Marketing Opportunities and Performance Expectations: The Measurement Plan 

Posted by Iyiola Obayomi from Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide — North America on July 11, 2018 


In this final installment of a four-part series (click here to read installments one, two and three), we’ll address the value of the Measurement Planning Tool as an important part of your strategic planning development. Where Pro-Forma was used for strategic positioning questions and the Impact Estimator for program business case and prioritization, in this article we’ll address the last, but equally important tool, the Measurement Plan, which is another means of setting both opportunity and expectations.


It’s vital to note that while marketing consultancies and agencies that have these tools and capabilities may refer to them with different names, in the strategic planning process you should always keep in mind that these tools exist and any capable partner should be able to address them for you.  



Case and context for the Measurement Planning Tool


The Measurement Planning Tool is the most basic performance planning capability that identifies program metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs), and expected targets. Typically, the measurement plan is finalized after program tactics and content are all defined and signed-off, but before a program officially launches.  Of the three quantitative planning enablement tools, it’s the last on the continuum, but no less important. At its core, this is a means of measuring the success of a marketing program, campaign, or asset.


We recently developed a measurement plan as part of the effort to evaluate the success of a healthcare brand that was transitioning from Rx to OTC. The brand had a bold ambition of being the most recommended within a short period. The need for a measurement plan was obvious: not only would it be necessary to track HCP recommendations, but many of the initiatives designed to achieve this ambitious goal needed to be tracked closely to ensure each was playing its expected part. In short, the brand’s ambitious goal required an aggressive strategy – supported by a well-articulated plan to track, measure and optimize toward success.


To that end, a measurement plan was developed to address many key questions typical at this stage of the marketing:


• What metrics will be tracked to assess the success of the program and its tactics?
• What levels of performance or targets can be expected?
• What analytics solutions should be deployed to ensure the team can track, learn, and have the insight to improve the program?
• What are the suggested milestones for the program and for analytics involvement?


Consistent with good measurement plans, performance expectations were clearly set for the brand’s campaigns by providing answers to six very specific needs.  KPIs that tie to overarching objectives were identified, as well as the role of each tactic in the strategic framework. Also identified were the types of analyses required. The approach was set to ensure there would be access to the data needed; the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders were identified, and expectations were clearly defined as to when to expect each deliverable. The important point here: it’s not enough to simply identify insights and recommendations – these additional steps must also be implemented to have any meaningful impact.


The six components of a good measurement plan


Some would be surprised to know that a campaign of the size we were working with would choose to invest in the analytics or research studies required to track the essential KPIs. And yes, it did take some convincing to get the brand team invested in a customer perceptual tracking study. So how did we do it? Rather than a theoretical appeal to the commonsense need for such an effort, our agency team was able to show the client brand team the metric in the measurement plan, the specification of the expected performance on the metric as a leading indicator of campaign performance, while identifying the custom study as the source of the data to help make the case for the tracking study.


The result? The program was a resounding success across almost every performance metric.


Outstanding performance


In summary

There are several quantitative tools that can help augment strategic decision making and the setting of expectations. Good marketing practice necessitates addressing these questions with rigor if confidence and clarity are desired. The ability to use the tools that are available to accurately interpret the outcomes requires a combination of quantitative elements, judgment and experience to bring the kind of marketing perspective that ultimately goes far deeper than the numbers.  Many brands have won, and will continue to win, due to access to these tools, but it takes a cross-discipline marketing team to apply their valuable insights and expertise to those tools for a brand to achieve next-level status.