When I Paint My Masterpiece


Introduction

Have you ever procrastinated? That’s what I thought. Me neither. Well, this post is about how one of the reasons for procrastinating really isn’t a good one (the others are fine) and how a simple strategy to deal with that reason will help you take on that project you’ve been putting off, like painting your house, or measuring your marketing.

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In last month’s post, I joked about how I was going to need to steal time from one “fun” project, painting my front porch, so I could take on another marginally work-related project that was really more about me having fun. Well, guess what? Since I last wrote you, I found time to paint the porch!

I have to admit that I had been procrastinating (just this one time) about my hellish little chore. I knew it was going to be ugly. I’d look at the front of my house and all I could see was the toil and sweat awaiting me. I also knew that I would need a big block of time that I could never seem to find.

Then one day, a simple insight about that big block of time got me unstuck and into motion on my dreaded painting project. I realized that I could break down this miserable undertaking into manageable bite-sized pieces. I identified all the steps involved and did them, one at a time, in smaller chunks of time, as my schedule permitted. Looking at the problem this way made it easier for me to get started, and easier to see the path to the end.

One of the reasons that some marketers don’t measure at all, or not as well as they’d like, is that the whole project seems like too much to take on. Like my house-painting project, you can make implementing a measurement system seem less daunting by breaking it down into smaller steps. In short, it requires a plan, and here’s an approach to get you moving.

8-Step Plan to Measure Marketing

  1. Assemble Your Measurement Team: It is generally wise to create a small and diverse team that pulls members from some combination of marketing, sales, operations, finance, accounting, IT, customer service, and perhaps some external resources. Marketing exists to incent profitable customer behaviour. People from each of these areas will either have a perspective on what that means and what you should measure, or can provide the data you’ll need to measure whether marketing is achieving its objectives.

  2. Decide What to Measure: This key step requires having clarity about your overall business and marketing objectives, as well as each individual marketing program’s objectives. Well-defined objectives from your marketing planning process will help you to identify the metrics that you’ll use to assess how well your marketing is working. You’ll also identify the data you’ll need to collect, along with where, when and how you’ll collect it.

  3. Pick a Methodology: You need a measurement methodology that you can apply consistently across a diverse range of programs. The methodology needs to accommodate differences due to programs of varying complexity, targeting different customers, with different objectives and that require different metrics to assess performance. A consistent methodology across programs makes it possible to rank programs by a common overall program performance metric.

  4. Assign Responsibilities, Set Deadlines & Expectations: Make sure each team member clearly understands their role and responsibilities, what they’re supposed to do and when, and who else on the team they need to work with on specific tasks. Like any project, your success will depend on how well people perform.

  5. Test: Start small. Measure one program while you develop and work out the kinks in your process. Pick a program that will involve everyone on the team and that will test all aspects of your process.

  6. Review & Adjust Your Process: Things may not go entirely smoothly on your first attempt. Check back in with the team, fix what needs fixing, and prepare to roll out your process.

  7. Roll Out: You may need to do this in phases, perhaps to other brands, other program types, other divisions and other locations. Do it in manageable steps and be sure to pause between phases to review and adjust, as needed, until you’ve fully rolled out.

  8. Review & Adjust Your Marketing: Hold a measurement review session before starting your next round of marketing planning. Take the time to see what you’ve learned about which programs have been the most and least effective at meeting their objectives, so you can optimize your next wave of strategies, tactics and outcomes.

With all the hard work behind me, I find it interesting how the disdain I felt for this project before and while doing it has somehow vanished. All I feel now is the pride and satisfaction of a well-painted front porch. The key was finding a way to look at the project that made it seem doable and enabled me to get started.

If developing and implementing a marketing measurement process in your organization is something you’ve been dreading, a step-by-step plan will make it easier for you to start and finish. Now that I’ve finished painting my masterpiece, let me know if you need help with your project!


About Rick Shea
Rick Shea is President of Optiv8 Consulting, a marketing consultancy that helps small to mid-sized organizations improve their marketing impact and business outcomes through customer insights, strategic discipline and effective content. Copyright ©2016 Optiv8 Consulting. All rights reserved. You may reproduce this article by including this copyright and, if reproducing electronically, including a link to: http://www.optiv8.com/

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