Anybody who’s been in this business for a while knows their ABCs:
It’s built into Google Analytics, for God’s sake:
And it’s a tried and true methodology for measuring.
Problem is, we’re measuring to take action. If the lifecycle begins and ends with acquisition and conversion, we’re missing a lot of workflow steps as marketers. Every campaign needs planning and post-mortem phases.
That’s the real job — not the numbers, but what we did to attain those numbers and what we’re going to do in the future to beat those numbers.
So I think we need to evolve the ABCs into something a little more critical, a little more holistic and a little more, well, musical. (You weren’t expecting that word to go there, were you?)
Back to Basics
Campaign planning and optimization is very much a creative exercise. And for me, creativity is joined at the hip to music.
Whenever I feel like getting back to basics in music, I think of the first thing I ever learned — the C major scale on the piano:
It’s insanely simple, yet it is the key for unlocking complicated music theory.
Instead of starting with ABC, like the alphabet, the C major scale ends with ABC:
There’s some key work to put in before the ABCs and I’m going to tie that part of the scale, now, to marketing campaign creation and execution.
Context — What are we doing? Who will buy this?
Difference — Where do we fit in the landscape of competitors? What makes us unique?
Explanation — Explain C & D to key decision-makers in the company that can fund the campaign.
Fine-Tune — Firm up the philosophy for specialists and managers that will drive the campaign.
Gameplan — Get your nuts and bolts in order.
Acquisition — Take this campaign to the people!
Behavior — Observe how the people consumed your campaign.
Conversion — Make some money! Once that’s all said and done, we need a campaign reporting and evolution phase. We’ll use the same scale there.
Context — Stack up our performance against our goals and/or previous campaigns. (Only use goals for your context if they were set in some basis of reality. Past performance is the best context.)
Difference — Did it exceed or fall short of our expectations? Put hard numbers on that, not percentages.
Explanation — Explain why your campaign performed the way it did to your higher-ups. Don’t just vomit C & D at them!
Fine Tune & Fix — Tweak your campaign to compensate for what went right or what went wrong.
Gameplan — Give your team nuts and bolts, Pt. II.
Acquisition — Take this new campaign to the people.
Behavior — Observe how they consumed your campaign. Particularly the things you changed!
Conversion — Make more money!
So remember, it’s all about ABC. But it’s also about CDEFGABC.
It’s a constant process. And if you’re doing it right, you should reach each subsequent octave with higher and higher results.