Crunch Numbers (and Pizza): Measuring Success at Rival IQ

Behind the scenes Data-Driven Marketing

Breaking news: we’re a social media analytics company that loves analytics.

Okay, maybe this isn’t too surprising, if you’ve ever actually used Rival IQ or talked to any of us (especially the one with the Ph.D in computer science). In the spirit of walking the analytics talk, we thought we’d share one of the many ways we harness the power of data to make our product (and our business) better: our monthly metrics review meeting.

Turning metriczzzzz… into metrics!

We’ve all been in that boring business and products analytics meeting where the CFO drones on about ARPUs and CAGRs and GDPs (okay, maybe not that last one). At Rival IQ, we take a different approach: once a month, folks from every department present a handful of key metrics that relate to the success of our customers, product, and business. We leave plenty of time for questions and conversation, and work hard to ensure that the meeting is led by everyone, not just top leadership. And it always happens over company-wide lunch–full bellies mean sharp brains!   

Metrics at Rival: now with 200% more plaid.

Here are a few of the metrics we look at as indicators of how our product is being used, how people are finding us, and so much more:

It’s no surprise that we use Rival IQ to review our social analytics and web/blog traffic, but we also call on Tableau, Hubspot, Salesforce, and good old-fashioned Excel to measure our progress.

(Yeah, we use our own tool!)

Why is it important to our product and culture to review metrics like this?

1. First and foremost: to improve your experience.

By looking at things like number of active daily users in our product, or how many users are taking advantage of new features like Explore, we can map the experience of our customers over time to continually make improvements in our product. Drop-off in daily users? Maybe we need to look at making the login experience easier. Experiencing lower traffic in a particular product feature than we’d like? Maybe it’s time to rename or revamp the feature so more people know where it is or that it’s available to them. And if we see a drop in our web traffic or email open rates, it’s a sure sign that we need to create more compelling content or rethink our distribution strategy.

Of course, we’re looking at the customer experience outside of this meeting too, but presenting progress to your colleagues and having someone outside your department ask questions or point out changes can go a long way to inspiring solutions (and, of course, more questions!).

2. To keep accountable to one another

Nothing says accountability quite like presenting what your department is up to in front of your entire company. Even when I’m responsible for just a slide or two, I feel a strong desire to move the needle with my work so I can share that success with my colleagues.

Bonus? That sense of accountability extends to the health and success of the company itself, with regular updates from our founders about how the company is doing financially. These updates are an exercise in living our company values of transparency and trust, and go a long way to helping everyone feel like we’re all rowing the boat together. It’s also pretty cool when you can see the straight line between your department’s metrics and the bottom line of the company.

3. To encourage collaboration between departments

Rival’s open office and weekly lunches mean we’re far from siloed, but our metrics meetings give a regular chance for us to connect the dots between departments. Super high web traffic month? Might mean our sales team should expect a boatload of new trials. New feature seeing a lot of traffic in our app? Our customer success team should buckle up and be ready to answer questions from customers using that feature for the first time.

Putting the “pie” in pie chart   

Pizza+pie charts=love.

As a newbie on the team, it’s been surprising (and awesome) to see how gathering around a communal meal once a week can do so much to support Rival’s values of transparency, collaboration, and communication. Way back when Rival IQ was just a dream in our founders’ metaphorical garage, they got together to hatch plans over lunch on Wednesdays, and that tradition has stuck. There’s always something food-related to talk over or laugh about (like the time we ordered so many MOD pizzas on Pie Day that they couldn’t keep up with the demand), which helps to bring us closer together as a company–even when we’re diving deep into statistical analysis.

Metrics make our product better, and therefore our customers happier, which is absolutely reason enough to review them on the reg. But the side effects of a closer-knit, more-accountable, and better-fed team are icing on the cake. [Editor’s note: maybe next month’s metrics meeting needs cake…]

Blair Feehan

Blair is a content marketer based in Seattle who relishes helping companies large and small do one thing: tell their stories. She specializes in content creation, messaging, branding, and community engagement to get the word out. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading her brains out and then running statistical analysis on what she's been reading.

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