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Gini Dietrich

Measuring PR Results to the Bottom Line

By: Gini Dietrich | November 1, 2011 | 
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It’s time for the last part of creating a digital program: Measurement.

The steps, as we use them for clients, are: Listen, assess, engage, measure, and refine/improve.

You can find the tools and tips for listening, assessing, and engaging herehere, and here.

There is a lot of discussion about return-on-engagement or influence being the right measurement tool.

But, as a business owner, I’m here to tell you that’s horse hockey.

Yes, there are things that are important to business growth, such as brand awareness, credibility, thought leadership, and even engagement and influence. And those aren’t wholly measurable to numbers. But, if you consider how you achieve those things, you can measure their effectiveness.

Unless your website is antiquated, the recommendations I’m about to make will work for any size business.

You need access to:

  1. Google analytics
  2. Clicky
  3. Customer relationship management (CRM) software (even if it’s just in Excel or Constant Contact)
  4. Content management system on your website or blog

With the exception of Clicky and the CRM you use, the other tools are free. We like to use the $59/year Clicky option because it gives us everything we need with a cherry on top.

Then you’re going to build your dashboard. It’s going to look similar to the following:

All of this information can be found in one of the four tools listed above.

For this particular client, we use email marketing, pay-per-click advertising, the response campaign, and content marketing. We measure what every, single person does when they come from one of those campaigns.

We track them through the process. Do they open a newsletter and click through different pages? Do they read and comment on the same article through the response campaign? Do they read and share the website content?

Once they view more than 10 pages, they become a hot lead and the sales team begins their follow-up.

Before that, we “force feed” content through email marketing (or lead nurturing) to get the prospects to the 10 pages.

This is the hardest part in the five-step digital program. It takes a real analytical mind to understand what the numbers mean, how to create goals in Google analytics, how to use the four tools together, what to track, and how to improve your reporting.

It will take you about 90 days to get your dashboard where you want it. But then it will all be automated and you can begin to show a real return-on-investment for your digital efforts.

Now you’re ready to begin your digital program. Of course, the last step is refine and improve, which doesn’t constitute an entire blog post. We look at the analytics every day and, every week, we refine the numbers to be sure we have an accurate accounting of the costs and benefits for every campaign we conduct.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

62 comments
besttollfreenumbers
besttollfreenumbers

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lisat2
lisat2

@ginidietrich Up to the usual mischief I see! +K on Skateboarding?! In stilettos maybe!

bdorman264
bdorman264

And that is why you get the big bucks, because you are smart like that........

I'm just glad somebody is paying attention to this stuff.

PRHales
PRHales

This is great! I'm always looking for resources to share with small business owners and entrepreneurs, and the combination of low cost and ease of use of your guide is perfect. Thank you.

TheJackB
TheJackB

Ok this is off topic but we don't call it <i>horse hockey</i>. Only the peasants and amateur filmmakers who don't understand editing use such a pedestrian term. It is Polo and there is nothing else like it.

Try it just one time and you'll measure more than just PR differently.

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

Be still my geekish heart. This is really strong Gini. I am going to need to absorb how you are getting all the pieces to interact to get your end result but I really like the emphasis on combining free/cheap tools to get powerful data. Are you exporting data to excel or using scripts?

PS. What is horse hockey? Is that the same as polo? :)

wabbitoid
wabbitoid

Great stuff, thanks! I find that most of my clients aren't ready for anything so comprehensive, so I usually do something a little more simple. Once a month (or more) we have a campaign that involves an event or a special of some kind. We can follow individuals through ConstantContact, but not from twitter, etc. No matter. They're directed to a blog entry or page which we can track directly and then measure what we see against the attendence at the event or people redeeming the deal. That can easily be related to a solid bottom line once we look at the sales that result. Visits to the special page have a ratio to the overall visits and real $ in this way. It's a simple bulk way to get a dollar figure for every visitor without putting a ton of time into it (ie, for those who don't have a sales force to follow up on people).

Nic_Cartwright
Nic_Cartwright

Awww - poor 'refine and imporve' - it's been sat there for the past few weeks - patiently waiting it's turn - 5th in line.... And now it finds out that it 'doesn't constitute an entire blog post'.

We - the members of 'All Strands Deserve a Blog" league demand that 'refine and improve' get it's own blog!!!

DanielMWood
DanielMWood

Great article and great advice.I am always saddened when I see how little companies calculate how much they make from their campaigns.If you don't know what works and what doesn't, how do you know what you should do more of?

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

This is more proof of why this stuff needs to be reside in the IT department! I know it pisses people off when I say that but I hate silos and it is technology/tools which is what IT is about.

There should be a cross discipline IT person who is the data miner. Who can have someone like @KenMueller or myself come with a list of data/types and points we want. We are the big picture people who have the vision but don't like having to do the set up work. We need the data that is the output because we are the ones with the keen minds and insights to grasp what it all means. While most of our minions work studiously to get us the data we need to show our brilliance.

For small business that can't afford an IT department I guess they are just crap out of luck.

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

@TheJackB That is so funny! as I was reading this, I said, out loud, "Gini just said horse hockey."

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@wabbitoid I prefer to graduate our clients to something that shows how we're really affecting their bottom line. We get bigger budgets because of it.

KenMueller
KenMueller

@HowieG Even though you flattered me, I'm not sure I agree. But I probably need you to clarify. Ifyou're talking about analytics and measurement, perhaps, but certainly not social media. I've worked with a few companies and organizations where IT has been put in charge of Social Media because it's a tool and tech thing, and as a result, their Social Media is run in a culture of fear and wasted bandwidth, and therefore nothing gets done. I think there are very few cross-discipline IT people.

I would also worry about IT being fully in charge of the "numbers" because while numbers are good, there is interpretation that needs to be done.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@HowieG You know I think there should be cross-discipline everything. But if you don't have an IT department, or you're working with clients who don't have it, this stuff is very simple to understand. It just takes a little elbow grease.

wabbitoid
wabbitoid

@ginidietrich I can see how that's what you have to do, but for those with no resources at all there are still ways of getting a sense of the bottom line. I think the point is that no one should buy the line that it's imeasurable - you just might have to be creative.

Nic_Cartwright
Nic_Cartwright

@ginidietrich Nice..... The best "tools" for Conference calls are the Star Wars sound effects on your I-Phone. R2D2 can often be passed off as 'interference'.... - try it!!

Anyway - my membership group has voted and Blog Post "Refine and Improve" #1 is already en route to your Inbox awaiting refinement and improvement.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@Adam | Customer Experience@KenMueller I want IT to set up and implement but have no power over what is requested by each department. Each department should be dictating their needs and if that means an IT person in the department fine.

The computer Technology is not the core competency of the marketing department. I guess here is the deal should i be paying a director of marketing to be setting this stuff up and implementing the technology when what I want is them harnessing and making decisions based on the data. If there is a capable IT person being paid less they get the job.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@ginidietrich@rustyspeidel the data isn't confusing remember I freeze up when looking at the Wordpress Control Panel. @Shonali thinks that is funny but have you ever seen that monster of a control panel.

I just want the print out with the data so @KenMueller and i can review then give you instructions on what we need you to do.

Trackbacks

  1. […] the easiest to prove. Especially if you are managing the client’s website. All you need is Google Analytics, which can tell you a whole lot about your website traffic. Another post for another […]

  2. […] you need to measure how what you are doing is working and take steps to improve. Gini Dietrich has a great five-step process to help accomplish this over at her Spin Sucks […]