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  • Digital analytics is all about using data to drive change.

  • But the data needs to be relevant to your business.

  • To get the most benefit from analytics

  • you need to tailor the implementation to your needs.

  • In this lesson we'll talk about how to create an analytics measurement plan that is specific

  • to your business.

  • Good data is the foundation for making smart decisions.

  • Managing and implementing infrastructure for this data may require

  • some time and effort, people, processes and technology.

  • The larger your business, the more involved this can be.

  • Let's talk about the skills you need on your analytics team.

  • You need someone who understands what the business objectives are

  • and the strategies used to support those objectives.

  • You also need someone who understands what analytics can do.

  • Finally, you need someone with technical skills who can implement an analytics tool.

  • If your organization is large,

  • you may need an analytics team that can support different business units.

  • If you have a small business,

  • your measurement plan will be simpler,

  • and you may able to fill all these needs on your own.

  • Once you've organized the right people to be involved with the planning conversation,

  • decide what you need to measure.

  • Start with a measurement plan which identifies your business objectives.

  • The next step is to understand your technical environment

  • by documenting your technical infrastructure.

  • In this stage you will be asking your team questions like,

  • "What are our server technologies?"

  • "Are we active on mobile?"

  • "Are we using responsive design?"

  • "Do the technologies we're using make it possible to track everything we need to track?"

  • After defining your business needs and documenting the technical environment of your business,

  • the next step is creating an implementation plan that is specific to the analytics tool

  • that you're using.

  • For Google Analytics, this means defining the code snippets and specific product features

  • that you'll need in order to track the data defined in your measurement plan.

  • Once the implementation plan is designed,

  • the next step is to have the web development team, or the mobile team,

  • actually implement the tracking recommendations that you've made.

  • This process isn't complete once the implementation stage is over!

  • Because the digital world changes so fast,

  • your measurement plan needs to be maintained and refined so that your data can evolve with

  • your business.

  • Therefore, the measurement planning process should be cyclical, if not continuous.

  • Let's dive a little deeper.

  • We're going to spend most of this lesson talking about the measurement plan,

  • using a simple model developed by Avinash Kaushik.

  • This model can be used to design a digital measurement plan for any size of business

  • -- large or small.

  • Avinash's model teaches us that the way to approach digital measurement

  • is by leading the conversation with the business' objectives.

  • Why do we start here?

  • The whole point of measurement is to understand if you're making good business decisions

  • or bad business decisions, and then figuring out how to make changes moving forward.

  • You will go through a series of 5 steps in order to define your measurement plan.

  • We'll go over each of the 5 steps in this lesson,

  • but here's an overview of what they are.

  • First, document your business objectives.

  • Second, identify the  strategies and tactics to support the objectives.

  • Third, choose the metrics that will be the key performance indicators.

  • Fourth, decide how you'll need to segment your data.

  • Finally, choose what your targets will be for your key performance indicators.

  • Remember, this process requires you to meet with the people who make the decisions in

  • your business.

  • This could be managers, executives or you, if you're a small business owner!

  • Let's use a fictional outdoor equipment company

  • as an example of how we would actually apply this process to create a real measurement

  • plan.

  • For the sake of this example, let's say that we sell our outdoor products on our website

  • and in stores.

  • This outdoor company also maintains a blog

  • to engage customers in conversations about how to enjoy the outdoors.

  • The first step to create our measurement plan is to define our business objective.

  • We need to ask ourselves -- why do we exist?

  • Often you need to dig really deep to get the true answer.

  • In our example let's say the business objective is

  • "Help people enjoy the outdoors through innovative products and cultivate their love of the outdoors."

  • To support our objective, our business will use specific strategies and tactics.

  • One strategy to support our mission would be to sell outdoor products.

  • A tactic to support that strategy would be to sell online via a website.

  • Another would be to sell items in store.

  • We could even develop a mobile shopping app.

  • But, in this scenario we also have a physical store,

  • so one way we might drive sales is by giving people information on our website or in our

  • mobile app

  • that helps them locate one of our stores.

  • That can be another tactic of our website.

  • Finally, to support the second half of our mission -- cultivating our customers' love

  • of the outdoors

  • -- our strategy would be to engage customers in conversations about outdoor topics,

  • and we might do that through posts on our blog.

  • Remember, each business will have its own set of strategies,

  • but most of them will closely relate to these 5 common types:

  • For ecommerce sites, selling products or services

  • For lead generation sites, collecting potential leads

  • For content publishers, encouraging engagement and frequent visitation

  • For online informational or support sites, helping users find the information they need

  • And for branding, driving awareness, engagement and loyalty.

  • Let's continue breaking this down.

  • The next step is to choose the Key Performance Indicators, also referred to as KPIs.

  • These are the measurements of your strategies and tactics

  • and are the numbers that you'll look at day-to-day to understand how your business is performing.

  • In our example business, for selling products,

  • we're going to look at KPIs like how much revenue we're generating

  • and the average order value for each transaction.

  • For the tactic of driving brick-and-mortar store visits,

  • we can look at how many times the store locator on our site is used,

  • or how many times users print a coupon for in-store use.

  • To measure user engagement on our blog, we might look at recency and frequency metrics

  • and whether or not users share our brand content on social networks.

  • Once you have defined the KPIs you want to measure,

  • you need to document which segments of data are important to measure.

  • For example, when we're thinking about our fictional store,

  • we might want to see our KPIs segmented by marketing channel.

  • As a business we're likely investing in different marketing channels,

  • such as search, display, email, and social.

  • We want to know how much value we're ultimately getting from those investments.

  • We might also look at our customer type -- our new customers versus our repeat customers

  • -- to see how much of our business is being driven by each segment

  • and whether there are opportunities for driving more customer loyalty.

  • Since we have physical stores, we might also be interested in looking at the geography

  • of our site visitors

  • to see if certain geographies near stores are performing better than other locations.

  • The segments you choose can be the same or different across all of your website --

  • it all depends on what your business is doing

  • and which strategies and tactics are being used to reach your objectives.

  • Finally, you need to add some context to your data

  • so that you can better understand the performance of your business.

  • You need to know, from your business leadership, the targets for each of your KPIs.

  • Adding targets to the measurement plan helps everyone who looks at the data

  • understand if the business is doing well or doing poorly.

  • Once your business measurement plan is complete,

  • you will have documented what you want to measure.

  • But, can you measure everything in your plan?

  • It depends on the website, mobile app, or other device you're trying to measure.

  • You need the help of your IT team to translate the business needs to an implementation plan.

  • The IT team can help you understand the website or app environment

  • and ultimately determine what you can track.

  • There are a few website technologies that will require additional planning. For example,

  • Query string parameters

  • Server redirects

  • Flash and AJAX events

  • Multiple domains and subdomains

  • Responsive web design

  • All of these scenarios require extra attention

  • when designing your implementation plan for tools like Google Analytics.

  • It is absolutely critical to have a thorough conversation with your IT team

  • to understand the environment you want to measure.

  • For guidance on how to adapt your implementation to these technologies,

  • check out our developers resources.

  • Once you know both the business requirements and details about your technical environment,

  • the next step is to create a basic implementation plan.

  • In this plan, you will document the features of your analysis tool that you'll use to capture

  • the data you need.

  • Let's review a few of the most common features used in a Google Analytics implementation

  • plan for a website.

  • First of all, to get any data,

  • you need to implement the standard Google Analytics page tag.

  • This gives you the bulk of the data you'll need.

  • Next, looking back at your measurement plan, you need a way to track the KPIs.

  • You can do this using Goal Tracking and the Ecommerce module if you are an ecommerce business.

  • Another feature you may want to use is filters.

  • These normalize your data so that your reports are more accurate and useful.

  • To properly track marketing campaigns you should use campaign tracking and AdWords linking.

  • Finally, you can use custom dashboards and customer reports to simplify the reporting

  • process.

  • This can help save a lot of time.

  • Usually you will combine the measurement plan, technical information

  • and Google Analytics features into a document that details the implementation recommendations

  • for your business.

  • The result of this process is reliable, accurate set of data

  • that helps you understand the performance of your business day in and day out.

  • The final step of the measurement planning cycle is to maintain and refine your plan.

  • This is a really important step of the process

  • because your business requirements and your technical environment can change over time.

  • Without a team to maintain your measurement plan,

  • your data won't keep pace with your reporting needs.

  • Also, keep in mind that in your first iteration

  • you may not be able to implement your entire plan due to time or resource constraints.

  • If you have a robust implementation plan,

  • you may consider tackling it in phases by prioritizing the most important features first.

  • In summary, creating a good measurement plan requires you to organize people, processes,

  • tools and technologies.

  • Planning has 5 main stages:

  • First, define your measurement plan.

  • Make sure you involve your business leaders and marketing team.

  • They will identify which objectives, goals, KPIs, segments and targets should be measured.

  • Next, document your technical environments.

  • This is when you'll want to get your IT team involved.

  • Then, translate your measurement plan into an implementation plan

  • based on your technical environment.

  • Only once the plan is ready, move on to implement analytics.

  • Finally, refine your implementation over time to keep your data current and useful.

Digital analytics is all about using data to drive change.

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Digital Analytics Fundamentals - Lesson 2.4 Creating a measurement plan

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    yangsarah posted on 2013/11/26
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