For every marketing initiative, follow Harrington’s advice. Determine what you are measuring, and define the reason why.
At one point I was volunteering on an entrepreneurship council at a local university. The organization was in the process of a website redesign for the council when I joined its marketing steering committee. It was well on its way and had already developed the site taxonomy and home page mockups.
Sounds great, right? Well, not so fast…
I asked the group to outline its goals and how they would be measured. Silence… Instead, they were all just busy redesigning the site. Not one person could speak to a specific goal of the redesign, or what the new site had to achieve differently than the current site. No numbers. No metrics. No key performance indicators.
The group was just looking to build a “better website,” because they felt that the existing site was outdated. But when I asked them to define what a “better website” would be, and define it in a measurable way so that we could assess performance, there was more silence.
The organization had multiple tiers of membership. I asked about the different goals associated with each tier of membership, as that, to me, would help us make better decisions as to what the new site would need to look like. After all, prioritizing gold-level membership at a much higher membership fee would require different strategies than prioritizing basic memberships. Again, silence.
Trying to make your website “better” is not going to get you what you want. You need clear definitions of your goals and specific success metrics to measure actual performance. Defining your metrics and measuring your performance is the only way you will be successful in your marketing efforts.