I recently attended the Minnesota Marketing Summit in Minneapolis and spoke with a marketing manager on a very familiar topic – how are you implementing a measurement practice that adds value, demonstrates alignment to business goals and doesn’t require a massive investment? We are collaborating as an industry to determine measurement best practices, how to demonstrate communication value and how to catch this moving target with more tools, resources and analytics than ever before. At Beehive, we confidently work with clients to customize measurement practices that bring the most value to them, their key stakeholders and the overall business. We start with the end in mind, defining success by asking questions like:
- What growth metrics does your communication strategy support?
- What data do you share with leaders/stakeholders to demonstrate results?
- How is current reporting structured?
With an eye on goals, we develop metrics that best fit their particular needs and reporting structures. So, what do those metrics look like?
Points of Engagement
The sweet spot for brands is understanding when external and internal audiences engage. Impressions aren’t enough anymore to prove action; measurement needs to validate where audiences engage – or where they depart. For internal audiences, we use tools like surveys, newsletters and feedback channels to measure engagement. Externally, many brands seek to measure engagement through active channels including social media, websites and even brick-and-mortar locations by capturing metrics such as likes, comments and sales.
Making a Case for AVE
One of the most controversial metrics when measuring PR campaigns is the Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE). While there are many differing opinions on the use of AVE, shareholders and business leaders are seeking a value that validates their investment. While there is an industry movement to make AVE extinct, it is a familiar measure that has found compatibility with other marketing metrics, and as such continues to be requested by clients today.
Analyze for Action
Data is only as valuable as the action it drives. Measuring results proves a strategy’s success (or failure), and when analysis is conducted we can apply the highlights and insights to communication strategies that influence how the organization moves forward. This is where the a-ha moments and alignment to business goals sync. Measuring communication strategies, campaigns and tactics demonstrates the value to key stakeholders in an organization and shows the impact on business KPIs (key performance indicators). The communications community is evolving measurement practices to align with partners across business functions and making great strides for valid, consistent metrics.