Measurement is Key for Marketing Professionals

PRSA September Luncheon 004
Anne Smith from PRSA introduces Fran, Barb, and Melissa

A few weeks back I was privileged to speak on a panel for the Madison chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA.) My panel mates were Barb Hernandez, president of BCHOnPoint, and Melissa Johnson from Shoutlet. We’d been asked to talk about measurement…how PR and Marketing professionals can measure the success of their campaigns.

Melissa offered some great insights about social media, and how the Shoutlet platform provides the ability to see who is most actively engaged with your social media content.

Barb talked about the Barcelona Principles, which focus on the importance of setting goals prior to any campaign so that success can be measured.

My focus surrounded using your website as the focal point for measurement, ensuring that you are tactically setting a baseline within your analytics so growth can be measured.

None of these tactics are earth-shattering. But it seems as if putting success measures in place can get back-burnered when planning an exciting campaign. In this time of significantly reduced budgets, and scrambling to cover important campaign costs, measurement should be leading the way of any campaign strategy…if you measure it, and it’s successful, it makes sense that more budget will be put toward future activities. An added benefit is allowing more informed decision making because you have the metrics to support you.

A good example comes from a client that BCHOnPoint and InMarket Success recently worked on together. This company is an online retailer that has great products and impeccable service but, due to the deep advertising pockets of their closest competitor, could not move the needle to successfully compete.

By looking within their analytics, and performing keyword and competitive research, we were able to identify many areas where our client could increase focus. Increased revenue was the obvious objective, but we were able to suggest several new ideas where their competitor was not focusing, and perform additional tactics that would drive more customer acquisition and retention:

Rankings: what could we do to get our client to rank higher in search results? Moving from position 10 to one has a significant impact on clickthroughs from the web, thus driving more new traffic and customers.

Social media: Where could we most effectively run promotions that drove new business? Social media is a great place to attract and retain customers by providing information and promotions. Providing a socializing area, like a blog, or placing campaigns where customers are socializing on Facebook will have a positive influence on retention.

Mobile: What type of mobile application would attract customers? This customer had an element of cooking with their business, and many of the questions coming in through their on-site search were about cooking the products. Providing a mobile application tool to instruct the customer on cooking methods was a big hit.

Publicity: What kinds of publicity would drive customers to social media or the mobile application, and keep them coming back for more? Then ensuring that all of the publicity used the keywords that supported the growth strategy.

I’m happy to say, after working with this client for 12 months, the results were amazing. Position one is a lofty goal, but we were able to achieve and maintain it on several keywords through content optimization, blog development, and a concentrated effort to improve links from quality sources. Their Facebook page and blog are driving significant interest, and we are expanding the mobile app to a new platform right now. Keyword-rich publicity around all these tactics continues to drive new interest.

Most importantly, the marketing budget to continue with these efforts could be justified by the results, and our strategy provides them with structure for their future budget planning.

PR and Marketing professionals can make a good case for their budgets and resources by simply asking the question “What is the goal of this campaign and how will we measure success?”

Let’s talk about this…