In Brand Media Strategy, author Antony Young states that measuring effectiveness for the brand media strategy is, “the very core of communications planning,” (210). The ability to measure the elements of a communications plan helps to determine which elements were effective and which elements needed improvement. Young states, “Just like sports coaches, a communications planner needs a strategy to win, and that involves making the adjustments needed to improve the outcome,” (211).
Technological advancements have improved our ability to measure the effectiveness of the campaign. Inversely, technology has also made it more difficult because it multiplies the influences placed on the consumer regarding their purchasing decisions. Young writes, “…only 14 percent of senior marketers felt confident in forecasts of how marketing activities would affect sales,” (211).
Young states that $8.6 billion is allocated towards research of media habits. There are copious amounts of tactics that gauge data, and it has become overwhelming. “There are tracking studies, competitive reporting, consumer segmentation, product usage and attitudinal studies media currencies, online surveys, copy testing and econometric modeling, in addition to literally billions of data points now being collected in digital media,” (212).
In order to track a brand media strategy, it is important to define success and the key performance indicators are used to measure the success. KPI’s measure the collective impact of a message.
- The Campaign Measurement Process
- Determine objective and success criteria
- Identify learning objectives and analysis approach
- Identify metrics and data sources
- Define measurement and reporting plan
- Communicate measurement plan
- Collect data, interpret and analyze results
- Marketing and process optimization
Online tracking is useful for measuring online campaigns, as well as determining the effectiveness of the entire media communications effort. Online tools such as Google Insights, HowSociable, Social Mention, Twitalyzer, Twitrratr, and Wordle are used as a quantitative measurement.
Ultimately, Young maintains that brand media strategy planners need to realize measurement isn’t only about reporting in justification, it is also about making better decisions and adjustments.
“Measure What Matters,” by Katie Delahaye Paine, discusses how important social media is and how it has reinforced businesses to rethink their strategies. The movement to online media has given businesses the ability to increase their research on consumer behavior because it is easier to track. Paine also differentiates between counting and measuring and states that counting just adds things up to get a total, whereas measuring takes it one step further and analyzes those totals to figure out what they mean and how they can improve the business. Measurement helps business to allocate their budget, their staff, and to gage the competition better. Measurement provides data that is incontrovertible, which makes it easier for a business to agree on objectives. It reveals the strengths and weaknesses of a company.
Paine also discusses myths that keep business from using measurement:
- Measurement will only create more work for me.
- Measurement is expensive
- You can’t measure the ROI, so why bother?
- Measurement is strictly quantitative
- Measurement is something you do when a program is over
- “I know what’s happening: I don’t need research”
Billions of dollars is spent on Marketing but most companies do not allocate money to measuring. Studies have proven that those companies who do spend the time and resources on measurement seem to do better than those who don’t.
Google has created Google Analytics, which allows companies to track online success.
Chapter Two of Measure What Matters states, “If you are new to measurement, it’s best to start with baby steps,” (Paine, 19). Paine recommends beginning with a pilot program. This would be either a three-month benchmark study or a targeted program aimed at a particular launch of event. It is nearly impossible to please everyone with your measurement program. Make sure you have confidence in your data. “Accurate data is the key to both the success of your measurement and to the decisions you base on it,” (Paine, 19).
Here are ten questions every communications professional must be able to answer:
- What are you objectives?
- Who are your programs target audiences?
- What is important to your audiences?
- What motivates them to buy your products?
- What are you key messages?
- Who influences your audience?
- How do you distribute your product or service?
- What are you going to do with the information you get from your research?
- What other departments or areas will be affected?
- What other measurement programs are currently underway?
“Before you can achieve success, you have to decide how you’ll get there,” (Paine, 23). You need to have measurable objectives when making a program. People are either for or against ROI (return on investment or return on influence), ROE (return on engagement or return on effort), and all possible metrics in between (23). It may sound easy or obvious, but it is very important to measure objectives in a realistic matter. People may make excuses for not measuring because “they can’t afford it,” but you are already spending money on different programs, so you should make an effort to make an objective when measuring. Without having accurate data, you are wasting your time and effort.
Return on Investment, according to investopedia.com is “A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. To calculate ROI, the benefit (return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment; the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio.” (investopedia.com)
In chapter 3, Paine explains the seven steps to perfect measurement program that show how to prove your results and use the results to improve.
Below are the steps:
- Step 1: Define your goals and objectives. What is the “R” in ROI that you are seeking to measure?
- Step 2: Define your environment, your audiences and your role in influencing them
- Step 3:Define your investment
- Step 4: Determine your benchmarks
- Step 5: Define your key performance indicators
- Step 6: Select the right measurement tool and vendors and collect data
- Step 7: Turn data into action: Analyze data, draw actionable conclusions and make recommendations
To target the users of Facebook in 2011 marketers spent over $1 billion on social advertising each quarter, with $992 million of it going to Facebook. (business2community) Another chart given from this source shows the 10 brands that spend the most on social media. According to comScore, AT&T was by far the biggest, with nearly 13 million impressions served. The big question of this article is whether or not marketers are seeing a profit. According to Businessinsider.com, the problem is that Facebook and LinkedIn only give some evidence. Interestingly Twitter doesn’t even make its ROI data public.
Chapter four explains how a person or company can afford to measure ROI by choosing the right tools. Depending on what you are using and what you are using it for. In the Altimeter Report: The Social Media ROI Cookbook found that there are half a dozen methods being used each with its strengths and flaws. “A through set of industry findings with 16 brands, 38 vendors, 3 agencies and 4 ecosystem contributors, and surveyed 71 social media and analytics practitioners.” (web-strategiest.com) This article also argues that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach.
Paine, Katie Delahaye. (March 15, 2011). Measure What Matters: Online Tools For Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hoboken, New Jersey.
Young, Antony. (December 21, 2010). Brand Media Strategy: Integrated Communications Planning in the Digital Era. Macmillian.
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