By Julie Katz – Researcher, Marketing, Forrester

Saying that measurement is important to marketers is an understatement.  Business decisions, even compensation, rely on the data marketers collect about customers.  Megan Burns and Christine Overby presented on what data marketers should collect, how to collect it, and how to make the best use of the data available.  Megan emphasized how important it is to measure what actually matters to customers rather than what marketers think customers care about.  As Pete Kim said in his keynote address, "easy to say, hard to do."  Megan outlined some initial steps:

First lay out the steps in your customer’s lifecycle (and use personas you may have created since different customers have different needs).  Then use primary research to identify touch points and key attributes. Measure both from a customer and a business perspective.  But don’t stop looking at that data once the design phase is complete:  keep using it to close the loop and measure how well you deliver on your goals.  And, use that data to improve your programs.

Metrics can help guide responses to flaws in the customer experience.  Vail Resorts uses Net Promoter and customer satisfaction surveys to measure the top drivers of customer referral.  They’ve taken responses to their surveys to implement grooming and safety patrols specific to the different ski slopes they manage.  Danskin used customer satisfaction to inform a recent site redesign and found both an increase in customers’ likelihood to recommend and significant increases in conversions and sales.