Measure Twice (at Least), Act Once

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When you’re beginning a new campaign, it’s important to think through and execute at least two rounds of measurement: preliminary research and results. (There is a good argument for measuring along the way to make adjustments as well, but these two should be your priority.)

Once you have set your campaign goals (remember to make ‘em SMART), dig into pre-campaign research:

Case studies should never be an end-all solution, but it doesn’t hurt to review a few campaigns that had similar goals to yours. Write down common metrics used to measure against goals, and try to find specific data, tools and methods used to measure.

Research data collection methods and tools. Based on your goals and the needs of your campaign (as well as your budget!), review different tools and services for collecting the data you will need. Dig into search results during this stage, you may be able to find easier ways to measure or find data than you might expect.

Of course, it’s always wise to listen to some conversations before you dive in. Understand how consumers are already talking about your brand or your company, and integrate these learnings into your upcoming campaign as possible. Also consider adjusting your campaign if you discover your messages may cause problems or fall on deaf ears.

After your campaign has ended, it’s time to measure your success and learn from your experience. Post-campaign measurement should include:

Measuring against goals and benchmarks is the most obvious and important piece. This will be the most likely indicator of whether your campaign was successful or not. If you have met your goals, you are successful! If not, you can understand where you fell short and where you did not.

After you’ve done this, analyzing the metrics themselves can be helpful. It will help you determine which measures may not be worthwhile. For instance, if one measurement takes up the most time, but yields the least amount of information in the end, it may not be worthwhile for future campaigns.

Seeking out qualitative feedback from consumers and members of your team is also a valuable way to understand the nuances of success or failure of a campaign. If you cannot perform a survey (formal or informal), consider listening again, this time looking for conversations specific to your campaign.

When else do you find it’s most important or most useful to measure? What steps do you always take to analyze success?

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  • Haeffele8

    I’m bookmarking this post RIGHT NOW. I usually really enjoy the research side of developing a  campaign; but when I’m really excited about an idea, it’s hard to calm myself down to perform strong research to verify that others would be excited about the idea.  What methods would you recommend for gathering qualitative data? Survey monkey? Focus groups? Others? 

  • http://myfashionslashlife.wordpress.com Bikijohn

    I have my PR exam tomorrow and the ‘how would you measure x campaign’ question is very popular, so thanks for the ideas.

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