Published: 25th Oct 2018

The culture of measurement

Tim Jones - Managing Director

Recently I attended the IPA Eff Week Effectiveness conference, followed by a satellite event curated by True and McCann in Bristol.

It was fascinating hearing a number of experts talk about their experiences and the challenge of how to make our work more measurable and understood.

And it’s being understood that really stood out for me.

There was some really interesting thinking around measurement models, principles of brand building vs activation and new technology to help research and predict.  But the thing that really stayed with me was this simple thought: clients and agencies need a shared understanding of what success is and fewer, more critical measures to hold ourselves accountable for.

Some of the discussion centred around major global brands, their increasing sophistication in methods of measurement and how they are using the outputs to drive future activity. For instance, Diageo created a global marketing planning application using previous campaign results and activity to plan and predict strategic allocation of budget and growth drivers. This AI enabled campaign planning is hugely effective and taking guesswork and mundane legwork out of campaign strategy.

However, for many agencies and clients the reality is still a long way from that. We’ve certainly found that some clients are not that mature in their approach to measurement. It’s easier than ever to track and measure almost anything, but many organisations are awash with data and can’t see the wood for the trees. Data in and of itself is not insight, and some agencies have perpetuated that problem.

Organisations who have a shared understanding of what success is and and simplify the number of measures they track, report and act on – focusing on the really meaningful measures that matter - are making inroads into embedding a culture of measurement. Sky, for example, described how reducing over 200 global measures of marketing down to 30 critical measures helped them build a shared understanding of marketing performance.

Those organisations who have embedded a real culture of measurement have successfully made the move from a justifying mind-set to a learning one. They are using outcomes not as a stick to beat marketers and agencies, but as an opportunity to learn and focus on finding value.

The value of our work and the language we use to build common understanding has to be understood and appreciated at Board level, by Finance, by Procurement, by Product and by Customer Services. As Fran Cassidy’s research into measurement culture very eloquently put it; “Marketing effectiveness is a team sport.”

Moving forward means collaborating, breaking down barriers and seeing functions such as Finance as part of our ecosystem, not as the people in opposition to spending marketing and digital budgets wisely. That’s how we move away from justification to effectiveness and learning.

Easy to say, but harder to do, particularly as sometimes our direct clients don’t have those relationships internally themselves. That’s where agencies can help build bridges and ensure marketing effectiveness is understood across the business.

True have 3 key steps in embedding a culture of measurement:

  1. Clearly define together what success looks like
  2. Focus on the few metrics that matter
  3. Make the business of effectiveness a team sport

Through doing that, and helping our clients focus what’s really going to make a difference to their business, we can drive ever greater value.
If you’d like to know more about measurement and how True can help make your marketing efforts more effective, please talk to Sam.