As a communications firm, we often get asked for content whether it be a video, ad, social media or employee engagement campaign. Our immediate question is what your objective or KPI and what framework is in place to measure, analyze and optimize. With today’s technologies and tools and the collaborative development of creative and paid, earned and owned channel planning, our clients can still get to market quickly and effectively if we all take a short pause and align. Determining what is success prior to spending a lot of time and money going down a path that may deliver on the tactical request but not the bigger impact is what we try to avoid. Ingredients for the optimal outcome is simple when you plan and ground yourself in answering one thing; what is success?
This often brings a pause after the excitement of marketing calms down and the reality that business goals need to be met with any paid investment. Everyone needs to rally around a few key questions to be sure that the expected outcomes are met.
- What is the business objective of this investment? What do we want to achieve with this investment?
- What is the communication strategy, i.e. what do we want people to do when they see our content and what channels will best deliver these messages?
- What key performance indicators (KPI’s) are we tracking/optimizing against? What is our measurement plan?
Thinking about business objectives can be tricky if there is not a direct response type of goal that can be tracked effectively. Some things to consider for different goals are: if sales/revenue, how much? Or what YOY increase? What benchmark are we meeting? Or are we establishing one for the first time?
If the goal is awareness, how will we track this nascent perceptual idea? This becomes especially tricky in the B2B realm without fat TV budgets and awareness studies to tell us deltas were moved. We suggest “proxies to awareness” that tell us the message was received (e.g. video viewed, article read).
What you will communicate and in what media forms is also critical to building a plan that will deliver expected results. What is the call to action (CTA) in the communication? What is the user experience from that first touch? The ad must entice, but the destination needs to convert.
Finally, what is the measurement plan? A sound approach to this is to establish KPI’s, ensure the CTA in all ads supports this KPI, then optimize to that goal. Another big key to measurement is a scary technical place where these nitty details like what parts of the tech stack we need to utilize, and how everything gets “tagged” and connected across systems. Truly a deeply technical part of the planning that cannot be skipped or rushed given this determines how success will be defined and measured.
If the above questions are carefully considered, any marketing effort will be able to be effectively planned and tracked. Of course, success cannot be predicted, but knowing the outcome, and using that information to continually optimize toward beating benchmark goals will provide the foundation for any type of business.