Marketers are under increasing pressure to demonstrate the results of their campaigns, but often struggle to identify and collect actionable data, says Elton Mayfield, founding partner of Kansas City-based agency ER Marketing. Mayfield, a member of the BMA International Board of Directors, spoke to BMA Carolinas about best practices this week: “It’s about defining what is important, impactful and executable, then measuring everything you can to see how you’re doing.”
BMA Buzz: Are all available metrics always important?
Elton Mayfield: Any metric can be important. It’s a matter of understanding what is important for you, your company or your client.
Simply being able to measure something doesn’t mean you should. The key to measurement is determining what can be acted upon. Finding out you under-perform on a specific metric but are unable to change the outcome can become depressing at best.
BMA Buzz: What has been your experience? Have you ever found yourself applying too much weight to an "entertaining" metric that actually holds little value?
Mayfield: All the time. I have to stop myself before “paralysis through analysis” kicks in. We live in the world of Big Data. There is always another metric or report that can be created. We’ve spent hours looking at data, asking “what if” questions, that really don’t matter.
Don’t become a trivia junkie on metrics—meaning, don’t find yourself saying, “that’s interesting,” but not really creating any real impact.
BMA Buzz: What can marketers do to determine which metrics offer the most value?
Mayfield: First realize the impact a metric has within your organization or with your client. Just because we’ve discovered that blue-eyed, millennial, female customers spend an average of 3% more on Tuesday mornings doesn’t mean that particular metric is important to the company.
Second, look at what can be implemented or changed with a metric. If data can help you alter the business or provide validation of a strategy, by all means, measure it and report on it. But if there is sacred cow in your company, finding out that the cow is actually a horse may fall on deaf ears and add to your marketer frustration.