It happens all too often: the perfect media plan is devised and executed based on strategic campaign goals. After the media runs, marketers look for performance insights, hoping to prove success. However, if campaign measurement was not a key component of a strategy, the data required to enable optimization decisions, prove ROI, and tell a great story can all be lost.
__The good news? This is entirely preventable.__
Having a plan for evaluating marketing’s impact should move to the forefront of all of this work. Integrating measurement as part of the planning process allows marketers to map decisions back to how success will be evaluated.
Below are four best practices to integrate into your company’s processes when it comes to proving the value of media investment.
## 1. Prioritize measurement in the planning phase
In the rush of planning, it’s easy to let measurement become an afterthought. While common to try and retrofit a campaign to an ill-fitting measurement model, it is not a best practice. Instead, let the measurement dictate media decisions.
Take, for example, a marketer who uses a click-based attribution model on an audio campaign that reaches both Mobile and Connected Home listeners. [Not only do we see attribution models undervaluing audio’s impact](https://www.pandoraforbrands.com/article/the-power-of-audio-and-the-weakness-of-last-click-attribution), but measuring clicks within a screenless home environment will not provide insights into performance.
Don’t wait until the end of a campaign to figure out how to analyze performance or you may be disappointed in the results. Have these discussions in the planning phase, and make sure all stakeholders have agreed on the key performance indicators (KPIs) before launch.
Pandora account teams can recommend media products that are designed to deliver on those KPIs, as well as measurement strategies to prove performance.
## 2. Ensure that the creative maps to the KPI and measurement plan
Consider the following scenario:
__*A retail brand just opened a new location in Los Angeles and is using a third-party to measure store traffic. The creative focuses on their new footwear collection, with a call-to-action directing listeners to ‘Click to Buy Now’.*__
What’s wrong with this picture?
Once the appropriate teams have aligned and signed-off on a campaign’s KPIs, it is now time to share those plans with the creative teams. Work with your creative agency or tap Pandora’s Ad Creative team to ensure that the campaign’s messaging aligns with the KPIs and measurement strategy.
Don’t forget a strong call-to-action that hits on your final campaign goal. Leave an audience with a strong close to push them towards the desired customer behavior.
## 3. Results aside, what are the learnings?
If a benchmark represents an average, a campaign is fated to come up short at some point. While few look forward to lackluster results, it is critical to use every campaign as an opportunity to learn what worked well and how to drive towards optimization. Here are a few key questions to ask when reviewing results:
- What was the hypothesis going into the campaign? How do these results help inform future campaign strategies? How do they inform current or future learning plans?
- What was the offer, if any, mentioned in the audio spot? How did performance compare relative to other offers? How can these insights help direct future offer strategies?
- Was there a demo or audience that performed better than expectations?
- Did one creative work better than another?
- How did the media mix perform relative to previous strategies?
- For video, what were view-through rates? Was there a certain point at which people abandoned the creative?
- What was the social response? What is the general sentiment from customers?
## 4. Be thoughtful in communicating insights.
Whether a campaign sees strong results or performs below expectations, marketers emerge from the process of measuring a campaign with an extremely valuable asset: brand-specific insights.
As you enter campaign planning phases moving forward, fold in the insights that have accrued from previous campaigns. Be deliberate in having an allotted time in the process to discuss derived insights and what you are looking to measure and learn moving forward. Have these conversations with not only internal teams, but with media partners as well.
## Key Takeaways
Give campaigns the full credit they deserve by following these four steps:
- Set-up appropriate measurement at the forefront of planning in order to drive towards key insights that can inform campaign optimization
- Ensure that all teams touching the campaign, including creative, understand the KPIs and measurement plan
- Look for opportunities - both campaign successes and underperformance - to learn and glean insights that can help propel future media strategies
- Be deliberate in discussing learnings and insights with cross-functional teams
Remember that Pandora account teams can recommend ad products or media plans based on these insights, so collaborate with media partners to get the most out of your strategy.