Allan Dib is SVP Planning and Analytics at MSLGROUP North America, where he works with clients to understand objectives and develop measurement plans. He has spent 20 years working in marketing effectives roles within market research companies and media buying agencies.
I have always been fascinated by the look on people’s faces when I mention a measurement plan in a communications agency. Is that fear I see? It makes me reflect on times in my life when I have feared measurement – getting on the scale to weigh myself after Christmas… my history exam results in my 2nd year of high school when I didn’t study for the test. I did not so much fear the measuring part itself but more the results part of measurement.
Why do we fear measurement at communications agencies?
Lack of clear measurable objectives.
I don’t believe agency folks fear measurement because they think their work isn’t good, but there is this fear they are going to “fail.” I think this fear of failure is either due to the lack of clarity in what they are being measured against, or that the objectives change between the briefing and the time they are measured.
How many times have we heard the client ask for something (e.g. a fun video that will generate some buzz about our brand) only to measure us against something completely different (e.g. increase in sales)?
We need to work closer with our clients to clearly understand the objectives and make sure that we understand what we are being measured against, before we start working on a client project.
How do we take out fear of the measurement process?
Make sure the creative idea is born out of an insight.
The definition we use for “insight” is “a fundamental truth about our target that we can leverage to drive growth.” More often than not, practically speaking, the idea isn’t born out of the insight. Instead, the insight is used to validate the creative idea.
Use research early and use it for the right reason.
Research has often been used by clients to evaluate creativity (think go/no go) but I have always said this is a waste of time and money. Research should be used in the process early enough as a diagnostic tool, i.e. to improve an idea.
Why should we embrace measurement and not fear it?
We should change our perspective on measurement from fear to excitement.
If we do not measure our work, how will we know if we have done a good job? I recently completed a marketing effectiveness project for a client and they were more than happy when they saw the results.
Proving our effectiveness can drive greater budget.
If we can prove the effectiveness of our work, this will lead to increased confidence from clients who will invest more than they have in the past. This is imperative when trying to grow traditional PR budgets from other departments in marketing (that have been proving effectiveness for years!). I first saw this happen when we were able to provide a dollar value to a client for a Facebook “like.”
What metrics should we use to measure our work?
The metrics that address the objectives. Every measurement plan is tailored to the objectives that we have agreed to with the client. Every measurement plan should address three parts:
1. Efficiency – Did the target see/hear the tactics?
(e.g. impressions, eyeballs, coverage, click through, downloads)
2. Effectiveness – Did seeing/hearing the tactic change how the target feels about the client?
(e.g. brand awareness, consideration, image of brand, new business proposals)
3. Outcome – Did the objectives achieve the desired outcome?
(e.g. change in behavior, sales, share price, reputation)
Measurement should not be something we run away from. It should be something we run towards because the right idea and the right measurement plan can help us achieve our clients’ business objectives, win us awards and win us more clients. Win! Win! Win!
This post is a part of our People’s Insights report The Future of Creativity, in which experts from MSLGROUP and some from Publicis Groupe identify 15 drivers for engaging creatively in 2015.