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Measure What Matters: Online Tools For Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships by William T. Paarlberg, Katie Delahaye Paine

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Chapter 3. Seven Steps to the Perfect Measurement Program: How to Prove Your Results and Use Your Results to Improve

"The only statistics you can trust are those you falsified yourself."

Winston Churchill

The measurement of most business strategies is an iterative process: The strategy is implemented, data about its success is acquired and analyzed, and changes are made to the strategy. Then the revised strategy is implemented, more data is acquired, and more changes are made. And so on again and again. Most measurement programs, no matter who the stakeholders or what the metrics, proceed through this process with seven basic logical steps. In fact, in my 20 years in the measurement business, every measurement program I have developed has involved some version of these steps. These seven basic steps are discussed at length in this chapter, and they form the framework for most of the chapters to follow. The tremendous value of these steps is that you can adapt them to measure any program you might encounter.

A note about benchmark studies: It is very common to undertake some preliminary research to help you with the first few of these seven steps. For some companies and situations, your audience, benchmarks, key performance indicators (KPIs), and measurement tools will be fairly obvious. But for others you may have to hunt up some existing data or do a benchmark study or two before you really know what you are dealing with. For instance, you may have to start by surveying your audiences ...

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