We most often hear about playbooks in reference to sports, but the concept is applicable in almost any industry. A playbook serves as a useful tool to outline a strategy for an activity.

We’ve suggested and worked with many customers to help them develop playbooks for improving a variety of Marketing capabilities, including Marketing and Sales alignment. Marketing performance management (MPM) is another area where a playbook can be very valuable.

Why a Marketing Measurement Playbook is a Good Idea 

Nowadays, as a marketer you’re measuring probably almost everything: how much product you’re producing, such as the number of webinars (activity measures); whether these are on time and within budget and their costs (operational measures); response to your work (such as response rates, webinar participants, content downloads); customer service quality, brand preference, and outcome metrics such as product adoption and share of wallet – the list goes on.

The constant flow and accessibility of data coupled with substantial improvement in analytical capabilities means that measures are in abundance. The challenge is less about quantity and more about the quality of your measures, metrics and KPIs . Choosing the right measures, and acting on the implications of these measurements, is an essential requirement for operating Marketing as a center of excellence.

A Trade Desk study found that one of the things keeping CMOs up at night is “selecting the most important metrics in demonstrating Marketing’s value.” Kantar’s latest annual state of marketing study declares that “Marketers Struggle to Assess Their Marketing Performance.” The study reveals that “fewer than one in five marketers are very confident in their ability to integrate data for insights, impacting the ability to measure and prove” Marketing’s value. These observations echo our own extensive Marketing Performance Benchmark (MPM studies) conducted since 2001.

Reporting on the performance of your Marketing is essential to making good business decisions, mitigating risk, improving performance, and proving Marketing’s value – but it’s only effective if you choose the right measures. One way to make sure you keep your focus on the right measures is to have a measurement playbook.

create and effective marketing playbook

Every Marketing organization committed to performance management needs a measure playbook

What Makes an Effective Measurement Playbook 

In sports, the playbook is where the coach maintains a list of all the team’s plays. A “play” can be thought of as simply an action designed to achieve a specific purpose in specific conditions. When you design any type of playbook, you need to define the conditions; the condition is what triggers the action.

A good Marketing Measurement Playbook tells your team not only what to do but how to make it happen. It should provide you with a strategic approach for building your measurement processes, selecting your metricsreporting those metrics in a way that delivers real business value, and executing the right activities to continue to improve over time.

A good measurement playbook defines your marketing metrics selection as well as your measurement process and methodology. To create a useful measurement playbook, the Marketing team needs to do the following:

  • Translate revenue targets into customer-centric outcomes
  • Establish outcome-based Marketing objectives and metrics
  • Create the metrics relationships and chain between the marketing activities and the outcomes
  • Create and document the measurement process
  • Define the data sets and sources to support the measurement process and each metric in the chain
  • Prepare the team to be successful

Include a section for each of those in your playbook, along with the plays. Rather than trying to anticipate every play (as you would in a sport, say football), you want to have a handle on the basic aspects of the game critical to success (offense, defense, and special teams) and the basic plays that occur in every game (inside run, outside run, forward pass, screen pass, player coverage, zone coverage, blitz, punt, field goal).

To help you start your journey toward measurement success, you may want to incorporate these aspects of measurement and basic plays into your Marketing Measurement Playbook:

3 Steps to Make Your Playbook and Up Your Game 

Step 1: Prepare

Assess your current state of marketing measurement and determine what conditions you need to address. It will be essential to understand your current data, analytics, measurement, and reporting capabilities and processes.

Build your playbook to address gaps in skills, resources/tools, and processes. Clarify, quantify, and communicate the value of the improvements.

These plays should improve Marketing’s performance, relevance, influence, and credibility.

Create your Marketing measurement playbook with these 3 steps.

Step 2: Implement

Plan how you will implement and execute the playbook. In sports, coaches practice plays over and over again to facilitate proficiency. Have a plan for how you and your team will be able to consistently and proficiently use data, analytics, measurement, and reporting to improve and prove the value of your marketing.

Step 3: Evaluate and optimize

Compare your progress against your initial assessment. Evaluate how the new plays are positively affecting Marketing’s performance, relevance, influence, and credibility, and determine what adjustments or new plays are necessary to optimize each of those areas.

A carefully thought-out playbook can help Marketing “win” by navigating their business toward the most cost-effective path to success. If you need help identifying which plays to include in your book, shoot us an email to schedule a call

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