How Cher’s Closet Can Help You Measure Anything

Growing up, I watched the movie Clueless about once each week. I loved that movie. And seeing it on TV the other day reminded me of two things: 1) I missed a lot of drug and sex jokes when I was a kid, and 2) Cher’s closet can teach us a lot about measurement.

You know the closet. It has a computer catalog that can sort through individual tops and bottoms to find a perfectly matched outfit. More importantly, it will take any two pieces of clothing you’ve chosen and tell you if they don’t match.

Ideally, you should use a very similar method when brainstorming and deciding on measurement for new campaigns or programs. Think of the marketing and creative teams as Cher, the fashion selector. Analysts or dedicated measurement teams should take on the role of the computer.

As you construct a new campaign, identify each individual piece or type of data that will available. Get as detailed as you possibly can. Ask vendor and partners to help you if you need to. Literally write out a list and set aside time to brainstorm.

Keeping the goals of your campaign in mind, make a new list. Use all of the different pieces of data to build meaningful metrics and KPIs, and come up with the craziest things you can think of. Combine data, create formulas and add weights if you want to. There’s nothing wrong with mixing all of the data together in every possible combination (time permitting).

Take this list, and enlist the help of your closet computer (analyst team). Ask them to sort through and determine which will really show value, which will be the easiest to calculate and which are completely impossible.

While all may be logically workable, the way data is captured or stored may make it extremely difficult or time-consuming to calculate or mash data the way you hope. Analysts will know what’s possible based on how the data is structured, and they will be able to estimate which will show value based on their past experience.

Go back and forth adding metrics and paring down the list until you feel confident that you have a solid list of KPIs to show the true value of your work. And it will prevent a revelation at the end of the campaign that desired metrics or KPIs are not possible to attain.

How do you brainstorm new metrics?

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