When starting a website tracking project, it often feels like the looming “blank paper” problem. Questions include where to start, where to go, how to fulfil the intended goals, and what the different responsibilities are. Even for a tracking environment that’s already up and running, the strategic role of the website may not be clear to all project members and crucial data might be missing due to the lack of tracking documentation. Simply talking about quantities and impressions is not the formula for success, instead website tracking needs to be aligned to your business and data requirements.
Hence, you need a clear and straightforward process to set goals, KPIs, targets, and segments – all this should be aligned to your business objectives. In this blog I will elaborate on the idea of Kaushik’s Digital Marketing Model and Measurement Plan. The benefit of this model is to gain crystal clear data-based insights on website behavior. I will discuss this in the context of digital analytics and Mapp Intelligence, and focus on a cross-device and user-centric approach:
This blogpost is a continuation of my previous article Closing the Gap: From Business Objectives to Digital Analytics.
In the development of the measurement model I follow a three-step path, where reciprocal tasks are put together in one single step:
At this early stage you need major input from your senior managers and leaders from all departments working with data. This will create company-wide awareness for the importance of your undertaking. The discussions will end up in full-fledged business objectives. Results at this point have a strong impact on the complete measurement model and on the later marketing initiatives.
Subsequently, you deduce for each business objective respective website goals. Goals are strategies on the website to fulfill your objectives. Hence, for each website goal you must question why this goal will help to accomplish your strategic objectives and gain value for your business. Goals reflect the right to exist for your website and represent what the visitor of the website will do.
In case of missing acceptance for results at this stage, you are well advised to have another round of discussion until the findings are airtight for all relevant project members involved. The idea behind this is to balance rivaling data perspectives to reach an encompassing data strategy. An important and recurring task is to ensure that all your results and findings are meaningful, measurable, and quantifiable.
In the second step, your data requirements come into play. What are the most suitable KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for your website goals? KPIs are quantifiable measures that help you to evaluate how you are performing in relation to your strategic and operational goals. These KPIs are your measurement set.
Questioning how many KPIs should be included in this set may be answered with that a KPI shall have a high-quality impact for a goal. That means the better a KPI measures the business value of a goal the lesser is the amount of KPIs you need. But, a KPI gains its relevancy only in correspondence with a target. To verify that you are outperforming, you need targets. Then you see your success or how far you are away to be successful. Hence, you need to define measurable and representative targets, which may be suitable to the overall business environment.
For example, in a fast-growing period, you may define more advanced values than in a market situation of stagnation. Targets may be based on business plans, comparisons with the previous year, or benchmarks. Nonetheless targets of KPIs can be absolutes, shares, or growth rates but for sure they need to be realistic and should be in reach.
Segmentation is a convenient way to split up your visitors into homogenous groups. There are many segmentation approaches: demography, psychography, behavior etc. But what matters here is to find segments of visitors that add value for your business, segments which help you to understand if your marketing succeeds and your product is competitive. Visitors that do not meet these basic requirements should not be segmented at all. Regarding your streams of visitors, you may ask for their origin and how they interact with your website and brand. Segments for onsite usage as well as goal achievement are crucial to understand who converts, if, when and how? Asking what drives conversions may be indicated by engagement segments, long-term visitor observation with cohorts or customer status like frequent buyers, discount users, or the like. Therefore, the conceptual challenge at this final step in the measurement plan is to extract the relevant segments for each goal in respect to acquisition, on-site behavior, and goal achievement.
The above-mentioned theoretical steps will come to live with the example of a virtual company operating a service platform for content and articles, whose business is based on a critical mass of users. You can call this service “Social & Content Network”. Here you can see an exemplary digital marketing and measurement plan:
This exemplary measurement plan is a compendium and not exhaustive. Given KPIs are practical, targets are mostly taken from different benchmarks. Assume your business model is focused only on monetary goals the whole measurement plan will look completely different.
With this model you can evaluate all your online activities whether you meet your requirements or not. Nonetheless this model is not carved in stone. If you change the perspective or adjust your positioning, then a refinement of this model will help to be on the road to success.
Eventually, you have an all-accepted measurement plan. But what’s next? To put your measurement plan into action, all your results need to be transferred into a technical tracking concept. Such a tracking concept documents in detail which iterative implementation steps need to be accomplished. This is done in a use case driven fashion. Technical tracking concepts contain all strategic data requirements like goals and KPIs which are supplemented by technical tracking integration standards and hacks. This contains best practices of which objects on which pages and events must be measured, naming conventions, user recognition, and conversions. All technical instructions follow the requirements of the measurement model. Accordingly, all these instructions are as customized as necessary and as constructive as needed.
If you are interested in digital analytics and in learning how to create a measurement model, we can support:
If you want to learn more about business objectives and digital analytics, as well as our workshops, get in touch with us.