“Without supporting structures, systems, and measures, strategy remains a wish list, a set of goals that may or may not ever be achieved.”
— A. G. Lafley & Roger Martin, Playing to Win
It’s the end of the year, and measurement is on the mind.
Now is the time of dashboards, spreadsheets, and projections for the new year.
But I’ve noticed there are lots of small business owners who aren’t sure what to measure when it comes to their marketing, and what any of the numbers actually mean.
So, if you’re struggling to get started with your measurement, here’s a couple decades of marketing measurement and reporting experience boiled down into a couple sentences:
First, you want to look for numbers that went up a lot, all at once.
What spiked, and when? Then, you need to track down the source of the spike and figure out if it was something you control.
Second, look for numbers that went up steadily over time.
Then, track down the cause of the trend. Was it contextual? Or was it something you did?
Now, we look for the reverse.
What were the sudden, significant drops in numbers? What happened, and do you control it?
Then, what were the long, downward trends, and what caused them?
At the end of the day, all the fancy dashboards, spreadsheets, tools, and analytics platforms are really just trying to tell you what went up, what went down, and whether you can do anything about it.
Next year, the job becomes doing more of the things that led to slow, steady growth, and fewer of the things that didn’t—or which did the opposite.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk about what’s in your control, and what isn’t.