Marketing Measurement: the “Science Project” Syndrome


Workstation in laboratory

Run a Google image search on the term “Periodic Table of Marketing Metrics” and you’ll get results that look something like this:


Now, the idea of organizing the vast universe of marketing metrics in a “scientific” format is an attractive one – it brings a certain logic and precision to a large and potentially confusing set of data. Personally, I’ve tried to use some of these concepts to understand the relevance of a particular metric and put it in context for others.

But I’ve never succeeded.  Generally, I come to the conclusion that “it’s not that complicated” and move on.

My approach is not to start with the metrics themselves, but with what the business wants to accomplish. At the fundamental level, a campaign or program is designed to achieve a small number fundamental objectives. Increase recognition in Market X.  Generate Leads for Service Y.  Drive registration for Event Z.  Of course it’s more complex than that – you can have multiple, interdependent objectives —  but at the heart of things, what you measure starts with what you want to achieve.

So, don’t make a “science project” out of marketing measurement, and produce charts, graphs, dashboards and data tables that obscure insights, rather than revealing them. Before starting on a measurement initiative, first think carefully about the data you have available, the objectives you’ve set, and the decisions you’ll be making. Only then should you move to choosing the metrics themselves!