Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR
With artificial intelligence and machine learning having improved over the years, the ability of companies to track their communications efforts have greatly improved as well. Yet many companies still measure their communications and Public Relations efforts based on the number of stories that get placed. Additionally, many companies still don’t focus on the right social media measurements, and a large number also don’t follow customer sentiment or report any of those numbers to a company’s executive-level team.
The metrics that matter a lot to a company are the ones that show whether the company’s communications program is meeting the company’s overall business goals. However, measuring the impact of a communications program is complicated because it’s created to help the target audience discover a company and its work, learn from its content, take action on different issues and participate in services or programs.
To effectively measure communications programs companies have to rely on a variety of approaches which aren’t always consistent across an entire business. Instead of reflecting the overall impact of communication across a company, many measurement methods tend to focus on a specific communications channel. Therefore , the recent growth in the number of channels that are available to companies has made things even more difficult in terms of effective measurement.
These days, consumers have plenty of choices in how they decide to interact with a business, and lately, in many cases, a large number of consumers tend to use multiple channels to interact at the same time. This has made measurement even more difficult for companies looking to figure out what is and isn’t working, and which interactions are driving the right outcomes for a company.
The first step that companies should take to effectively measure the effectiveness of communications programs is to invest in decisioning capabilities. One of the most important outputs of a decision engine is a very clear and detailed history of contact with consumers. These capabilities help companies capture and timestamp every interaction that a consumer has had with a company, which helps identify which interactions led to the right outcome for the business.
After investing in those capabilities, companies should decide on the best methodologies for measuring the performance of each communication effort. Many businesses have already started looking for multi-channel attribution to figure out the best way to measure the performance of their communication efforts. However, that means choosing a specific measurement model that will work effectively, which is different for every business.
There are three different types of measurements that companies need to have in place so they’ll be able to understand the impact that the decision making capabilities have on a business. The first type is a multi-channel attribution model configured to measure all of the different direct interactions that consumers have with the brand and appropriately value them. The second is an above-the-line media mix model that puts a value on all of the indirect marketing efforts from the company, along with all the external factors. The final one is a tracking system that can help companies measure the different incremental increases or decreases in performance that specific media types have, compared to current activities.
With all of the aforementioned measurements, companies can achieve a straightforward understanding of how every interaction from consumers influences their behavior. That way, businesses can get a better grasp on which communications efforts are and aren’t working.
About the Author: Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR.