Matt Clement, CDME: Measurement Sherpa for Fort Worth Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

Matthew Clement Sherpa Level 3

This article is part of The Measurement Advisor’s Special Issue on the Measurement Sherpa, an in-house data wrangler and measurement resource who organizes, queries, and gains insight from data. Our coverage follows the development of a Sherpa’s skill and experience, from newbie to pro, and is organized in three levels:

sherpa badge level 1

Sherpa Level One: Getting Out of Base Camp

sherpa badge level 2Sherpa Level Two: Climbing the Mountain

sherpa badge level 3Sherpa Level Three: Peak Operations

What is a Measurement Sherpa? A Measurement Sherpa is the one person who can make sense of the mounds of metrics, the deluge of data, and the throngs of vendors that occupy the world of big data. In this series we will introduce you to some Sherpas and the work they do for measurement.

Matthew Clement, CDME, has been the marketing statistics manager at Fort Worth Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for the past year. Even in his down time Clement says he likes to use measurement for fantasy sports games; using player stats to make the best teams.

“I would describe myself as a Sherpa. I’m a stat head, avid fantasy football and baseball fan, I have a real affinity with statistics and analysis,” Clement said, “Fantasy football or casinos, I like taking numbers and data and exploiting that into an advantage.”

His start in measurement began with his work as director and assistant director of entertainment & gaming for the Oaklawn Jockey Club.

“My background is in casino marketing, we did a lot of database marketing in that business. A lot of the data was in very hard numbers. If we had an event designed to boost revenue that day we had to show that it boosted revenue for that day,” Clement said, “That measuring was always different because there was a bunch of different factors.”

Clement says that while destination marketing organizations (DMOs) have come a long way with measurement, in his opinion casinos are still the biggest users of measurement metrics.

“In my experience the gaming industry is the king of measurement. Everything is driven by data measurement and they have the tools to measure the data they receive,” Clement said, “I’ve been in banking, newspapers, and now the world of destination marketing. The gaming industry was the biggest eye opener in how they measure and how much they measure.”

One of the things Clement says has made measurement better for DMOs are new technologies that make it simple to come up with relevant metrics. DMO’s used to rely on metrics such as web clicks and mentions to measure the success of campaigns. With new technologies such as tracking pixels, DMO’s can now track things like number of arrivals per 1000 impressions.

“We can now say we had 3 million impressions in our target market or that we had one arrival per 4,000 mentions,” Clement said, “That’s pretty groundbreaking for destination marketers, which had to rely on vanity metrics before. It’s allowing us to replace those vanity metrics with ones that have much more meaning to our shareholders.”

According to Clement the two most important numbers for Fort Worth are total hotel room bookings and economic impact of leisure travel, the estimated of spending by leisure travelers. With the new metrics Clement says he can tell shareholders the number of arrivals, the average party size, and how much they spent as a result of a certain campaign.

“Because we are a publicly funded organization, we work in a fishbowl,” Clement said, “It’s very important to us to talk to our shareholders in very plain, commonsense terms on what our impact is on the local economy. It’s incredibly important to have meaningful measurement numbers to share with the public.”

One of the measurement challenges that Clement has faced at Fort Worth involved NASCAR. The Texas Motor Speedway is in Fort Worth, which decided to make a campaign to draw in NASCAR fans. Despite having a high click-through rate they were having problems across the board.

“One of the big promotions of that campaign was the Facebook page. We weren’t just targeting NASCAR and motor sports fans, it was very broad,” Clement said, “What we learned initially was that our cost per click ratio was high, our cost per acquisition (how many signed up for the newspaper) was high, and we weren’t getting as many email opt-ins as we should.”

Clement said that part of the problem was that since they had targeted so widely that they were competing with others who were using a lot of the same keywords. They also found that just because someone was interested in motor sports doesn’t mean they’re a NASCAR fan, or want a NASCAR holiday.

The solution was to start marketing to fans of specific drivers. One of the drivers, Dale Earnhardt Jr., was featured in several ads with the caption, “Come see Dale in Texas.”

“We went from a broad NASCAR message to a Dale Earnhardt Jr. message targeted at his fans,” Clement said. “By targeting more narrowly, our click-throughs went even higher, and we saved 60% on cost per click. Some of our ads went from over 40 cents per click down to the teens. Cost per acquisition halved; it was great.”

On the topic of Measurement Sherpas, Clement said it was imperative for companies and marketing teams to have someone to process and manage their metrics.

“I think it’s critical to have a Sherpa as it is to have good creative people,” Clement said, “It’s not just having creativity; it’s having it at the right place and right time. Its critical to have someone who can look at those numbers academically and adjust.” ∞

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