Defining your North Star Metric

by Alex Cleanthous - Get more articles like this sent to your email here

Have you got a North Star Metric? It’s one of the most important things for any company looking to drive growth. And if you don’t have one, you should seriously make the time to figure it out.

Hey, my name’s Alex Cleanthous, and I’m the Director of Strategy and Innovation at Web Profits. And today, I’ll be explaining what a North Star Metric is, why it’s important, and how to come up with one.

Transcript:

So for those of you who don’t know, a North Star Metric is the most important metric that, if you focus on it above all else, will drive sustainable growth. Facebook’s is Daily Active Users. Airbnb’s is nights booked. Ours is monthly recurring revenue.

Why is having one important? Because driving growth takes a lot of work, and it’s easy to waste your resources on things that don’t move the needle. Plus it’s easy to get distracted with the latest and shiniest new ideas.

So having a North Star Metric keeps everyone in your company focused on the most important metric for your company’s growth, which often means doing the things that might not be the most exciting but that drive consistent growth.

How to come up with your North Star Metric

So how do you come up with your North Star Metric?

For us, we spend a lot of time in the early stages of a new engagement figuring out what our client’s north start metric is because it’s going to define everything we do.

Every business is different, and it gets even more complicated when you look at different business models. For one client, we had 10 people in a room to figure out that their North Star Metric was the number of people in their CRM that had a lead score above a certain value. This was hard because they don’t sell direct to consumers, however we figured out that there was a direct correlation between revenue and the number of people in their database that were above a certain lead score.

For another client that has an Account-Based Marketing approach, we figured out that their North Star Metric was the number of target accounts that reached the qualification stage in the sales process.

What impact can it have?

Defining your North Star Metric can have a huge impact not only on your growth, but on how your company operates overall.

Last year we took our entire company away for our annual conference, and over 4 days we defined our north star metric, and had workshops on what every single person in our company could do to help impact it. The conference was awesome, but what was even better was seeing how aligned everyone was when we got back.

We talk about it regularly. It affects how we make decisions. We report on it and discuss it weekly. And everyone knows exactly what they can do to help drive it forward.

How to get started

The North Star Metric is different for every organisation, as is how it’s rolled out and communicated. At the very least, anyone involved in driving growth for your company – from the marketing team, to the sales team, and all of your external agencies – should be clear on what your North Star Metric is, and their role in driving it forward.

If you don’t have one and your growth isn’t where you need it to be, maybe you should consider defining one for your organisation. Set up a time with key stakeholders to brainstorm what it could be. Look at what success you’ve had in the past. Figure out where your current growth has come from. Understand who your best customers are and why. And try to get through all of the noise to identify the one metric that if you focused on growing above all else, will have the biggest and most-sustainable impact on your growth.

It’s a big process, and sometimes it can be difficult seeing the forest for the trees. So if you need help with it, feel free to reach out – we have a lot of experience helping companies define their North Star Metric.

But anyway, that’s it for today. I really hope you enjoyed this video and I look forward to speaking with you soon. Thanks for watching and have a great day 🙂

Alex Cleanthous

Alex Cleanthous

Director of Strategy + Innovation at Web Profits
Alex Cleanthous is Director of Strategy + Innovation at Web Profits. With more than 17 years experience in the digital space, Alex is responsible for ensuring that Web Profits stays at the forefront of digital strategy and execution. With offices in Australia, Singapore and the United States, Alex focuses on driving growth across all regions, as well as identifying and expanding into new markets and new industries. Alex lives, loves and breathes strategic design thinking and bringing innovative solutions to life through end-to-end implementation.

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