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Informing Holistic Performance: the Anatomy of Leading and Lagging Indicators

Are you a futurist, or do you prefer to reflect on events after they occur? Today’s occupancy challenges require senior housing leaders to blend both mindsets.

It’s vital to measure more than historic indicators of performance like occupancy when telling a holistic lead-to-revenue story. According to Salesforce Sixth Edition State of Marketing Report, 72% of high-performing marketing teams can analyze performance in real time, versus 49% of underperforming teams.

That said, it can be difficult to impact marketing performance and shorten sales cycles in real time without understanding the distinctions between leading and lagging indicators.

We’re examining leading and lagging indicators to help your organization better understand its business performance, forecast and directly impact future outcomes based on available data, and decrease the length of your sales cycle.

What are leading and lagging indicators?

Leading indicators correspond with future events, measure immediate change, and are predictive in nature. To navigate an increasingly complex and lengthy sales cycle, metrics like key performance indicators (KPIs) are tracked and measured, collecting behavioral data to inform decisions and improve the performance of an omnichannel campaign. Because leading indicators predict (but don’t guarantee) desired outcomes, they can be overlooked compared to lagging indicators.

Lagging indicators are concerned with events of the past, providing insight into the actual performance of an omnichannel campaign or strategy and whether the intended result was achieved. Lagging indicators identify if a return on investment (ROI) was achieved. There’s no ambiguity with lagging indicators, which can inadvertently present its own challenge to providers. The backward-looking nature of lagging indicators means insights may come too late for real-time adjustments.

Therefore, senior housing providers need to measure leading and lagging indicators to effectively optimize their sales and marketing strategy and meet desired goals.

The infographic below provides additional distinctions between leading and lagging indicators to further your organization’s understanding of its business performance.

Qualities that distinguish leading indicators from lagging indicators

Leading and lagging indicators are essential in a modern approach to marketing. When utilized in tandem, these indicators help sales and marketing teams gain deeper insight into a campaign’s performance. Additionally, teams are able to identify areas where they can improve the performance of future omnichannel campaigns. To master which KPIs to track during each unique stage in the resident journey, download your copy of “Optimizing the Senior Living Buyer’s Journey.”

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