People often delay starting complex projects because all they can see ahead are the challenges and complexities involved in completing such projects. If something seems too daunting of an up-hill battle to ever complete, it’s very hard to get started.
Those who might feel too discouraged to begin can overcome this mental barrier by breaking up the overall project into smaller, more manageable tasks. A plan consisting of those smaller, bite-sized tasks makes it easier to start and ultimately complete the larger, overarching project.
The same concept can apply to a firm’s desire to measure the effectiveness of its marketing efforts. There is certainly a lot involved in measuring marketing well. To help make implementing a marketing measurement process at your organization a reality rather than a dream, here’s a plan to help you break the project down into manageable steps.
8 Steps for Marketing Measurement
1. Assemble Your Measurement Team: You should create a small and diverse team that pulls members from a wide array of backgrounds such as sales, marketing, operations, finance, IT, and others. The purpose of marketing is to incentivize profitable customer behaviour. People from each of these areas will have a perspective on how to define and measure profitable customer behaviour at your organization, or can provide the data you’ll need to measure whether marketing is achieving its objectives.
2. Decide What to Measure: This step requires having clarity about your overall business and marketing objectives, as well as each individual marketing campaign’s objectives. Well-defined objectives from your marketing planning process will help you to identify the KPIs that you’ll use to assess how well your campaign is performing. You should also identify the data you’ll need to collect, as well as where, when, and how you’ll collect it.
3. Pick a Methodology: You need a flexible measurement methodology that you can apply consistently across a diverse range of campaigns that vary in complexity, targeting different customers, with different performance objectives and metrics. The methodology needs to be able to accommodate those differences. A consistent methodology across programs makes it possible to rank programs by a common overall program performance KPI.
4. Assign Responsibilities, Set Deadlines & Expectations: Make sure team members understand their role and responsibilities, their personal deadlines, and who else on the team they need to collaborate with on specific tasks. Like any project, your success will depend on how well people perform.
5. Test: Always start small. Measure one campaign’s KPIs against its objectives while you develop and work out the kinks in your process. Pick a campaign that will involve everyone on the team and that will test all aspects of your process.
6. Review & Adjust Your Process: Things won’t go as planned on your first attempt. Check back in with the team and fix what needs fixing before rolling out your process.
7. Roll Out: Typically this is done in phases, perhaps to other brands, other program types, other divisions and other locations. Do it in manageable steps and be sure to allow for a pause after each phase so you can review and adjust if necessary.
8. Review & Adjust Your Marketing: Hold a measurement review session after completing the above steps, but before starting your next round of marketing planning. Take the time to see what you’ve learned about which campaigns have been the most and least effective at meeting or exceeding target KPIs. Then, optimize your next wave of strategies, tactics and outcomes.
If developing and implementing a marketing measurement process in your firm is something you’ve been dreading, a step-by-step plan will make it easier for you to both start and finish.
Rick Shea is President of Optiv8 Consulting, a marketing effectiveness consultancy with a focus on helping small to mid-sized organizations measure their marketing so they can stop wasting money.