let’s get the rants out of the way first

John

ooooo sexy time

Jen

Measure what matters.

John

which is – your loving donors

not how much money they have you greedy batards

Beate

Love is not a metric, John.

John

it is in my world Beate.

❤

ARE WE NOT HUMAN???!??!?!?!

Beate

I don’t know if that is sad or sweet

Simon

Measuring is weird because:

– It’s a pain in the arse.

– Usually we don’t have the time or knowledge.

– Most nonprofits don’t have the volume for measurement to mean anything.

– Benchmarking of others isnt necessarily relevant to your own situation.

– At the end of the day so many people believe their feeling over data.

Fin.

Mic drop

Oh shit that wasnt my mic it was my drink

Beate

Well. conversation over.

You just said it all.

John

good.

well done Simon.

Simon

Haha

Huge levels of sarcasm incoming, thank you

But really I have a lot of feelings on measurement

Beate

Wasn’t sarcasm, surprisingly!

Jen

All true Simon!

Beate

I’m of two minds. I measure everything, I spend far too much time on it. But:

When someone asks me “what can I expect from that”, and they have NEVER done anything like it, there are a thousand variables, and no prior knowledge, then how the fuck can we answer that question??

Jen

And the other part of the conversation is measuring over time. We are slaves to 12 month budgets

Simon

I remember when I started working in a small nonprofit and we had 2 monthly donors, and some marketing expert told me to split test

John

lol

#slowclap

Jen

Wait, wasn’t that John?

John

😐

Simon

Yes the 12 month trap again. But hard to say what the right span of time is

John

not everything in our world is a straight line

Simon

Nothing in our world is a straight line

John

humans dont move in straight lines

which is why a lot of what you’re trying to measure

cant be measured

Beate

i think metrics are a crutch sometimes

You don’t want to make a decision without knowing what it will lead to

but it’s the future – there’s no possible way to know for sure!

John

because it’s math. cant argue with that right?

Jen

You don’t want to be judged for what happens if you did’t get your metrics, or get them right

Simon

I remember someone tweeting a while ago the uncomfortable reality that there is no data to back up the entire advertising industry

Beate

hahah yes

I worked in sales for the yellow pages ages ago, and we used the old adage that “only 50% of marketing work, you just don’t know which half” (of course arguing our half did and we could measure it)

Simon

“What we can learn from the booming yellow pages industry”

John

I’ve got a post brewing how we are a sector tied up looking for definitives… which is why we have seen so little growth over the years…

there are very few definitives in this work…

Beate

Everybody out-ranted?

John

life has no guarentees

Beate

haha

so measuring dumb things is dumb

John

lol

Beate

What should we measure? what’s good use of kpi’s and metrics?

does anyone have a favourite kpi

😂

John

sigh.

Simon

I think a good rule is measure everything but not at the cost of doing

John

100% this.

Beate

wow mister hard truths and thought bombs today!

Simon

My brain is working well today, it’s true

Like you could spend your full week watching live google analytics

Beate

And so many do!

Simon

Oh its so much fun! I love watching the live stats

“Who is this Irish prick that has just been sitting on my homepage the whole time I’ve been watching the analytics?”

Beate

Usually yourself

honestly, when my former employer was doing tv ads for the month leading up to christmas, analytics live was my second screen for the entire month

had it on all the time

Jen

That makes my brain freeze

John

mine too partner

Jen

Imagine old lady Jen trying to decipher that shit with my glasses on the end of my nose and my tea or sherry spilling on the keyboard

Simon

👵🏼 “Google Ana…what?”

Beate

You don’t like watching numbers roll in?

it’s like counting money!

so much fun

John

ugh

Beate

but entirely unproductive

like it doesn’t change the amount of money in the pile

Jen

Other things I don’t watch “roll in”: election results

Beate

obsessively

I think it gives me a feeling of control

Working with people who make me wait a month for the numbers makes me itchy

Simon

I do like all that data and stats and election stuff and as it happens analytics

But the truth is…and I say this in a lot of chatcasts…nobody knows what they’re doing

Jen

Like Jen

Simon

Years ago tried to hook up google analytics and donation reports to a giant live screen that would blast over us like a boiler room

Beate

I actually did that and it was wonderful!

It made other people engage with the fundraising

So, what are GOOD metrics to keep an eye on?

John

for our clients – you got measure the bottom line of ALL the channels….

good individual fundraisng programs will see lifts everywhere…

Jen

This! Ideally for any given campaign you have print, online and in person/phone calls happening to raise money for X. Measure the totals, not the email vs appeal vs phone call and then decide what to keep and cut.

Simon

There’s a happy medium right? We need these stats fast, and we have to let them influence our decisions

Simon

But they’re not gospel

And taking action is more effective than analysing forever

John

just because I let you buy me a drink on our first date Simon doesnt mean I’ll marry you…

Simon

I do a great first date

Beate

And i think we need to have the confidence to only measure against ourselves and not always worrying how we stack up against everyone else

John

agree Beate.

Jen

THIS must not get lost in the dating analogies

Simon

Yes absolutely! Interesting and useful to look at others…but it’s not the final answer

Jen

we had some hilarious chats this year with clients about how they can’t compare to sick children or puppies…and what they were trying to raise money for was space exploration!

Everyone thinks their charity is the hardest to fundraise for, and that they still try to measure against their stiffest competition

Beate

hahaha

yep

I think the more uncertainty there is, the more people long for a metric that will tell them they’re doing the right thing.

Simon

The cause is always greener on the other side

John

exactly right.

Beate

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted” <- donorlove

John

❤

i’m happy to let the counters count… but i like to focus on doing MY part… i’ll let donors do THEIR part… whatever that might be

Beate

So do you use metrics much at all with clients in the day-to-day, or mostly long term?

Simon

More longterm…but keep an eye on the day to day to make the slight tweaks

But most of my clients are smaller so measurement is cautious

Jen

We review project to project and also review long games. Especially in legacy metrics, which we touched on over on twitter with Clare Levy

My Dad has an almost unintelligible legacy tracking spreadsheet but once you lean into it, it’s very valuable

Beate

What does he track?

Jen

Mostly engagement — other ways legacy donors are connected to your program. Which breaks brains sometimes but when you can actually measure it, very valuable

John

bit of both. of course with online and offline – you get data… which is infomrative.. but really – just cos the appeal about frogs didnt do well… what do you change? never talk about frogs again?

i ❤ frogs btw

but they do shit in testing

Jen

I call BULLSHIT

when have we ever tested frogs against something else?

Beate

Maybe you just made very bad frog appeals?

John

lol

Jen

Maybe John did bad frog appeals elsewhere?

All my frog appeals have fucking slayed

John

but DID YOU TEST IT?

Jen

Back to Simon’s 2 monthly donor split test….see? It IS John!

Simon

What’s mad is when we take test results as fact forever. I know people are still quoting one piece of thank you research from decades ago

John

same. that’s a REALLY dumb idea BTW…

Beate

yeah. or looking for “what works on facebook”, like, it changes on an hourly basis!

John

so friends – dont do that

Beate

Ok. So, let’s wrap up with a lobsterfact

and, I would like you to rate it out of ten

John

mmm

Beate

To provide a metric

John

i love lobster

i could take down 3 lobster rolls right now

Beate

here’s the fact, from our surprise host who is not here:

Lobsters have teeth in their stomach.

Simon

9

John

i’ve heard this

Beate

that is not a score, john

once again, you’ve missed the brief

Simon

Qualitative

John

what am i scoring FFS?

that i like it?

Jen

oh man, john…

Beate

“out. of. ten. ”

John

fucking 100

Jen

That’s a solid 9.5 fact

Beate

Interesting. Not what I had benchmarked as a kpi in advance

I was way off market

John

this is dumb. I’m leaving.

Did this chat make you laugh? Or think? Find us annoying? You should totally share that with your friends.

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