Wouldn’t you know that performance marketing is not unlike planning and embarking upon a months-long road trip. Your traveling party has an end goal that requires a lot of strategizing by everyone on how best to get there. Do you want to become better surfers? Head to the Pacific. Expand your minds at museums? Washington, D.C. is the destination for you. A lively workcation at a dude ranch? Montana!
Think of the performance measurement framework as step one of your pre-trip planning. What results do you hope to achieve by creating a campaign? What are your goals? And what steps do you need to take together to get there?
Buckle up and get ready for part one of this five-part performance marketing series. Here’s everything you need to know about creating and implementing a measurement framework and how it’s the first step to getting you on your way to reaching your business objectives.
What Is a Performance Measurement Framework?
The first stop on any performance marketing journey is the performance measurement framework. This is an exercise that directly ties every campaign, tactic, and metric to a business objective. Making sure your paid and organic activities work toward a business goal provides a comprehensive view of your performance.
Measurement frameworks are important because they provide much-needed direction. For example, when companies initiate new marketing initiatives, some leaders want a million organic search views on their blog and 100,000 more social media followers. But why? Vague, lofty goals like these that aren’t guided by an established strategy set up your day-to-day teams for failure. A detailed framework for all platforms and tactics ensures that all internal and external teams are working toward a common goal.
How Do You Create a Measurement Framework?
Because the measurement framework tracks and analyzes the performance of activities across departments, it’s essential that every major stakeholder takes part in creating it. Starting at the top, the c-suite must cement a business objective that every campaign for the next several months will strive for. This is usually a broad, but still targeted objective that matches your company’s industry and lies within your reach realistically. This exercise requires leaders to be honest. For example, if you’re a startup, you’re unlikely to unseat your industry’s forerunners within a few months, but you can certainly make smaller waves by owning a niche within your industry.
Next, after determining the objective, it’s time to indicate a business goal and the communication and marketing objectives that’ll get you there. Based on the goal your company decides on, you can then outline how you’ll achieve it through paid social media efforts, an SEO-optimized content marketing series for your blog, an email marketing campaign, site improvements to the customer experience to boost customer satisfaction, etc. From there, break out your campaigns further into measurable goals and detailed, specific KPIs (key performance indicators).
Here’s a sample measure framework:
You’re welcome to steal this chart for yourself, but it likely won’t be very helpful. Every industry is different, as is every company’s baseline, goals, and resources. It’s best to partner with an expert who can customize a framework to your unique specifications. Guided planning workshops can help your internal and external teams align on what success looks like for you and how you can realistically achieve it based on your budget.
What Are SMART Marketing Goals?
Every goal around which you build your measurement framework should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, aka SMART. SMART marketing goals ensure that you have a structured and trackable way to reach your desired outcome. Plus, at any time during a campaign, you can assess whether you’re on the road to success or need to make a few turns to steer back in the right direction.
SMART goals keep you honest about identifying failure and learning from it. For example, without a time limit, it could be tempting to keep extending your deadlines until you hit your goals. However, that extra time could’ve been better used to reevaluate why you weren’t successful and to brainstorm and enact new strategies to improve. SMART goals also keep you motivated when you succeed. If your measurable KPI set a 10% YoY increase in sales as the mark to beat, your team will keep striving to meet (or exceed!) that number. Without a specific KPI, your team might’ve called it a day upon reaching a respectable 9% increase.
Why Take the Time to Make a Measurement Framework?
Would you embark on an expensive, several months-long vacation without planning the route with your travel companions? If you don’t, you’re either very impulsive, have a mountain of cash, or you’re not bothered about what your friends want to get out of the trip. No matter how antsy you are to get out the door, everyone needs to weigh in and plan the route that’ll fulfill your goals.
A robust measurement framework smashes data silos so business leaders can get a comprehensive view of all behavior and every movement. When leaders have an unobstructed view, they can accomplish the following:
- Assess results to make data-driven decisions
- Facilitate collaboration between internal and external teams
- Monitor recent and long-term value to identify opportunities and trends
- Use data storytelling to assess the true impact of work
Today’s business climate is a ruthlessly fast-moving one. Miscommunication between teams or working toward a KPI that doesn’t ladder up to a business outcome wastes valuable time. What a lot of teams don’t realize is that a viral video or an email campaign with a high open rate doesn’t spell success for everyone.
Don’t Depart Without a Map
Like a road trip, the performance marketing journey is just as eye-opening as the destination. Your pre-trip planning is a key step to making the most of your time, budget, creative placements, and talent to see success illustrated in fact-based, proven analytics.
Make a pitstop to read our next installment about the second step in the performance marketing journey: digital journey mapping.
Do your digital initiatives need a compass? Reach out to our Performance Marketing team and inquire about our digital journey mapping workshops and reporting deliverables.