Recently, Measure What Matters has been hosting weekly OKR chats on Twitter to engage with their audience and encourage discussion around the topic of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). For an hour each week, the Measure What Matters handle will post questions one at a time and ask their followers to comment with their responses. This results in a thoughtful and productive OKR-based conversation where participants can feel free to ask one another for their opinions and offer feedback.
Typically, Measure What Matters invites a thought leader from the OKR space to write the questions, host the chat, and lead the discussion for the day. Betterworks CMO, Luanne Tierney, recently hosted a marketing-focused chat. Here are some of the highlights from the #OKRChat that day:
Question 1: How would you break down the KPIs for an OKR like “make some noise on social media”?
This question is meant as commentary on the way many marketing objectives are broad in nature and seemingly difficult to measure. But that’s where key results come in! Individual units of measurement such as reporting, cadence, or followers all contribute to more overarching objectives such as “build press buzz” or “optimize the blog.”
Here’s Luanne’s response:
@LDTierney: “Bringing quality and quantity together in your #OKRs can be difficult, but it makes for a strong objective! I would use something like: 1. Ramp up posting by 2x. 2. Increase daily audience interactions by 20%. 3. Identify 3 brands to cross-promote with a quarter. #OKRChat”
Question 2: How can OKRs assist in hitting targeted goals like impressions or MQLs?
There’s a lot to measure when it comes to marketing. Setting targeted goals to make improvements and become better is what OKRs are all about – but how do we really do it?
Here are Luanne’s thoughts:
@LDTierney: “#OKRs work as a compass that guides you to your results. In #marketing, there are a lot of objectives to consider: followers, MQLs, RSVPS, etc. By writing dedicated OKRs for each of these objectives, you can map the #KPIs that will lead you to your goal 🎯 #OKRChat”
Participant Gail Thomas commented:
@RealGailThomas: “Okay, this is a challenge for me. Maybe use OKRs to set/define a specific quality/quantity of customer and/or impression. And set a timeframe for the goal! #OKRChat”
Measure What Matters responded with:
@WhatMattersOKRs: “We love this because it also speaks to something that makes OKRs so powerful – committing to a calendar. When the quarter (or whatever your cadence is) is up, take time to reflect and grade goals and outcomes. #OKRChat”
Question 3: Do you find it valuable to have insight into your marketing team’s OKRs?
While it’s no secret that having transparency into the goals of various departments is beneficial, we wanted to ask why it’s important for marketing, specifically.
Here’s what Luanne had to say:
@LDTierney: “At @betterworks, we provide full transparency into the #marketing team’s #OKRs in order for the company to be aligned on pipeline initiatives. Knowing what’s on deck for marketing means sales, product, executives, etc. can all be aware of new initiatives. #OKRChat”
Measure What Matters added:
@WhatMattersOKRs: “Yes! OKRs are great for radical transparency, breaking through silos, and encouraging cross-functional teams #OKRChat”
Another participant said:
@Mahany: “It is absolutely critical. Really dislike the often repeated quote that ‘I know half of my marketing budget is working and half is useless but don’t know which half’. #OKRs and tracking can overcome that kind of thinking. #OKRChat”
Question 4: How do you learn from a missed OKR?
While not marketing focused, we wanted to end on a question we could all relate to: failure. Ambitious OKRs are normal, but they do run the risk of ending in a missed objective. So, how do we learn from this and what do we do next?
Here’s how Luanne responded:
@LDTierney: (tweet 1 of 2) “#OKRs should be ambitious, which means sometimes you’re going to miss. And other times you’re going to REALLY miss. For us, a missed OKR is an opportunity to learn. The #KPIs can help pin down what might have happened and open a conversation for finding solutions. #OKRChat”
@LDTierney: (tweet 2 of 2) “I would rather have a big goal than be too conservative. Take a risk, fail, modify and move forward.”
Here’s what other participants had to say:
@EngChallenges: “I think for me, it’s what went wrong? And mostly “am I measuring the right thing?” #OKRChat”
@Mahany: “Depends on what caused the miss :). Truly analyzing without looking for blame or excuses and adjusting accordingly. #OKRChat”
@realGailThomas: “OKRs powered by CFRs enable trying a new approach with better information. #OKRChat”