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Friday, 4 July 2014

Measure what matters

Digital Marketing is the Amitabh Bachchan of this era’s marketing function. It’s the superstar with charisma, chutzpah, panache…the works! Of the many qualities that make it so sexy, one that stands out is the fact that it is measurable with a fairly high degree of accuracy.

There are a zillion analytical tools available today which can help you measure your digital marketing efforts from varied angles. They all look and sound impressive and understandably, we want them all. But unfortunately, resources being limited, it is wise to make our choices and measure only what matters.

Having been a hands-on marketer for over a decade and a half, I feel the best way to select what you should measure is to keep asking yourself how you are going to use the insight emanating from the data to reach your company’s vision and achieve your department’s objective. Cool charts and graphs will not help you achieve business objectives but impactful insights will.

Secondly, does the data point have actionability? There are a lot of ‘feel good’ data available. These are data that justifies marketing spends but has no actionable point. For example, knowing the traffic volume or bounce rate of your website is not an actionable data. Knowing the reasons behind these actions, make it insightful as well as actionable.

Thirdly, sometimes we tend to focus only on the quantity. But data with only quantitative measure and no qualitative support is at best, a question half answered. What good is it knowing how many fans you have vis-a-vis your competition if you are not going to be able to analyze the quality of the conversation?   

Lastly, should you measure effectiveness or efficiency? It is about being wise and choosing effectiveness measures (doing the right things) over efficiency measures  (doing – possibly the wrong things – but doing them very well). For example, having your free app downloaded a million times is no good, if people who will never use it, are the ones downloading it.    

So, to make the best use of the measurability aspect of digital marketing, it is best to align it to your marketing key performance indicators (KPI) and use the data in your daily function to measure how you are achieving your goals.