Measurement is crucial for improved communication, but many businesses and brands are currently failing to exercise the benefits. Communications professionals that identify clear objectives and build a measurement framework and programme around these ideas enable outcomes to be measured effectively, and can demonstrate concrete "business results" to encourage "buy in" from senior decision makers.
According to OFCOM, a typical person spends half of their waking time on media and communications activity. People are more exposed to media than ever before and businesses need to understand the motivation behind improved communication: this presents a significant opportunity to increase brand awareness.
The most cost-effective way of engaging with different audiences is by utilising public relations (PR) activities. Research conducted by Eileen Sheil, Director of Communications at the Cleveland Clinic, during one campaign showed PR to be 60% impact against 2% cost, compared to advertising at 29% impact against 47% cost. Proving this success, however, is only possible through an effective measurement programme.
Gorkana surveyed 587 public relations professionals ahead of a recent Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) Summit, asking: "What are the barriers to you adopting analysis?" The three main barriers identified were cost, resource and complexity.
Cost and resource can be reduced to the same issue - a reluctance to invest. However, the best way to ensure businesses are functioning effectively is through dedicated analysis – which requires a portion of the budget. Investing in analytics allows communications professionals to prove the effectiveness of campaigns and justify budget requirements.
Analysis is often used as a retrospective exercise but, for analysis to be truly effective, it needs to generate insight that can be fed into the planning process to enable more informed decision making.
Implementing a measurement programme does not need to be complicated. By simply committing time to setting clear objectives and measuring the outcome of a campaign against these objectives, concrete 'business results' can be shown immediately.
There are four key stages in an effective measurement programme that any business can frame a campaign around to see immediate results:
With an increasingly fragmented media landscape – spanning traditional, online and social – businesses exercising the benefits of improved analysis programmes will be best positioned to drive new revenues, avoid costly reputational risks and increase positive brand awareness. By committing time to understanding a communications campaign within this framework a business can gain a better understanding of success and failure and evolve its strategy to improve decision making in the future.
From 15 to 16 June LexisNexis attended the AMEC Summit in London. The global trade body for communications research and business intelligence event offers valuable insight for communications professionals into the effectiveness of measurement and analytics from both an internal and external perspective.
The organisation's annual meetings address key issues facing companies in the sector and how practitioners can make measurement relevant in their organisation. The event has won international acclaim as the biggest measurement conference of its type and for advancing the practice of research, measurement and analytics in communications.
The AMECSummit is dedicated to discussion on future trends and combines meetings with senior level speakers with back-to-basics tuition. It is a great event for any PR, Marketing, or Communications professional that wants to learn more about implementing a measurement and analytics programme to help demonstrate the bottom line results of a communications campaign.