Insights-Driven Measurement: The key to understanding business impact

By Margo Monnier

With an endless amount of data at our fingertips from the multitude of devices and screens consumers use today, it can be tempting for us as Marketers to measure everything we can get our hands on. But the danger is that more is not always better. You don’t need every single possible data point – you need the ones that will provide insight on progress against key business objectives. Just like in life, setting priorities is key. Use these five steps to ensure your measurement is providing the insights your brand needs:

1)      Clearly define objectives upfront

2)      Create a program that drives objectives

3)      Determine key measurement questions and high value proxies

4)      Develop a performance forecast

5)      Measure and optimize

Effective measurement begins well before a program is in market – it starts at the very inception of the program by determining clearly defined objectives. The program experience should then be tailored toward driving outcomes that will show progress against the objectives. But what if you can’t fully measure an objective? Say that you’re running a digital campaign with the ultimate goal of driving sales of a product, but ecommerce is not available. Or maybe ecommerce is available, but you know that the product typically has a long consideration phase. How do you know that you’re making progress against the objective of driving sales?

For each objective, it’s important to determine the key measurement questions and high value proxies that will provide insight on your progress. These proxies can come in the form of both attitudinal and behavioral metrics. For example:

  • Attitudinal measurement question: After interacting with the program experience, how likely was a user to consider purchasing the product? By measuring attitudes of both those who were and were not exposed to the program, you can isolate program impact on an attitude that factors into purchase decision
  • Behavioral measurement question: How much engagement did the program drive on product pages and within the store locator tool? By measuring behaviors that are most likely to indicate a user is moving toward purchase, you can understand if the program is effectively moving consumers through the purchase decision-making journey

Once you’ve determine the key measurement questions and high value proxy behaviors, next it’s time to create a forecast for performance. Going into the program, expected performance should be known. To create a program forecast, it’s ideal to have historical benchmarks for key conversion points. Going back to our example, say we are measuring visits to a store locator tool. We would look at the typical percentage of users on a product page who click through to the store locator – in this case, let’s assume a 10% conversion rate. If the media plan is designed to drive 1MM visitors to the product page, we would expect 100K to visit the store locator tool. While this is a simplistic example, the same approach can be used across the proxy metrics. In the case that no historical data is available, industry benchmarks can be effective reference points as you work to build up your own brand’s baseline metrics.

Now you’re ready to put the program into market. With the measurement framework established and forecast created, focus is now on regular monitoring and optimization. Weekly intervals provide the visibility necessary to make short term optimizations, while monthly intervals enable an analysis of broader performance trends that provide deeper insight into program strategy effectiveness.

The highly-measureable nature of digital can make it easy to get stuck in the weeds, but when data is harnessed with clear goals, it can deliver powerful insights that provide visibility to understanding business impact.

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