This year’s MeaureFest did not disappoint with fascinating insights on attribution modelling, examples of making the best use of testing and analytics, and of course all aspects of measurement including my favourite – ‘Segment or die!’ by Nikki Rae, Director of Insight at Future Insights.
Hot off the press…..
With speakers oozing inspiration and the Chancellor of the Exchequer having earlier in the day delivered his Autumn Statement and Spending Review in the House of Commons, it seemed timely to share the newly launched Government Communications Measurement and Evaluation Framework. It was so hot off the press that the editions shared with the audience were still drafts (but of course in true ‘digital by default’ style it is already available to download from: www.gcs.civilservice.gov.uk).
Why is it important to UK Government?
In the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last week, he announced cuts of upwards of 20% for many Government departments in budgets across the Civil Service. This means it has never been more important to ensure value for money for the UK tax payer in our communications spend and of course to do less of the stuff that doesn’t work!
How do we ensure that we can prove value for money and therefore prove our worth? And how do we know what does/doesn’t work?
The answer is simple – by measuring and evaluating – this has become key to showcasing communications as an investment not a cost.
Communications these days needs to be more integrated, i.e. involving every area of communications contributing to a shared communications goal. This new framework therefore contains sets of metrics for each area of communications to measure. They include Media, Marketing, Digital, Stakeholder and Internal as they all have a part to play in communicating, measuring, evaluating and acting on insight.
For far too long there has been debate about what metrics to track and there have been way too many vanity metrics used like ‘opportunities to see’ – don’t get me started! So within each swatch there are lists of valid metrics to choose from.
The framework sets out a range of metrics at every stage of the communications delivery process:
- starting with inputs – where you record your planning activities, time, resource and costs
- then outputs – what you have distributed, its reach and exposure
- followed by outtakes – where awareness levels, understanding and interest are tracked
- and finally outcomes – which is where the impact of communications is measured including behaviour change, one-off action or attitude shift.
Please PLEASE remember a couple of things: 1) It is important to set these metrics during the planning stages – it may sound obvious but there is no point selecting metrics at the end of a campaign only to find that it’s too late to track them. And 2) Don’t just record numbers – it will only add value if metrics are set in context or compared with a benchmark e.g. 100,000 views of your video – so what? It must be clear whether this is a strong performance or not; a percentage change, increase over time or comparison to a similar campaign would tell the story.