Creating organizational alignment with a measurement-first approach
Over the years, there has been a shift in the importance of analytics and measurement within marketing. What was once a field primarily driven by gut instinct has become increasingly data-driven. However, analytics is still too often an afterthought within many marketing organizations. While many marketers understand the importance of tracking performance and using this knowledge to inform decisions, they forget to set measures of success or do not align their key metrics to the larger organizational objectives. By taking a step back and creating a measurement plan at the beginning of a project, marketers can ensure alignment on the goals of the business and develop relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the effectiveness of marketing activities.
What is a Measurement Plan?
A measurement plan is a single document that organizes the core objectives of your business and how they will be measured. The plan starts at the broadest level—overall business objective—and breaks it into measurable metrics and specific ways to segment those metrics. The five essential pieces of a measurement plan, and the order in which to define them, are as follows:
- Business Objective: This is where you will Identify the goal for the business as a whole and is often the most important step in creating alignment across all stakeholders. Example: Increase sales
- Goals: These are the specific tactics that you will leverage to accomplish the business objective. Example: Increase customer spend per order
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): These are the metrics that help you understand how you are performing against your goals. Example: Average order value
- Success Targets: The predetermined numerical values that indicate success or failure. Targets can be derived from historical performance or industry benchmarks. This is one of the most critical steps to determining the effectiveness of marketing activities, yet it is often the most skipped. Example: Increase average order value from $50 to $62
- Segments: These are ways you can divide and analyze the metrics collected. By identifying the sources of traffic, types of people, and their behavior, etc., that are most important to your goals, you will be able to derive greater insight from your data. Example: Product recommendations
Advantages of Creating a Measurement Plan
One of the major strengths of a measurement plan is its ability to uncover organizational misalignment and align stakeholders within a project or organization. The creation of the plan requires taking a step back to look at the larger business objective and then developing goals that ladder up to that objective. By nature, this ensures that all marketing efforts are aligned to the organization’s larger objective prior to investing resources, time, and money into them.
From an analytics perspective, a measurement plan guides technical implementations. Creating a plan ahead of time allows proper configuration of tags, tracking codes, and triggers. Setting up triggers, such as goals/events, is important because it allows you to identify the marketing activities that drive conversions and those that do not.
Finally, creating a measurement plan ensures that all key metrics are defined prior to the launch of the project/campaign. Too often, marketers wait until after a campaign has launched and someone gets curious to define success metrics, which is not a recipe for success. This will result in a missed opportunity to start measuring from a known baseline, which is essential for collecting pre- and post-performance insights and informing future marketing decisions.
Get Started on Your Measurement Plan:
“The root cause of failure in most digital marketing campaigns is not the lack of creativity in the banner ad or TV spot or the sexiness of the website. It is quite simply the lack of structured thinking about what the real purpose of the campaign is and a lack of an objective set of measures with which to identify success or failure.” 1
~ Avinash Kaushik
It may take extra time at the beginning of a project to develop a measurement plan, but it ultimately ensures that all marketing efforts are being effectively measured and are aligned with the larger organizational objectives. If your business is having trouble measuring the effectiveness of its marketing efforts, don’t let it keep you up at night. Somnio can work with you to develop a measurement strategy that helps your organization set, track, and achieve its goals.