Anthropologists will tell you that baby dogs and cats have evolved over the years to be to be intentionally irresistible. By being impossibly cute when they are young, they are more easily assimilated into human society, enhancing their chances of surviving, thriving, and perpetuating the species.
And I know it works.
Who can resist a puppy? Apparently not even the most hard-core hound hater.
For about 60 years, I hated dogs. It was a learned response; I’d been bitten and attacked and knocked over repeatedly by numerous members of the species. To me they were all smelly loathsome creatures, far too co-dependent for my liking. Cats were my kind of pet.
Until I met Princess Leia:
I fell in love. Unconditionally and forever. She could poop on my rugs, dig up my flower beds, bark me out of bed at 4 am—it didn’t matter. I was her biggest defender and supporter until the day we lost her to cancer. And the lack of her presence is intolerable.
Which is why I, the dog-hater, am now shopping for a new puppy.
As I pondered my metamorphosis, it occurred to me that measurement needs the equivalent of a puppy’s irresistibility.
Time for a makeover: Rebrand it!
Too often measurement is relegated to the bottom of the to-do list, a task assigned by some higher-up that is invariably seen as the heaviest lift and least fun task on the list. It clearly needs an image makeover. So here we go:
Rebrand Measurement Idea #1: Call it “assumption testing” and “market research”
When you begin a new campaign or initiative, you need data in order to create an effective plan. Good, relevant, and regular measurement provides that data. It will tell you what has worked or not worked in the past.
So, when some muckety-muck comes into your office with an order to run a Halloween-themed campaign to promote a new product, your response should be, “Wouldn’t you like to test those assumptions? Give me a chance to look at some data and we’ll get back to you with our recommendations.”
Now you’ve become part of the strategy, instead of being relegated to justifying the expense.
Rebrand Measurement Idea #2: “Risk avoidance”—the accountants will love it
Princess Leia’s barking could be incredibly annoying, but generally she was alerting me to the fact that someone was in my driveway, or that a predator was about to consume my chickens. Metrics perform a similar professional heads-up function. Having regular metrics shows you what is working and what doesn’t. It can alert you to potential crises or problems before they become your worst nightmare. They enable you to avoid wasting money or courting disaster.
To paraphrase a MasterCard ad: “Having a good measurement system in place: A rounding error in the company budget. Knowing how to stave off a crisis: Priceless.”
Rebrand Measurement Idea #3: Not cute enough for you? How about calling it “opportunity identification.”
Too often measurement presentations sound like justification and a request for a bigger budget. But, instead, you can use measurement data to point out an opportunity: an issue where the competition is absent, or where a potential market is ignored.
Now you’ve become part of revenue generation.
Rebrand Measurement Idea #4: An even more irresistible moniker: “Investment in brand reputation”
Measurement ensures that the communications you do and the content you produce are effective in achieving your goals. Which more often than not comes down to building or protecting your brand. Unless you measure the impact of what you are doing, you have no idea whether your efforts are helping or hurting your brand. Until it’s too late.
So, pitch your program as an investment in the future, rather than a cost for examining the past.
Good luck with your new
Within the last month I have used measurement data to do all of the above, which is just part of the reason I’m as deeply committed to it as I was to Princess Leia. And yes, I know measurement is not as cute, or furry, or as good in a selfie as a puppy or a kitten. But it can be just as reliable and just as welcome when you’re feeling overwhelmed. ∞