I had a client reach out and ask me about campaign measurement and reporting. As in, they couldn’t do it. They said, “we have a campaign measurement problem.

On closer inspection, they had a very good handle on tracking their digital media spend and performance. Still, they couldn’t align their paid media performance to the campaigns they were running in other channels like email and the call center, mobile, etc.

Turns out, they had a very good unified tag management construct for paid media, but that’s it. They were using Unica Campaign for other channels but couldn’t put all of the pieces together. Also, they were rolling up campaign results between paid media and other channels manually in another external system to support marketing dashboards and reporting.

Discovering this, I decided to be bold and tell them that they didn’t have a campaign measurement problem; they had a campaign execution framework problem. They needed a set of campaign identifiers that run across all channels, including paid media.

Lucky for us, Unica has a campaign execution framework. It’s called Unica Plan.

Diagram 1 below shows the campaign execution framework in Unica Plan.

Diagram 1: Unica Plan’s campaign execution framework

Marketing Plans sit at the top of the campaign execution framework in Unica Plan. Plans represent the annual marketing plan for a budget holding organization in marketing. That is typically a line of business, brand, or product group. For example, the credit card portfolio at a bank, the loyalty program at a hotel group, or the plus-size brands at a fashion retailer.

Each Plan owner sets up Programs to fit their marketing organization’s structure. Programs represent a large marketing initiative with multiple marketing activities under it. Programs generally align with a specific product or audience. In our examples above, the program for a platinum credit card, gold members of the loyalty program, marketing related to a specific store brand would each represent a Program in Unica Plan.

Projects are more granular and align with specific campaigns within an over-arching Program.

When each Plan, Program, and Project is created, users are prompted to add mandatory and optional attributes that create metadata at each level. For example, Plans often have a choice of the fiscal year, Programs often carry a target start and end date, Projects often have a drop-down to choose the country in which the campaign will run. We recommend aligning the attributes, especially at the Project level, to how you want to roll up and slice and dice the data in marketing dashboards and reporting.

Another important execution element of a campaign execution framework in Plan is security and policy management for compliance. Unica Plan has features to control “who can do what where.” And all of it is documented and tracked by Plan as Plans Programs and Projects are being requested, approved, updated, and completed. A good thing to have when business controls knock on the door and tell you there is an audit.

When a campaign goes live, Plan passes the Project code created in Plan to the other modules in Unica (Campaign, Interact, etc.). They become live Campaigns with a Campaign code (which is the same code as the Project Code generated by Plan. It gets passed over to the other modules). As Unica executes a Campaign code, it associates the individual messages delivered as part of a campaign to the Campaign code and Offer code.

An Offer Cell is a tracking code that records the message, promotion, and call to action that an individual received in an email campaign from Campaign or in a banner add they saw on the customer’s website in real-time via Interact.

As Campaign and Interact serve up messages, they write out a record of the message delivery to Contact History.

Campaign and Offer codes aren’t just used in the systems that Unica sends campaign messages directly to. We recommend data integration and tagging of registration forms, leads, and web forms with the same tagging framework using Plan generated Project/Campaign and Offer codes. By doing this data integration and tagging standardization upfront, the campaign execution framework in Plan can then truly capture all campaign-related interactions across all channels, including paid media, on and offline.

We recommend embedding the Project and Offer codes from Unica Plan into trackable links in email and Paid, Owned, and Earned digital media.

Diagram 2 below shows the tag structure for trackable URLs.

Diagram 2: Tagging Standards from the execution framework across all channels.

The Campaign code and Campaign Offer code are in placements fields mmca1 and mmca2 in the tag. We recommend using a tag generator to help marketers structure their tags in a consistent, scalable way.

When an email or banner placement gets a click, the response is tracked via the tag. Interactions are then recorded in interaction history in your marketing database or data lake.

The loop is now closed for campaign measurement. Unica stored a record of the initial touch in Contact History when the Campaign was executed with the Campaign code and Offer code. The link clicks stores the same Campaign and Offer codes based on responses. The campaign measurement problem is solved.

If you’re having challenges tracking and measuring your campaigns across all channels, consider creating a campaign execution framework with Unica Plan before you execute a campaign. It will save you hours of data manipulation after the fact trying to make sense of disparate campaign data. You won’t have a campaign measurement problem!

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