Canada's only marketing conference developed exclusively for the nonprofit and public sectors - May 30-31, 2017 at the Shaw Centre, Ottawa

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Workshop 5: 1/2-Day AM – Performance Metrics: Setting objectives and measuring success throughout program lifecycles

Developing strategy in 2018 begins and ends with metrics. This workshop will look at the 4 stages of performance metrics for program development and implementation that are designed to set your team up for success from the beginning. It will include tools along each stage to help you establish performance metrics for your organization – both from a change management perspective – as well as from a practical operational perspective.

Starting with securing funding for marketing and communications programs with proposals to management that include clear objectives with detailed data to back up assumptions, highlight past performances, and demonstrate current trends/successes across all social, web, email and offline channels (examples provided).

Next, once funded, the effort to finalize strategy requires a clear understanding of the data around your audience as well as your intended outcomes to determine what success should look like. This step includes establishing solid goals to meet stated objectives (examples provided).

Then, while your program is running, the careful examination of metrics in order to monitor progress to allow for course corrections in real-time, allows for greater changes for success.  Real-time dashboards or progress reports that have visibility by key stakeholders give those involved, the ability to make changes on the fly. This is especially important when social media channels are involved where you have the ability to impact outcomes based on underrepresented audiences, for example, or make any other improvements needed (examples provided).

Finally, reporting on the performance of your program and comparing assumptions and goals with what you intended to achieve – with what happened in the end. This final stage tells the story, through data, of what was learned through the interactions of your target audience – who they were – and how they behaved. Not only does it answer the initial objective of the program – but provides insight into where to go next. Almost always, one program will provide a narrative of where the team should be looking in the future to continue the mandate of the organization.

One note on reporting – in an era of jammed inboxes and enduring social conversations, saying a program has an end date is rather a misnomer. Expect to see program metrics continue to evolve after your arbitrary end date. The long tail impact of most programs these days can be interesting to analyze (examples provided).

As the workshop comes to a close, you should have a clearer understanding of performance metrics and how it can help you as you plan, execute and evaluate programs in your organization.