What does success look like? Before we can measure, we need to know what we’re measuring

In this article What does success look like? By defining our success, we build our measurement framework Define success, cut the clutter, measure what matters.

With so much of the focus on performance marketing on measurement, marketers are potentially drowning in data and metrics that don’t necessarily tell the pertinent story. In the drive to demonstrate success, are we actually focusing on what success actually means?

What does success look like?

This may sound like an obvious question at first glance. We want to drive sales, we want to drive revenue, we want to drive profitability, but when we consider that there are many strategies and tactics to achieve those ends, the question becomes much more nuanced.

Even in relatively similar markets and sectors, with brands speaking to similar audiences, different ideas of what success looks like have a huge influence on the types of metrics we need to measure. If we’re measuring success on volume, the creative and techniques we are going to use to drive conversion – and the metrics we’ll use to measure their success – will be very different to those used if we view success through the lens of lifetime value. One will lean heavily on more sales-focused copy, urgency factors and highlighting of discounts, where the other may take a more relaxed tone and instead, value longer-term engagement and relationship building.

“If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

It’s important to set this context, because the metrics that we choose have a profound impact on our experience, creative and media. When we know what success looks like, we know what to measure, which means we can build our measurement framework.

By defining our success, we build our measurement framework

Our measurement framework exists to define what success looks like for our businesses. By connecting objectives to our media metrics, we ensure that all the KPIs we’d like to measure are able to clearly show how they are contributing to the business objectives. Perhaps more importantly, it also becomes much easier to understand what needs to be tracked and how each channel is driving the business forward.

So what makes for a good measurement framework?

At its heart, a good measuring framework begins with identifying the top priorities and ambition of your business, from a performance perspective. As we mention, different brands will have different ideas of what success looks like, so this is the key starting point.

Ideally, we need to take a full-funnel approach to measurement, where we clearly identify the top priorities at each stage of the customer journey. With each marketing objective at each stage, we identify the key metrics, the efficiency metrics and the channels that are likely to drive progress towards that objective.

It’s also important to remember that in many cases, less is more. Not all metrics can be as equally important as each other, so fight the temptation to list every possible metric as s KPI. Instead, home in on those metrics that best represent progress against your objectives.

Define success, cut the clutter, measure what matters.

If we can’t measure it, we can’t improve it but first, we need to establish what “it” needs to be. Different sources of information serve different functions so consider which metrics matter, which most closely align to your core objectives, and how you plan to capture them. With this defined, work them into your full-funnel measurement framework.


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