Don’t let the tail wag the dog
Your tracking is there to help. You are paying big money for it – challenge your supplier to explain why they do things the way they do, don’t let them blind you with science and fancy indices and complicated metrics. If they can’t explain them maybe you’ve got the wrong tracking.
Don’t be afraid of change
Tracking is a great way of generating lines across the page and these lines can earn people bonuses if they move in the right direction, so it’s not to be sneezed at. But if the line is measuring the wrong thing, then start a new line measuring the right thing.
One in one out – tracking questionnaires are precious real estate –don’t let the questionnaire become a nasty bloated thing that depresses and irritates survey respondents –leaving a negative impression of your brand. If you need to ask new things then great – but something has to come off the questionnaire. Don’t cling to the “nice to know” but focus on the “need to know”.
Consider what reporting you need - your agency should politely generate the reports you need whenever you need them. But have a think about who needs what and when. A one pager for the board once a month, a few KPI charts and tables monthly and a quarterly review might well be all you need. If your agency isn’t spending huge amounts of time producing reports that aren’t read, they can spend more time thinking about what it all means.
No-one likes to operate in a vacuum, and tracking researchers are no exception. If you know stuff that might help interpret tracking results, share it with your agency. You’ll get more thoughtful work and avoid those nasty “oh, that’s a different story from what we heard from yesterday’s debrief”.
The first in a series of posts on effective tracking from David Alterman. For more information on the Nursery’s approach to tracking contact firstname.lastname@example.org