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Now that we've got these metrics dialed in, the next thing we need to be doing is present it to our boss/manager in a language that they understand, 'cos let's be honest, they care about financial metrics, not marketing jargons/metrics
Great post, Ed! This post reminds of Johnathan Dane's (of KlientBoost) comment on using micro-conversions as "guiding lights", which I thought was the perfect analogy.
After years of working in this industry, surrounded by numbers, I can safely say just because something can be counted, doesn't mean it counts #boom
LOL. Damn right they didn't pay the bills!
I'm so happy you didn't mention likes and tweets in the post, 'cos the last time I checked they don't pay the bills.
Are there tools like this that don't require data science skills to use?
It’s funny, as soon as I saw the original article I knew this would spark an interesting conversation. I think a good NSM can point to growth all along the funnel, can align a team, and inform sub-metrics that inspire effective testing. I also think it can be incredibly difficult to hone in on the perfect NSM, and if you can’t find one you may have to work around a few metrics that your team can rally around. Also, your NSM may have to evolve over time as you grow. Clearly, you have to be careful about over-emphasizing your NSM, but I have found it to be a valuable tool in our growth efforts.
I have a ton of respect for each of the authors so it’s not surprising that they would write such a thought provoking article. Thanks guys for getting me thinking… Despite 20+ years of helping to build the early growth engines in several companies that have gone on to exceed billion dollar valuations (Dropbox, LogMeIn, Eventbrite, Lookout…), I still feel like I’m just scratching the surface in terms of truly understanding growth. Fortunately, it’s this mindset that has allowed me to keep improving my understanding of growth over time. So hopefully some discussion about the article will be welcome and beneficial for all of us.
OMTM vs NSM
In the article, the authors use North Star Metric and One Metric that Matters interchangeably. I define a North Star Metric (NSM) as the single best metric for tracking accumulated user value for a product over a time period. In other words, it is a company-wide metric for tracking sustainable growth. The concept of One Metric that Matters (OMTM), as I understand it, is not the same thing as North Star Metric. I first learned about OMTM from the book Lean Analytics by Alistair Croll and Ben Yoskovitz. They define OMTM as the “one metric that matters — right now.” In other words, what is the one metric that is most broken at this moment in the company or for a given team? I think this is a useful concept to bring focus to a team. But without combining it with an NSM it can lead to some potentially haphazard chasing of metrics. North Star Metric is important because without expanding value, growth of any other metric is unsustainable.
As a side note, I’ve always disliked the phrase OMTM because I agree that it seems to indicate that there is only one metric that matters. Again, that was not the intention of the authors of Lean Analytics.
My full response is pretty long, so here's a link that I posted on the GrowthHackers Blog: https://blog.growthhackers.com/does-a-north-star-metric-oversimplify-growth-7c8428b0307f
Amazing article! Thanks for sharing!
We've seen a lot of "marketing trend lists" for 2018, but we're a big fan of yours! Thanks for the great content. We look forward to future posts from you.
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