8 Tips to Make Sure Measurement Stays in Your Budget

    1. Call it Research instead of “Measurement”

    Measurement is often seen as a way to justify one’s existence. But if leadership sees it as “research to make better decisions,” or “necessary to determine cost effectiveness,” it stays in the budget.

    2. Refuse to make decisions without data

    Whether you are planning future strategy, deciding when to send out an email or figuring out what type of content to create, use data to make your decisions. When leadership sees you making better, data-driven decisions, they’ll make sure you have the data you need.

    3. Start with a pilot program and build on it

    If you have an upcoming event or high-priority campaign, (especially one with a healthy budget) build measurement into the campaign. Conduct a pre-post campaign survey to test whether you’ve increased employee knowledge or awareness. Then use the report from that even to lobby for a permanent place in your budget for measurement.

    4. Make measurement your “right arm”

    A client of mine once told me that the measurement work we were doing for him was his “right arm.” He went on to say that “you can lose a pinky, but you never cut off your right arm.” So make your metrics your “right arm,” and your budget will get renewed every year. Using metrics to justify your existence relegates them to “pinky” status. No boss wants to spend money justifying your existence, but they’re nearly always willing to spend money to learn what they can cut out of the budget or do more efficiently.

    5. Become someone’s homework:

    Most universities with communications or public relations degree programs require students to complete a research project before they graduate. As a result, college students are frequently looking for organizations with which to partner. The one caveat with using university research services is you must adhere to the school year schedules, which means that it can be difficult to conduct research during finals.

    6. Take Advantage of Free Trials:

    Virtually every measurement tool or survey platform offers a free trial—generally for two weeks or a month. Sign up just before a campaign or event that you want to measure, use it like crazy for the trial period, and then impress the boss with your report. Chances are that it will spark leadership’s interest in your measurement efforts and you’ll get the budget to do more.

    7. Go where the audience already is:

    If you organize an event where your employees gather, create a questionnaire that people have to fill out in order to win a prize. You probably won’t have enough time to ask all the questions you may have, so just test their knowledge of an initiative or a campaign.

    8. Use interns & volunteers.

    If you work for a non-profit, or can afford an intern, give them a research assignment and then use the report to generate an appetite for measurement.

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