A measurement strategy puts your organization on the path to data-driven marketing.

When asked about measurement strategy, most marketers scoff.

Marketer: “Of course we have a plan for measurement. We’re tracking visits, and click through and dozens of other KPIs.”

The same marketer struggles to explain whether they’ve achieved the intended business outcome.

Business Stakeholder: “Did we increase sales?”

Marketer: “Well, I can’t directly connect the website to sales, but I can tell you that we’re getting a lot of visits, a low bounce rate, and a high time on site.”

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Organizations small and large are working to figure out how best to collect, interpret and act on data.

A recent Adobe and eConsultancy study confirms:

Without a clear measurement strategy, marketing lives in the tactical execution rather than the business outcome.

The good news is that it’s surprisingly straightforward to course correct and put your organization on the path to data-driven marketing.

Start With Business Outcomes
Begin with the business outcome you’re trying to achieve and work backwards. The questions to start with are:

  1. What outcome are we trying to achieve with this initiative?
  2. How will we know if we’re successful?

Here’s how to approach answering these questions.

Define Key Business Requirements
The first and most important step is to define your key business requirements for the project. This is the outcome you must achieve.

Here’s an example:

To become a data-driven marketer, ask business stakeholders to clearly define the outcomes they want to achieve. And ensure that these outcomes can actually be measured.

At JPL, we create business requirements documentation that defines the required outcomes. This gets everyone aligned and sets a clear path to assigning key performance indicators (KPIs).

Break Down Key Business Requirements into Success Events
Once you’ve identified your key business requirements, break it down further into a series of actions or activities that must occur in order to reach the desired business outcomes.

In our example, your success events may look like this:

When defining success events, think like your customer. Understanding the customer journey is critical to identifying what success events occur before the final business outcome.

Turn Success Events into KPIs
The last step is to turn success events into KPIs. Continuing our example above, then your KPIs would look like the following:

To determine success, your KPIs should always be developed with a target so that you can answer whether or not things are working. Base your targets using past results, industry KPIs and competitive benchmarks.

Remember: Don’t Overdo the KPIs
When setting KPIs, don’t measure everything. Limit KPIs to answer the question: are we successful at achieving our desired business outcome(s). All other diagnostic metrics are just that – ways to diagnose the why and how you’re either achieving, or falling short of, success.

When in doubt, remind yourself that not everything that can be measured is worth measuring.