The importance of a measurement plan
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As with most things, the more proactive and planned something is, the better the process or outcome. So measurement planning deserves the same level of investment as other elements of the project.

Where print campaigns have a level of difficulty in engagement measurement, digital has the opposite, as there can be too much data. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that from the outset, objectives are clearly defined and that the correct technical infrastructure is in place.

Google Analytics online training advises the following cyclical process for measurement:

  • define the objective
  • technical infrastructure
  • implementation plan
  • implement
  • maintain and refine.

Define the objective

There are five key considerations (or inclusions) in defining the objective of a particular project/campaign.

  1. Business objective – Why do we exist? What is the main reason for the creation of this? Acquisition, engagement, brand awareness, etc. It may be obvious, but nothing should go unsaid.
  2. Strategy and tactics – What are the specific strategies that you’ll leverage to accomplish the business objectives?
  3. KPIs – The metrics that help you understand how you are performing against your objectives. What KPI is required in order to meet objectives?
  4. Segments – Identify what needs to be analysed in order to understand success or failure; segments of people, behaviours or outcomes?
  5. Targets – Add targets to apply context (history or industry benchmarks).

Technical infrastructure

For a digital project, it’s important that the technical infrastructure is correct from day one. Nine times out of 10, you can’t go back and capture that data if it’s set up incorrectly from the start. The objectives should help in identifying which elements need to be tracked and therefore the technical infrastructure required. Questions to be considered include: Do you have the technology to measure everything you need to track? What tagging or requirements do you need to brief? What profiles and accounts need to be set and managed? Take into account all the platforms on which your product/campaigns operate, so you can set up proper tracking codes and account property structures for each one.

Implementation plan

Defining your objectives and documenting the technical infrastructure will solidify the outcome –the next step is the implementation planning. If done correctly, you will have a clearly documented technical infrastructure.

Implement

This infrastructure will be seamlessly integrated into the project plan, ensuring your site/project/campaign is tracking and capturing relevant reporting metrics from day one.

Example considerations include:

  • page tags
  • goals and e-commerce integration
  • events
  • custom reports
  • filters
  • linking AdWords accounts
  • campaign tracking (define the format and structure – eg, all lower case)
  • linking Webmaster Tools (index the pages with Google)
  • site search – ensure activated.

Maintain and refine

To complete the cycle, Google recommends continually maintaining and refining. As you delve into the data and reporting, different observations will be made that drive different tracking requirements and investigation. It’s important to not ‘set and forget’ but rather to carry on optimising the measurement of your project for best ongoing results.