“So, how did we do?” It’s a question marketers often ask each other at the end of a campaign. And, although it’s a good a question, we don’t always get the answer we had hoped for. A list of metrics, important Key Performance Indicators, or even something as promising as the number of new leads generated can leave our stakeholders surprised, confused, or worse--unsure if we did our job. What does it all mean?
Think of it as if someone were excitedly telling you about a soccer game that they just watched. When you ask “Who won?” they proceed to rattle off a list of stats like passing percentages, shots on goal, and substitutions used. But they never get around to telling you who won. These metrics and KPIs are useful if you know your baselines and goals – but not otherwise. Goals and standards for the spectrum of metrics and KPIs at your disposal are useful to tell you what things should have looked like and where they didn’t.
According to authors Chip and Dan Heath in “Decisive,” in order to make better choices, you need to create a strategy that goes beyond a simple list of pros and cons. In fact, in order to make your best decisions, you’ll need to avoid the Four Villains of decision-making. They are: a Narrow Focus, Confirmation Bias, Short-Term Emotional Decision-Making, and Overconfidence. A marketing measurement plan is an important tool to combat all of these villains consistently each time you start a new campaign or wish to improve a current one.
Creating a measurement plan is important so that you can define clear objectives to provide context and help answer broad questions like, “So, how did we do?” By defining success in big and small terms, you will have an easier time identifying causes when talking about success or failure.
Having specific goals which need to be met at specific times is important when it comes to making efficient adjustments. You’ve identified important targets, and if you aren’t hitting them, you can then start talking about contingency plans. If you start missing too many, you can abort without wasting your whole budget.
How to create your own measurement plan in three simple steps.
- At the outset of the campaign, you need to define success. This means really thinking through what you are trying to accomplish. What are the topline business goals and objectives you hope to accomplish? If, for example, the goal is to increase your level of engagement with an existing audience or target audience, you’ll need to know your baseline. Or if the goal is to generate new leads for your sales team, how many leads define success?
- The second step is to work backwards from success. Hopefully, you can think about which milestones precede each other and which of those milestones are most important to the overall goal. Creating a simple list of these milestones in an Excel spreadsheet is a great way to start. Once you start to flesh out the marketing pipeline, you’ll need to add known factors like the conversion rates between milestones. Does your ad convert 0.5% of impressions to leads, or are there some other steps in between? The more granular you can get, the more accurate you can be in the long term. The more complicated or longer in duration, the more steps and milestones you will likely have.
- After you’ve translated the topline business goals you plan to accomplish and understand what components will ultimately lead to success, you need to think about how often you need to measure those components. Some marketing efforts last two weeks as they try to drive customers to an event, while others may last a year or more. This will play a significant role in how often you measure, because if something doesn’t go as planned, you’re going to need time to make corrections. After all, the purpose of a measurement plan is to help you know when things didn’t go as planned and turn them around quickly.
This is a basic roadmap to succeed, but be prepared for things to change. Remember that your measurement plan is a flexible and living document used to guide you through a complicated process. If you’d like to discuss campaign performance in more detail and see how Trellist can assist you, contact us today.