Monday, December 7, 2015

Designing for Six Sigma Sometimes Begins with the Name

The Reporting Benefits of Naming Assets Consistently within your Marketing Automation Tool

The Mission:

You want to generate a report to help you analyze your campaign performance. A report that allows you to look a bit deeper than simple click-throughs and opens. One that groups your programs, and allows you to sort your on your segment classification by month/quarter and campaign. You want to also run this report as needed and add to the data set as you go along. This isn’t hard to do at all, but your marketing automation program is limited with regards to how granular you can make your data. To report at this level you’ll need to export your data to Excel and create a pivot chart, or use a more sophisticated business intelligence tool. But still - if the data you want to report on is not reflected in the output of the system you are using, all the slicing you want to do will be rather difficult.

The Solution: It's all in the name

A naming convention for the assets in your automation tool should be thought out and considered carefully. Ultimately, it should reflect on the level of reporting you want to do. That said, one way of thinking about a naming convention project is to begin at the end and ask, "what do you want to show", and "how would you like to keep your data organized". Asking these questions up front and working backwards is a great place to begin.

Now you have an idea of the kind of reports you want to slice against, it’s time to build out a name generator. Each asset associated with your campaign should have a unique name, and no two asset types should have the same convention because reporting and use will be different. In other words, in your marketing automation tool, you should think about a unique naming convention for each type of asset. It’s rather difficult to come up with a blanket template because each asset serves a different purpose.

Your emails, forms and landing pages should each have unique position groupings. For example:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Email Year Month Program CampaignName (oneword) Phase Touch Unique Descriptor
Landing Page Year Quarter Program CampaignName (oneword) Phase Landing Page Type N/A

Notice the differences here. Position 2 is month for email and quarter for landing page. This could be because emails are being updated more than landing pages. It could be based on campaign activation as well. Positions 6 and 7 are also different, this is because landing pages and emails serve a different purpose and this should be reflected in how you think about and report on them.

Based on the naming convention above, for you can use Excel pivot tables to slice your data on each position. For example, for emails you can run reports on Program, or on Campaign, month, etc. And for landing pages, you can run reports on Assets, program, etc.

But the most important part in all of this is establishing these up front and being consistent with them. Your reporting and marketing automation program can get rather messy if you aren’t consistent.

Please don’t think of the above examples as the end-all be-all naming convention. These should be flexible to meet the needs of your organization and program. Think backwards - and happy planning.

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