How organizations get blindsided when measuring online performance.
People are becoming more concerned about measurement as the economy slows. This makes sense because it's in everyone's best interest to be able to show data behind their projects and support their work.
While this is commendable, I've encountered a concerning trend while talking with clients and others in the interactive industry over the past few months. Many focus in on just behavioral metrics and aren't able to quantify the overall business goals of the online channel and how a specific campaign or initiative fits into those goals.
Defining, Agreeing, Sharing Online Business Goals
Once you get down to the individual project level, people seem to lose focus of the overall Web channel goals and how the project on the table fits into the big picture. Everyone suddenly gets tactical, focusing on timeline, budget, and scope.
To be successful, all players in your Web organization must understand and be able to verbalize the Web channel goals.
When working on an individual project, participants must consider how the project fits into those overall goals. Project participants should be able to describe the key business goals for the particular initiative.
Too often, people jump right to specific measurement ideas -- saying they want to count the click-throughs to a partner site, for example. While this may end up being a key measurement, too often the big picture isn't understood. This will frequently lead to an overemphasis on a few things that may support one goal while completely ignoring the value of things that support other goals.
This may not seem like a big deal as you assume that people will naturally focus on the right things, but it isn't the case.
Avoiding the One-Trick Pony
In most organizations, different measurement methods (Web analytics, surveys, competitive, customer interviews) are employed by different departments or silos. In many cases, this will lead to just one method being used. When measuring a new project's performance, the attitudinal person will focus on surveys or the behavioral person will focus on Web analytics.
There are very few cases where you can get a full view of site performance by only using one of these measurement methods. People will often try to shoehorn performance measurement into just one of these, which can lead to a complete misunderstanding of what's happening online with your customer or prospects. Almost as bad is when people completely ignore something important because they don't know how to measure it.
Ensure that the right people throughout your organization focus on the business goals and then consider the best way to measure those goals using the appropriate measurement methods, rather than just trying to measure all your goals using one method.
Use this time of shrinking resources to increase attention on site performance. Help get your company focused on the big picture and the right way to truly understand it. When you're able to solve the two issues outlined above, you will your chance of moving through to site optimization and truly changing the performance of your Web channel will increase considerably.
We want to know what you think! Take the ClickZ Network Readership Survey and help us give you more of what you want. It takes only 10 minutes, and you'll have a chance for a cool prize (see site for details).
Want to learn more?
Attend ClickZ Live New York March 30 - April 1. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live brings together over 60 expert speakers to offer an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
As President of the Americas at POSSIBLE, Jason is responsible for leading the long-term stability and growth of the region. With more than 20 years experience in digital strategy, he is a long-time advocate of using data to inform digital strategies to help clients attract, convert, and retain customers. Jason supports POSSIBLE's clients and employees in driving new engagements and delivering great work that works. He is the co-author of Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions.
Follow him on Twitter @JasonBurby.
Singapore, 5-6 March
Bangkok, 17-18 March
Hong Kong, April 2015
A Buyer's Guide to Affiliate Management Software
Manage your performance marketing with the right solution. Choose a platform that will mutually empower advertisers and media partners!
Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.