Don’t start campaign planning with KPIs

If Einstein had an advice for planners it would be this:

“If I had an hour to write a brief I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about what I want the campaign to do and five minutes thinking about KPIs.”

We spend too much time finessing the metrics.

And not enough on giving our campaigns a proper job to do.

The most common excuse I’ve heard (and used) is:

“KPIs give us the goals.”

But flour alone can’t make a chocolate cake.

Clear campaign objectives don’t come from metrics, they come from diligent planning.

It’s easier to pick the right metrics once you have answered the following questions.

Who is the campaign for?

Once you have your target audience, the first KPI is reaching as many of them as possible and ensuring that they get to see your ad.

Why aren’t they buying today?

Once you know what perception you need to change, the second KPI is measuring the change in brand perception or behaviour.

What needs to change?

Once you know what message you need to communicate, the third KPI is measuring how well the message was understood.

What does success look like?

The final KPI is measuring if the campaign was successful at changing perception (brand building) or uplifting sales (activation).

You campaign priorities and the time it takes to hit your objectives will be different across campaigns.

But remember, mediocre campaigns try to do everything at the same time, but don’t make a dent in any one.

The best ones make a big dent in one objective at a time but improve brand performance everywhere.