Our online marketing channels overwhelm us with data: Impressions,
clicks, views, conversions, CPCs, CPMs, engagements…But just because we
can measure something doesn’t mean it’s worthwhile or important or even
valuable. For some platforms, metrics may be there to distract you from
finding out it’s not serving your goals and some metrics only benefit
the platform – not us.
If our goal is to get legislation passed, we can’t measure that in Facebook likes.
If our goal is to activate an advocate, we can’t measure that in Retweets.
If our goal is to change a specific mind, we can’t measure that in Instagram live views.
The noise of a “successful” social media campaign doesn’t align with the signals we’re looking for to achieve cut through.
The move online has brought us an abundance of data and metrics,
making it easy to fall into one of two modes: ignore or obsess. Ignoring
data is silly. Obsessing over every datapoint is just as destructive.
A chef has to make careful choices about what ingredients and spices
to add to a dish and those that should be kept out. None of us would
enjoy a meal that had every seasoning from the spice rack dumped into
Similarly, our analysis of data must also be selective. Before you begin a marketing effort you must identify the key macro metrics
that will determine what success looks like. They should be reasonable
and not necessarily digital, but contribute to overall success.
Say you’re trying to get a bill passed. A macro metric would be new cosponsors for the legislation.
Micro metrics measure the effectiveness of the other
marketing activities. Is our email being opened, are advocates signing
our petitions, etc?
Vanity metrics don’t measure anything. They don’t
impact your strategy. You shouldn’t even share them – that’s how
worthless they are. Facebook shares and Retweets aren’t in anyone’s job
description or strategic plan, so why do we care about them?
Don’t get caught up and confused trying to measure something that doesn’t matter.