Jun 17, 2011

Invest a Bit to Measure

When investing millions in a new major promotional campaign, or a new selling technology, think about this: how will you be accountable for that investment? How will you know if that investment in advertising, communications, and technology is actually paying off? In today's corporate environment, answering those questions is paramount.

The Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (1853-1926) cleverly remarked in rhyme: "Door Meten tot Weten:" Through Measurement is Knoweldge.

Yet I often see clients, and agencies, omit the small proportion of the budget required to measure, which insures understanding of success, and the ability to optimize and improve. I would say 8% to 10% is a good minimal requirement benchmark for a measurement budget -- others would go much higher -- see this ClickZ point of view.

What does measurement look like? Especially with new technologies like multichannel, closed loop marketing, RM, iPads, QR codes, etc?

Ultimately, you want linkage between your promotional investments and incremental sales.

However, there are other critical evaluations that should be performed, on how the marketplace is behaving and how perceptions are being changed. Some call this "engagement." I like to think of it as: "are my stakeholders behaving the way I intended?"

Measurement is in large part the comparison of actual behaviors to what you expected when you set up your mutli-channel program, or your sales force automation system. Are the sales reps detailing as you intended? Are the physicians or consumers interacting with the media you have placed? Is navigation on websites achieving to goals that move your brand?

Therefore, when investing in promotional platforms, give some thought as to the expected marketplace experiences. And save some funds for measurment to confirm or optimize your plans.