Do Your Marketing Metrics Pass the “So-What” Test?


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In order for Marketing Measurement – the act of measuring or the process of measuring marketing’s performance – to be accepted and actively supported in your organization may require a complete paradigm change.  Marketing measurement needs to be viewed as an integral part of everyone’s job and an integral part of the marketing organization’s culture. Our MPM study and those of other organizations consistently reveal that when it comes to marketing measurement many marketers are challenged with selecting the right metrics, collecting  the data necessary to do the measuring, having the essential tools and processes in place, and developing measurement competence. Selecting the right metrics will determine whether you are able to assess the marketing organization’s performance and contribution to the business. There are a number of critical elements the organization needs to measure marketing, such as:

  • The analytical acumen to develop a measurement framework that will link all marketing activities to consistent performance metrics.
  • Access to complete, accurate and frequently updated marketing data and
  • Useful systems, tools and processes.

Selecting the right metrics begins with insuring that marketing objectives are properly aligned with the organization’s business outcomes. Once you select your metrics, use these five questions to make sure your metrics pass the "So What" test:

  1. Business Relevance – Is the metric defined within a business context that explains how the metric score correlates to  improved business performance?
  2. Measurability – Is there or can there be a process that quantifies a measurement for this metric?
  3. Controllability – Does the metric reflect a controllable aspect of the business process? When the measurement is not in a desirable range, some action to improve the data should be triggered.
  4. Reportability – Does the metric’s definition provide the right level of information to the data steward when the measured value is not acceptable?
  5. Trackability – When documenting a time series of reported measurements does the organization gain insight into the result of improvement efforts over time?

By taking steps to identify the criteria and metrics to evaluate your department’s initiatives, you play an important role in redefining your department’s culture and that of the organization.

Laura Patterson
Laura Patterson is a recognized and trusted authority for enabling companies to take a customer-centric outcome-based approach to organic growth through the use analytics, accountability, alignment, and operational excellence. Laura's 25+ year career spans a variety of management roles and industries. Today she is at the helm of VisionEdge Marketing, founded in 1999, and is among the pioneers in MPM. She has a patent for the Accelance® framework designed to connect activities and investment to business results and has published four books, most recently Fast-Track Your Business.


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