failure points of a measurement strategy

Five failure points of a measurement strategy

A few weeks ago I gave a talk on the five failure points of a measurement strategy. In that talk, I covered the 5Ps of Change Management and how to identify and avoid these failure points. Here are the main takeaways.

Purpose – What is the question you’re trying to answer?
People – Who are the stakeholders and what do they care about?
Process – How are you collecting your data and maintaining integrity?
Platform – What tools are you using to Collect, Analyze, and Report?
Performance – How do you know if you successfully created the right plan(s)?

Why is PURPOSE a failure point?

Because quite often we don’t clearly define the question we’re trying to answer. Conversely, we’re trying to answer too many questions and a single measurement strategy isn’t going to do it.

A #protip from me to you – it’s ok to have more than one measurement strategy if you are answering more than one question. This can manifest into a book of reports, a PowerPoint deck with one set of data to answer one question on each slide, or different tabs in a spreadsheet. The point is this; one set of data to answer one question. Be clear with your purpose and don’t overcomplicate it.

When are PEOPLE a failure point?

Well, where do I begin….anywho. People are a failure point for a couple of main reasons. The first one is that they don’t know what they want. They aren’t focused. Giving the strategy a purpose helps to reign in distractions. The next reason is that they weren’t asked in the first place. How do you ask people what they want? You guessed it – a user story!

“As a [persona], I [want to], [so that]”.

The “persona” being your stakeholder, the “want to” being the intent, and the “so that” being the outcome.

For example: As a CMO, I want to understand which channels are performing, so that I know which channels are driving leads.

You can generate as many user stories as will help you understand the purpose better.

Why is PROCESS a failure point?

Generally, the lack thereof. To have a successful measurement strategy you need to have a process for how you’re going to collect, analyze, and report your data. A good starting place is the 6Cs of data quality. These are:

Clean: prepared well and free of errors
Complete: no missing information
Comprehensive: must cover the questions being asked
Chosen: no irrelevant or confusing data
Credible: must be collected in a valid way
Calculable: must be workable and usable by business users

Taking the time upfront to set up a repeatable process for your data quality will set you up for success in the long run.

Why is PLATFORM a failure point?

According to the MarTech9000 there are literally over 9000 platforms to choose from. Your purpose and your user stories will help you narrow down the choices. You need three basic platforms. One to collect your data, one to analyze your data, and one to report your data. You can try to find a platform that does it all, but in my experience, this unicorn doesn’t exist to do exactly what you need it to do. Maybe it does for you. It doesn’t for me.

Why is PURPOSE a failure point?

This is where you check your homework before you turn it in. This step, like the ones above, is easy to skip. You made the plan, you set up the spreadsheet, and you’re done, right? A better plan is to walk back through the first four Ps:

Go back to your PURPOSE– did you answer the original question?
Go back to your PEOPLE – did you meet those user story requirements to answer the question?
Go back to your PROCESS – did you create a repeatable process to answer the question?
Go back to your PLATFORM – did you use the right one(s) to answer the question?

Whether it’s end-of-year planning or you’re just starting a new mid-month campaign, you can follow the 5Ps to set yourself up for success. It doesn’t need to be an exhaustive exercise, just make sure you can answer these five basic questions:

  1. What is the purpose of this strategy?
  2. Who are the people involved in this strategy?
  3. What is the process to ensure we can execute this strategy?
  4. What are the platforms needed for this strategy?
  5. What is the performance metric that helps you know you’re successful?

What are your methods for setting up a measurement strategy? Come tell me in our Free Slack Group, Analytics for Marketers!


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