Six critical attributes and three must-have metrics for closed loop measurement of marketing programs

Marketers for decades have been trying to answer the question, “How do you measure campaign effectiveness?”

We’ve come a long way since the days of the quote "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half”… which has been attributed to many although I believe the true attribution goes back to the 19th century with John Wanamaker.  

Today measurement is more attainable but we have to deal with issues like parent and child campaigns, UTM tracking, first touch and last touch attribution and campaign influence weighting.

After years of evolution, improvement and refinement, I’ve landed on this model for measuring campaign and program performance:

The six attributes I use to slice and dice campaign measurement:

#1 – Theme

Themes are the roll up of multiple programs and last for multiple quarters.

#2 – Program

A program is the intersection of content and a specific media outlet/vehicle over a specific time duration, and has a cost investment attached to it.

#3 – Medium

Medium identifies the marketing channel e.g. website, blog, social media, paid search, email, retargeting and syndication.

 #4 – Media Outlet/Vehicle

This identifies the specific vehicle within a medium. I like to identify major sub-categories for analysis so for example Google splits out into Google Branded Search, Non-Branded Search, Retargeting and Display Network. LinkedIn splits out into Ads and Sponsored Posts. And this also includes specific publishers e.g. Madison Logic, Network World or IDG Connect.

 #5 – Call to Action

This identifies the type of call to action used as the primary call to action in the program so common values include Free Trial, Free Tool, White Paper, eGuide, Webinar, On Demand Webinar, Analyst Report or Case Study.

 #6 – Content Asset

This identifies the specific content asset by title. With the ever importance of content marketing and being able to quantify content effectiveness, this has reached a status of must-have reporting and thus warrants its own field so program effectiveness can be rolled up by content asset.

The three ways to measure campaign effectiveness:

 I was once asked if it’s better to measure first touch or last touch campaign attribution, and my answer is “both”. I use this model, which I call A-I-C for Acquisition, Influence, Conversion.

 #1 – Acquisition Program

The acquisition program identifies the program used to acquire the MQI, which generated the initial interaction.  And (like all of these) carries through to all follow-on performance metrics MQL, Opportunity, Pipeline $, Bookings, etc.  Think of this as measuring “first touch”, and a given lead can only have one acquisition program.

#2 – Influence Program

Influence programs measure all leads who engage around a program and follow-on performance. This is ideal for program comparison (plotting program performance and identifying top performers and low performers)… it should NOT be used for summation to measure total marketing impact as there would be double counting across program. A given lead can and should have multiple influence programs. Since it counts “all attribution”, it’s strongest use is identifying low performers (that have clear non ROI) and for identifying top performers that stand out relative to other programs. A future evolution here are influence weighting system enabled by companies such as Full Circle.

#3 – Conversion Program

The conversion program identifies the “last touch” program prior to MQL conversion, and all follow-on metrics. A given lead can only have one conversion program.

These three sets of metrics provide a complete picture around campaign/program performance, and should be used in combination to provide perspective and measurement when analyzing effectiveness of investments