Measure. Adjust. Repeat.

July 27, 2015 1:52 pm Published by

We’ve just passed the halfway point of the year. For many of us in marketing, that also means we’re approaching the halfway point in our marketing campaigns for the year. How effective have they been so far? If your boss asked, could you provide ROI today? If campaign measurement isn’t something that you’re going to worry about until December, you might want to think again.

Most people think that evaluation is something that happens at the completion of a campaign. In fact, evaluation should happen at different intervals throughout the year. This way you have the ability to assess the effectiveness and adjust accordingly, creating an even stronger campaign. In addition, evaluation provides an opportunity for ongoing improvement and helps guide the campaign in a successful direction.

Think about campaign evaluation as a cyclical process

Information is acquired, changes are made based on that information, more information is acquired, additional changes are made, and so on. This is a relatively straightforward process if you’ve built in the appropriate framework for evaluation. If you haven’t, or aren’t sure, here are a few things to consider:

  • Make sure your objectives are measurable.While a goal is a general outcome expected when a campaign or program is completed, an objective is very specific and based on projected and actual program outcomes. Your campaign objectives should be unambiguous and stated in a clear way that allows you to determine whether they have been met. They should be specific in terms of timeframe and outcome. For example: our objective is to increase blog traffic by 20% by December 2015.
  • Know what you’re measuring and determine the right tool. Surveys can be an excellent way to measure public opinion, consumer sentiment, and awareness, but it is not a one-size-fits all measurement tool. If your objective is to increase web traffic then use a website analytics tool like Google Analytics; if you’re looking to measure awareness you can conduct an online survey; or if your objective is to ensure your key messages are conveyed in your press coverage, then a media analytics program like BurrellesLuce may be appropriate.
  • Determine a benchmark. Inherently, measurement is a comparative tool. To effectively measure the relative success or failure of a campaign, you need to compare it to something else. The most valuable comparisons are to the competition and peers over time; however that information isn’t always available. A second best benchmark is to compare your results to your own past performance over a specific time period.
  • Once you’ve collected all of your data, draw conclusions and adjust. Ideally with each change made, the campaign gets stronger and produces better results. At the end of the day, continuous evaluation of a marketing campaign allows for those who control the marketing dollars to see the real value and return in real, hard numbers and positive results.

Jessica Sharp is Principal of Maven Communications. Follow her on Twitter @Jessicagsharp

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This post was written by Jessica Sharp

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