Marketing initiatives for your building materials brand require significant effort to plan and execute. Since they are substantial investments, it’s important to get as much value as possible from each one.
Your marketing initiatives will work harder for you with an established measurement and learning plan. Informed by your campaign strategy, this agenda drives insights that bring additional value to your organization.
It’s easy to think about campaigns as individual moments in time. But it can be careless to approach your marketing efforts as “one and done.” Every campaign holds insights beyond your primary marketing objective. Once uncovered, this knowledge will inform aspects of your business outside of marketing, as well as your future campaigns.
Look beyond marketing campaign KPIs to create a learning plan with broad applicability
One of the first things you’ll establish before launching any marketing initiative is a key performance indicator (KPI). This measure lets you know when you’ve achieved your campaign goals. Common marketing KPIs include driving a specific number of website events, achieving a target click-through rate, or generating a certain number of leads.
Meeting your primary marketing KPI is an indicator of campaign effectiveness — and one you will pay close attention to as a marketing leader. But that result alone may not be particularly meaningful to your full organization.
Since your campaign produces meaningful data (beyond what is measured for your primary KPI), you should leverage as much of it as possible. A thoughtful measurement and learning plan is designed to extract the maximum value from this data.
Ultimately, your measurement and learning plan should answer questions of “so what” for your organization. It takes what has meaning to the campaign from a marketing context and makes it relevant to a broader audience.
Think like an executive to create impactful learning objectives
The leaders of your organization want to know that your marketing efforts are relevant to other areas of the business. Executives are accountable for all aspects of performance for your building materials organization. Individual marketing campaign results are important. But it’s equally important to show how the results can impact the overall health of the company. Your measurement and learning plan can help translate “marketing speak” into results executive leadership will care about.
Learning objectives start with questions. Consider what your top leaders are asking. Then think about how the data your campaign generates can provide the answers — and the proof points. Questions like the ones listed below are effective thought starters for identifying organizational priorities or needs. Taking the time to consider the responses can lead to strong learning objectives.
- Where were areas of pushback in previous marketing campaigns? What else was the organization wanting to learn that might not have been delivered?
- Which topics within the organization have many opinions but not enough data to support the claims? Could your campaign help provide the right data for informed answers?
- Are there current trends or issues in the industry that your organization isn’t sure how to address? Will your marketing campaign uncover insights that could inform a position?
- What will your marketing initiatives reveal about customer behaviors or perceptions that you can elevate for the organization?
While each campaign will present the opportunity to uncover multiple insights, it’s important to keep learning objectives to a minimum. Too many may dilute the plan and minimize the likelihood of achieving any one target successfully. Instead, focus on the three or four big ideas that will have wide-reaching implications.
Establish a source of truth for every learning objective
Don’t leave the measurement aspect of your measurement and learning plan to chance. In order to arrive at an insight that is impactful for your organization, marketing measurement needs to be grounded in truth. For your learning plan, rely on the data generated during the execution of your campaign.
Once you’ve determined your learning objective — the question you want to answer for your organization — clearly outline how you will measure the results and, ultimately, answer the question. Evaluate each available platform and choose the one that provides the most relevant, reliable data for the objective. This becomes your source of truth. As a starting point, the list below includes platform examples and how they can be leveraged for the measurement portion of your plan.
- Google Analytics: for tracking website metrics
- Marketing automation platforms: for tracking email or landing page engagement
- CRM: for tracking leads captured
- Media reporting: for tracking impressions
Regardless of which data source you choose, you need a tech stack that is enabled and properly supported. You want the ability to capture and analyze metrics for the duration of the project. This way you can present the most informed insights to your organization.
Extend your learnings beyond marketing
Ultimately, the goal of your measurement and learning plan is to uncover something about your building materials brand that can take on a new life outside of the marketing arena.
For example, you may launch a campaign with the goal of building awareness for your building materials brand. In this case, your primary marketing metric might be tied to impressions from media placements. And while counting the number of times your target audience sees your brand is a good indicator of awareness — and an appropriate measure for a marketing campaign — it doesn’t have much applicability beyond that.
But, let’s assume that as part of the campaign strategy, you create three ad variations. Then you segment your audience by job function and location. Tapping into these campaign elements and the surrounding data can inform learning objectives that uncover insights applicable beyond the original scope.
- Analyzing results by creative variation to understand what elements resonated with your audience can be repurposed into sales materials or other marketing campaigns
- Uncovering insights about customer behavior by looking more closely at engagement by job function can be used by product and sales teams to inform future product updates
- Highlighting engagement metrics by region can inform strengths and weaknesses in the distribution channel
While you don’t want to sacrifice the results of any individual marketing campaign, when planned thoughtfully, a measurement and learning plan is your opportunity to think bigger. By taking the time to look beyond your campaign strategy and into what else you can discover, you can push your campaign — and your marketing budget — to deliver impressive results for your building materials brand.