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.
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As the Chief Performance Marketing Officer for POSSIBLE, Jason supports the agency's global Marketing Sciences and Media Services programs.
His primary role is to help POSSIBLE teams and clients use data to craft digital strategies that attract, convert, and retain customers - maximizing ongoing ROI across paid, earned, and owned channels. He believes that brands can better serve their customers by understanding audience behavior, and that messaging should be targeted to individual customers through the use of testing, behavioral targeting, and CRM initiatives.
Jason has written extensively about digital analytics, optimization and digital strategy, including an ongoing column at ClickZ.com. He is the co-author of "Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions," which is one of the leading texts in the field of digital analytics. His client roster includes Microsoft, Nike, Nokia, Dell, Ford, Sony, PayPal/eBay, P&G, Alcoa, Expedia, Mazda, Intel, and Motorola, and more. Jason is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars around the world ranging from the Cannes Lions, Adobe Omniture Summits, eMetrics, SES, ad:tech, BazaarVoice, and many other WPP events.
Follow him on Twitter @JasonBurby.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT