Building a Robust Measurement Framework
Choosing what to measure the most important aspect of building great campaigns that drive nonlinear business results. If you’ve found someone who has cost per click as their be-all, end-all measurement, don’t walk… run!
Your measurement plans should be somewhat unique to you as a business. A home services company should not measure the same things as a retailer. A lawyer does not have the same ultimate goals as an app company.
Building a Measurement Framework
It’s incredibly rare that you’ll want to measure just one thing. You should have an ultimate goal of sales, but in complex purchases, it’s rare that managing to sales alone will get you the results you desire.
Especially with new customers, seeing one advertisement in one place is unlikely to yield the ultimate goal you want. But, one advertisement can yield a goal that gets them closer to the ultimate goal.
As you’re building your measurement framework, think through these micro-conversions that help your potential customers draw closer to your goal.
A home services company may ultimately want the customer to buy a new AC unit, but that’s going to take a bit of convincing. Gathering more people on an email list, building a relationship through maintenance of the customer’s current unit, and doing regular inspections and tune-ups are all steps that will make the customer far more receptive to the large-ticket purchase.
For that home services company, good campaigns might manage towards appointments booked (for any service) knowing that at some point, all AC units will die. The campaign will measure number of AC installs and marketing cost per AC install, but it will manage to appointments booked. The campaign managers should keep an eye on marketing cost per new email signup (and conversion from email signups to appointment signups) to keep the entire funnel healthy.
Ultimately, building a measurement plan is about making sure that the business funnel is full and using marketing tactics to fill the various stages of the funnel.
Common Measurement Mistakes
Not Accounting for What Gets Measured Gets Managed
Whatever you decide to measure, make sure that you’re ok with it being managed to. This is one of the reasons surface measurements like cost per click or cost per impression lead to terrible results. When your team is so busy managing to those, they’re not managing to the end goal you need.
Not Defining Conversion Terms VERY Closely
When you’re having conversations about conversions, being painfully accurate about what a conversion really means. If you’re an app developer whose app has a signup process, one person at the table wanting to measure the campaigns to “downloads” could mean “downloads of the app who have also signed up to create an account.” Another person could believe downloads to mean “app installs on a phone” without including the account signup process.
Those two will be managing to very different expectations of the campaign. It’s worth taking the time to define the terms and make sure everyone knows what is, and what is not, a conversion.
Ignoring Secondary Metrics
While cost per click is a terrible way to measure a campaign, it’s still an important signal of health. It’s also an important element to manage in search of campaign efficiency.
There is a critical distinction between campaign performance discussions and campaign optimization discussions. Campaign performance discussions focus on the key metrics to manage the campaigns to, and how the campaigns are performing against those goals. Campaign optimization discussions focus on how to get the campaigns to perform better against those goals.
Cost per click, cost per view and other similar metrics have an important place at the optimization table. Managing those in relation to the key metrics is critical. However, they are not performance measures.
How to Get to Deeper Measurement
It’s harder to track and manage deeper measurements than it is surface-metrics. It’s also far more valuable.
If you’ve been looking at surface-level campaign measurement, the first thing to do in building more robust metrics is to make sure you have the technical infrastructure for better management. You cannot expect deep and rich insights if you don’t have any data to pull from.
Your app or website should have Google Tag Manager or another tag management system installed. You should do a tracking audit to make sure that you have the ability to track what you need to. And then, you can tie it all together.
Double check your tracking to make sure everything is firing correctly. Then, you’ll be off to the races.