Properly developed measurement strategies are the cornerstone to data-driven, performance-based marketing – they ensure goals are consistent and mapped to key business objectives, and provide a common language for discussing success. A primary advantage of centralized goals is the ability to develop attribution models across an enterprise, something NHI discussed in detail in last year’s blog post about the importance of a measurement strategy (see below).
At its core, a measurement strategy is an all-encompassing plan that organizes your business goals and how they will be measured. This strategy follows a path beginning at the broadest goal possible (often a goal for the business as a whole) and breaks it into measurable metrics and specific ways to segment those metrics. These ideas are often thrown into a grid we call a measurement matrix.
If a digital measurement strategy has already been developed, that puts one ahead of the game. If not, now is the time to start, especially if attribution models are in a future marketing landscape. Fortunately, as long as data has been collected, it is possible to shape historical data according to how you want to see it in your measurement matrix. If you have not been collecting this data, a measurement strategy provides guidance on how to prioritize the information you should be collecting.
A Comprehensive Digital Measurement Strategy is Consistent and Flexible
A digital measurement strategy is intended to provide consistency, not rigidity. A year from now, a digital measurement strategy might look significantly different from the original version. This is a good thing.
It means there is active testing, action is being taken on data, and adjustments and additions have been made accordingly. It is possible to begin recognizing familiar trends and setting realistic, data-driven benchmarks.
Segmentation is Key to A Digital Measurement Strategy
When setting data-driven benchmarks, segmentation is key to a digital measurement strategy. Segmentation is slicing the data in different ways to find trends and outliers with the intent to analyze and optimize marketing campaigns. Common segmentations are dividing data by device, business/product lines, channels, regions, and the list goes on.
Segmentation allows for flexibility within the structure of a measurement strategy. To illustrate the flexibility, look at an example below – sessions, a single metric, with three different segments applied to it.
- First, look at sessions without any segmentation. Analyze sessions monthly to develop and understand our baseline, and provide context for the other segments we look at.
- Second, look at sessions by device type, which might also be analyzed monthly to track the importance of the mobile and/or desktop experience. This information can be used to prioritize site updates for a specific device type.
- Finally, look at sessions by social network, which might be analyzed quarterly or use during planning periods. This information can be used to accurately allocate budgets by channel and network for emerging social platforms. If budget dollars have already been allocated, this might be a segment to keep a closer eye on to understand how each channel is performing.
Why Segmentation Matters in a Digital Measurement Strategy
With a measurement strategy in place, you can begin testing different segments in search of interesting trends or noteworthy outliers. Without this structure, it is difficult to gather and make sense of the data, understand trends, and know how to capitalize on the opportunities. The measurement strategy is your north star, guiding you towards relevant models.