Don't just measure, measure, measure - understand your campaign data

Charlie Spargo's picture
Joe Chetcuti

Joe Chetcuti, director of design, digital and branding agency Front, questions our love affair with insights.

I love facts, data, stats and figures: they make me feel professional, important and useful, even. The team loves them too as there’s nothing better than hearing that one of our latest campaigns has performed better than a client’s previous efforts. When that happens we share it, post it, add it to case studies, high-five ourselves and take the afternoon off.

Anyway, in this day and age we're blessed that we're able to measure performance. But the question that I keep asking myself is: are we, truly? 

There’s always a nagging doubt in my mind that all we’re actually doing is simply monitoring what the social media and digital channels allow us to. So, we may not really be measuring anything of significance at all. As the old adage says, weighing the pig (Vegan alternatives are, of course, available) won’t make it any fatter.

Take bounce rates as an example. Bounce rates are the percentage of visitors who leave a website after visiting only one page. A high bounce rate is seen as a negative, but what if the ‘bouncer’ has gleaned exactly what they needed to know on that one page visit?

They may have had an efficient and simple trip to your website and they love you for it. The traditional and accepted measurement dictates that you should be making them click through more pages to find what they want. However, ask yourself this: is that what you'd want to have to do? My answer would be 'absolutely not', as the wrong thing could well be being measured, and worse, it might diminish the entire brand experience. 

Quantifying excitement

The best piece of feedback I received recently was from a client who said that the campaign we produced, when presented internally and tested with prospective customers, had generated a great deal of excitement. This excitement is fundamental to success. It makes people act. It makes them do things, like click, watch and buy.

Yet ‘excitement’ - the most fundamental part of making the campaign a success - is not part of the measurement, so won’t appear as a data point. By measuring the click data, you know that they've acted - but not why. And without that insight there is nothing to learn - you just have the fact that someone clicked.

Naturally this is better than nothing, but we should be striving for more than just gathering data from customers. We need to be turning data into information, into genuine insight, as this is what makes brands truly competitive. 

So, to sum up, make sure you're trying to measure more than what you can simply monitor with existing tools. These existing tools may be provided by those with a vested interest in you only measuring what they deliver. And they’re definitely not delivering insight.