3 Tips for Successful Marketing Measurement

by James Colvin - 04/23/15

It’s no secret that the question, Is my marketing making an impact? keeps most marketers up at night. Even with the tsunami of analytic tools that have emerged, some marketers feel overwhelmed by the data-driven approach to marketing.


Consider these three helpful tips next time youre setting a marketing campaign into motion.

1.) Have a process in place. Before you ever get close to measuring your marketing efforts, you need to make sure there is a process to help identify your goals and objectives, key performance indicators (KPIs) and targets, and how you and your team will act on any findings your measurements bring to light.

At True North, we’ve adopted W. Edwards Deming’s PDSA cycle (Plan-Do-Study-Act) as our process to ensure continual improvement in our marketing efforts. The Plan stage is especially critical, as this is where you define objectives and success metrics for your marketing campaign. A marketing campaign can’t be successful unless everyone is aware of and agrees about what defines success!

2.) Every metric is not a KPI. Just because you can measure something doesn’t mean you should report on the numbers. Really think on what the KPIs for your campaign should be. Ensure the KPIs are aligned with the business objectives and goals for the campaign. KPIs should be metrics you need to know, not metrics that are nice to know.

3.) Graph everything. Stephen Few, one of the world’s leading experts in data visualization, teaches us that data visualization is great for:

  • exploring data to find significant learnings
  • making sense of data
  • conveying information to others

By graphing all of the data you’re monitoring instead of using tables, you’re more easily able to spot outliers and trends in the data, and compare values to each other.

For example, of the two tables below, which makes it easier to see trends and where you might need to make adjustments?


Following these tips will help ensure your measurement efforts are aligned with your business—and easily understood by everyone in your organization.

Learn more about how measurement plans can inform and support your marketing strategy.

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