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Team Orange PegsJun 22, 2022 10:11:42 AM2 min read

3 North Star Metric Examples That Light the Path to Growth

Establishing a North Star Metric is key to making substantive investments in growth. But it's often not treated properly, and businesses find themselves changing their North Star to accommodate their outcomes, not the other way around.

In this article, I'm going to share with you some North Star Metric examples that effectively communicate the business mission along with how to achieve success.

First, what is the "North Star" metric concept?

Mixpanel does a great job explaining this in their blog post, "What is a North Star Metric?"

They say it must do three things (and I wholeheartedly agree):

  1. Lead to revenue
  2. Reflect customer value
  3. Measure progress

How to Find and Use Your North Star Metric

Here are some good And bad North Star Metric examples and how they influence growth


North Star Orange Pegs - Consulting Agency

The North Star: Signed engagements

Why it works: Signed deals are a precursor to revenue. It reflects customer value because first engagements come from demonstrating value during the sales process and renewals come from achieving targeted objectives. They're easily measurable, and this metric hasn't changed since we established it several years ago. When investing in ANYTHING, whether it's talent or production processes and templates, we are able to test whether it impacts our ability to close more deals by signing more engagements.

North Star Confidential - SaaS

The -original- North Star: Account signups

Why it didn't work: We found that this NSM changed often. Account signups indirectly led to revenue but didn't guarantee it. It only reflected value in the sales pitch and only up TO the paywall. Additionally, focusing on account signups also left out the B2B side of the business, which is about licensing their platform on white-labeled apps.

The NEW North Star: Trades on their platform

Why the NEW one worked: Trades are how they make their money regardless of where the account comes from. They show value in sales as well as in the UX and value proposition promised by the product with every trade. And, regardless of where the company goes in the future, they don't see it changing.

North Star Air BnB - Technology Company

The North Star: Booked rooms

Why it works: Booked rooms directly result in revenue. Success is proof that they demonstrated value to the customers (those listing their rooms AND those booking them). No matter what they're investing in, whether marketing or UX improvements, they can draw a line from them to the North Star. And, of course, it's easily measurable.


What's right for your business?

Here are a few more broad examples of North Stars based on some of the industries we work with often:

  • Staffing & Recruitment Agencies: Filled Jobs or hours worked
  • SaaS: Active users (ad-based) or paid subscriptions
  • Professional Services: Main service delivered or retainer secured
  • Management Consulting: Signed engagements or hours worked
  • E-Commerce: Sold core products

Become a North Star Metric PRO with our Experimental Marketing Strategy course. The first 3 lessons are free, which include detailed guidance and a template for developing and leveraging your North Star Metric:


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