Can You Plan and Manage What You Can’t Measure?
October has always been my favourite business month.
With summer vacations and the flurry of September catch-ups behind us, October shifts towards serious 2018 strategic planning. It’s an opportune time to have honest conversations with clients, review past program performance (good and bad), scrutinize earned | owned | paid ecosystems, consider new team talent and creative thinking, and ask lots of questions.
Clients each have their own unique business needs heading into a new year, but senior leaders across the board continue to stress that communication and marketing efforts should not only create awareness but also drive audience action.
And rightly so. Digital agencies need to be accountable to business results. They also need to be prepared for, or leading, recommended tweaks in strategy or shifts in spending to better align to objectives. This preparedness is the recipe for a stronger and longer partnership.
Consider this summer’s P&G shockwave – they cut more than $100 million in digital marketing and said the change had little impact on their business. Reading deeper, one can quickly rationalize why the move to halt media spends on sites ruled by bots or featuring questionable content was prudent. Still, I wager that industry mismanagement examples of this magnitude could have a rippling effect; sowing at least a few seeds of doubt among Canadian marketers and their confidence in agency partners.
When you reframe a problem like the one P&G encountered, you often unlock innovative thinking. This shows why measurement matters: scratching below surface metrics is a must, and demonstrating action beyond impressions needs to be considered. Let’s face it – as one small example, who in their right mind wouldn’t want to know what their best performing content is, based on business objectives?
Heading into 2018, Agnostic will continue to work with clients to fine-tune models that help interpret content, campaigns, and influencer performance – including lower-funnel outcomes like consideration, purchase, and loyalty/advocacy. Smarter data collection allows us a better understanding of how programs influence action, with the bonus of delivering business intelligence beyond simple reporting.
Is my October shaping up better than yours? If you’re interested in learning more about better measurement as a gateway to more strategic planning and demonstrating program impact, just let us know.