Gini Dietrich

The Complete Marketing Communications Measurement Guide

By: Gini Dietrich | October 16, 2012 | 
119

The Spin Sucks community is an interesting one.

While the vision of the blog is to change the perception of the PR industry, we also talk a lot about marketing, advertising, search engine optimization, social media, and entrepreneurship.

Because of that mixed bag of goodies, the readers come from all walks of life and are not all communications professionals.

I love that.

Today I want to talk to those of you who are soloproneurs, freelancers, business owners, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. Although, because this is about measurement, those of you executing programs that affect an organization’s growth will also get something out of it.

Starting a Business

Like many of you, when I went out on my own and decided to build a company from the ground up, I did so because I knew there had to be a better way of doing communications that actually affected revenue growth.

And I was right.

But what I didn’t bank on was doing less of my craft and more of the things where I had no experience: HR, accounting, accounts payable, leadership, mentoring, business development, vendor management, facilities management, working with the bank, and maintaining relationships with other business leaders.

Things, for a while, were going along really well. So well, in fact, it was okay I wasn’t so good at those things. Organizations were hiring us like crazy because we did really good work.

And then the economy tanked and we faced the worst recession since the Great Depression. And, at the same time, people began buying differently.

Suddenly, like you, I had to be good at all of the things listed above AND this new fangled thing called social media.

It was almost a blessing no one was hiring outside communications help because it gave me three years to learn what I didn’t already know about running a business, including this social media thing.

In the beginning, social media “experts” advised to worry less about the ROI (“what’s the ROI of your mom?“) and more about just getting out there and participating in the conversation.

But now, after several years of using the tools for business growth and development, brand awareness and thought leadership aren’t enough. It’s time to measure your efforts directly to business goals.

The Complete Measurement Guide

The very first thing you need to do is figure out why you’re using social media and how it integrates with the rest of your marketing and communications.

Everything you do should drive people – customers, prospects, critics, loyalists, employees, even competitors – to something you own. You won’t be an expert in each of the social tools. Rather, you’ll be an expert in communications via the social web that drive people to your website and/or blog.

Here’s how:

  1. Determine your goals. What are you trying to achieve? Is it increased leads? Is it improved margins? Is it increased fundraising? Is it bigger sales per customer? Whatever it is, know what you want to accomplish very first thing.
  2. Monitor the web. Too many business leaders see the shiny new penny and think, “OK, now we have to figure out this new tool.” Not so. By using tools such as Google alerts, you can figure out where your customers and prospects already participate online. If they’re on Twitter, that’s where you’ll spend your time. If they’re writing blogs, you’ll comment on their blogs and create your own blog. But just because Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are the most popular social networks doesn’t mean they’ll work for you. Figure out where your audiences are online and build your efforts there.
  3. Align efforts to goals. This is so important, yet very few actually do it. Let’s say your goal is to drive more retail sales. You wouldn’t, then, create a 30 percent off coupon for Facebook fans to buy online. If your goal is to drive more retail sales, use tools that drive people into your store and create loyalty, such as Foursquare or Belly.
  4. Figure out your content needs. The very best way to get started creating content is to change your website. We like to tell clients to take the French out of their websites – the we, we, we – as a first step. Create content that is valuable, educational, and about them, not you. Then, as your content needs grow, look at your customers and employees to help tell stories.
  5. Don’t dismiss soft metrics. Brand awareness and credibility are still extremely important. But they shouldn’t be your only metrics. The soft metrics can lead to things such as paid speaking engagements, industry event appearances, and customer events that eventually lead to increased sales.
  6. Measure, measure, measure. It used to be you’d have to wait a full year to gain any metrics on whether or not your marketing and communications worked. Now you know instantly. Don’t measure the ego-driven metrics (increased traffic or stories about your company in print). Measure the types of things that get you to numbers one and three in this list.
  7. Improve and refine. As you measure your efforts, you’ll find places where you can improve. Do it. Don’t be afraid to switch gears a bit during the process. Improve, refine, and measure some more.

It won’t happen overnight. As you figure out how to align your efforts to your goals, there will be lots of refinement. In fact, the more refinement, the better you’re doing. So get to it!

A version of this first appeared on Inkling Media.

IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT!

Because Google is no longer supporting Feedburner and some of you are not receiving your subscription (including me; somehow I don’t have any pull on my own blog), we have switched to Feedblitz.

That means you need to resubscribe either via email or RSS.

It’s pretty inconvenient. I’m sorry about that. But it’ll be better in the long-run.

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.

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119 Comments on "The Complete Marketing Communications Measurement Guide"

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KenMueller
3 years 11 months ago

When did you make the switch? I’m still getting the emails…

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@KenMueller This morning. Lindsay shut down Feedburner about 20 minutes ago so you won’t get today’s unless you resubscribe.

KenMueller
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich OK, I thought the transfer was automatic. A few others that switched I still get without having to resubscribe. I’ll wait and see.

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@KenMueller It hasn’t been…I had to resubscribe to my own stinking blog.

KenMueller
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich poor Gini

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@KenMueller I know!

phollows
phollows
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich  @KenMueller Email subscribers ought not to have to do anything – the transfer should be automatic. RSS subscribers will have to resubscribe.

katskrieger
3 years 11 months ago

Where is the new feed? Feedblitz? It says Feedburner and Feedburner above.

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@katskrieger I know. I just noticed the error and changed it. The words “email” and “RSS” have the right links in them.

katskrieger
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Done! I’d be lost without my SS. 😉

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@katskrieger I love to hear that!

phollows
phollows
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich  @katskrieger Thank you and welcome – it’s been a pleasure to work with your team, Gini, and we’re thrilled to welcome your audience. Looking forward to working with you!

GOchris
GOchris
3 years 11 months ago

RT @ginidietrich Ever wonder how to measure the elusive PR and marketing to real business goals? We show you here http://t.co/y4GbQ6cu

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@GOchris Thanks Chris!

GOchris
GOchris
3 years 11 months ago

You bet! Good morning! 🙂 RT @ginidietrich @GOchris Thanks Chris!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@GOchris Morning! 🙂

allenmireles
3 years 11 months ago

This is so practical and yet bears repeating…over and over and over again. For the ones who weren’t paying attention before and the ones who just sat up and noticed things are changing. 😉

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@allenmireles The problem is, no one gets it. As much time as I spend on the road (with business leaders AND PR pros), this is the question I get over and over and over again. This is why Global Domination is ours.

jasonkonopinski
3 years 11 months ago

Good move on the Feedblitz switch.  I’ve just barely scratched the surface of the functionality and phollows is super accessible if you run into any snags. When I migrated, none of my email subscribers had to resubscribe to the feed (everything ported over seamlessly),

phollows
phollows
3 years 11 months ago

@jasonkonopinski  Thank you, Jason, for the mention; and a huge welcome to SpinSucks readers! FeedBurner email subscribers have been brought over automatically. Thrilled to have everyone here. More than happy to help individual subscribers and fellow bloggers with switching.

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@jasonkonopinski  Except I had to resubscribe so I’m not totally sure it’s seamless. But I do agree phollows has been FANTASTIC in helping us with the process.

jasonkonopinski
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich  Email or RSS?

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@jasonkonopinski Email. 🙁

jasonkonopinski
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Blergh.

JamieAllPoints
3 years 11 months ago

There are endless amounts of opportunity in the business world. If you are looking to start a small business, an easier route may be opening a franchise. There are many ways to market and use <a href=”http://www.allpointspr.com”>Social Media for Franchises</a>. Thanks for sharing.
Jamie@ <a href=”http://www.allpointspr.com”>Franchise Public Relations</a>

phollows
phollows
3 years 11 months ago

@jasonkonopinski TY! Engaging now….

magriebler
magriebler
3 years 11 months ago
1. I love when you recycle. This one’s good enough to post every week until the blessed day when Global Domination finally occurs.   2. Audience continues to be an especially elusive concept. I had a meeting last week with the communications staff at a large elementary school district. They want to launch a Twitter account. Me: “Are your parents on Twitter?” Them: “We don’t know.” Me: “Well, let’s do a survey to find out which networks they’re using. Given the community demographics, I suspect more of them will be on Facebook.” Them: “Why would we do a survey? And… Read more »
stevenmcoyle
3 years 11 months ago

@magriebler That’s my favorite line from clients, “We want to get on that Twitter thing.” Great story!

magriebler
magriebler
3 years 11 months ago

@stevenmcoyle And when I asked the communications director if she had a personal Twitter account, she recoiled in horror and said, “ME? No!”

stevenmcoyle
3 years 11 months ago

@magriebler What’s really amazing is they never seem to realize how silly they sound.

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@magriebler  @stevenmcoyle LOL!!!

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@magriebler That stuff drives me NUTS! We could probably drink wine and talk about nothing else for hours. I had that same conversation with a prospect. They ended up not hiring us because we told them Twitter and Facebook are NOT where they should be. They’re a very, very nice B2B manufacturer. Their customers still use fax machines.

magriebler
magriebler
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Yeah, I don’t think they liked me too much at this school district either. I could tell they were itching to put me in a corner with a dunce cap.
 
PS What’s a fax machine?

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@magriebler We saw Argo last week and they had pneumatic tubes going between departments. Oh how I miss those. Not.

magriebler
magriebler
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich I remember when cut-and-paste involved an x-acto knife. I was always getting in trouble for making my own revisions.

thejoshuawilner
3 years 11 months ago

@magriebler  I have fond memories of those days. High school newspaper, paste up, don’t cut too closely or you’ll cut out letters and pix. @ginidietrich

magriebler
magriebler
3 years 11 months ago

@thejoshuawilner  @ginidietrich Or fingers. Fingers were involved on occasion.

stevenmcoyle
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich  @magriebler I was once asked in an interview at a B2B company to evaluate their current social media efforts and how they could improve. I said in a very nice way, get off Twitter and invest in some Facebook ads that will target their small, very specific demographic. The interviewer looked at me like I was speaking Chinese. Needless to say, I wasn’t hired.
 
And yeah, what’s a fax machine?

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@stevenmcoyle  Wow.

lauraclick
3 years 11 months ago

@magriebler YES! So much truth to this. Why wouldn’t you want to spend time finding out where your audience is hanging out BEFORE you invest time and energy into an effort?! So simple, yet so many people miss this very important step.

stevenmcoyle
3 years 11 months ago
Amen. I’ve set in countless brainstorming meetings asking the question, why aren’t our social media goals aligned with business objectives? Social media functions best when it acts as a supporting player in overall integrated campaign. Don’t just measure the traffic, measure the conversion of that traffic as well. Don’t just measure follower count or impression, measure what they are saying as it regards to the brand.     People also tend to not “react” during a campaign. A great social media strategy involves action and reaction. You have to constantly measure your efforts so you’re not wasting time. If you get 20 daily mentions about… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@stevenmcoyle A-freaking-men! It’s nice to know some people get it. Thank you.

phollows
phollows
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Your email had to resub? shouldn’t. RSS yes, email no. Will chat to Lindsay.

phollows
phollows
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Mystery solved for your email sub. You’d bounced out from feedblitz for a different subscription a year ago.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@phollows That doesn’t make sense because I was getting them until Thursday.

phollows
phollows
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Perhaps I’m checking the wrong address. gdietrich@ ?

phollows
phollows
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich As a matter of policy we don’t import addy’s we already believe are bad, so that’s why you didn’t get in via the migration

phollows
phollows
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Ignore activation email just sent you – I’ll reeactivate your from here.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@phollows Oh ha! I reactivated it. So we don’t need to send an email to our email subscribers telling them to resubscribe/

phollows
phollows
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich no! 🙂 They’re all good.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@phollows YAY! Thank you!

phollows
phollows
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich More than welcome, Gini! Hope to catch up with IRL some day soon. #NMX?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@phollows After a six month book tour, I’m not going anywhere for a while!

phollows
phollows
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich quite understandable!

John_Trader1
John_Trader1
3 years 11 months ago
“You won’t be an expert in each of the social tools. Rather, you’ll be an expert in communications via the social web that drive people to your website and/or blog.”    Thinking of framing this quote and placing it next to my desk. I’ve never been in favor of any job title that has the word “social media” in it. It’s not a job, it’s a communications medium that people should look at as one of the pieces for their overall communications plan.    It also can’t be stressed enough on how important it is to go where your community… Read more »
magriebler
magriebler
3 years 11 months ago

@John_Trader1 Yes: just another tool in the took kit. Social media doesn’t replace best practices in marketing; it simply offers new opportunities for reach and engagement.

John_Trader1
John_Trader1
3 years 11 months ago

@magriebler Well said.

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@John_Trader1 I look at social media like typing. In the beginning, there were people whose jobs it was to type; now we all do it.
 
We need to talk about the international forums and culture and what you’re learning. We’re going to be doing this next year.

thejoshuawilner
3 years 11 months ago

Count me in as a fan of Feedblitz, switched both blogs over.
 
Anyway, you locked in on many of the reasons why companies have trouble with social media. A lack of understanding of what the objective is and sometimes a consensus among departments is killing it in a number of places.

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@thejoshuawilner It drives me crazy. The not talking to one another thing AND trying to grow a business without knowing why you’re doing it. Without those two things, you won’t succeed.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@StaceyHood Brat

StaceyHood
StaceyHood
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Why am I brat? I was trying to be nice

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@StaceyHood I just felt like saying it.

StaceyHood
StaceyHood
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Oh…well, at least it shows you were thinking of me.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@StaceyHood Even in a bad way

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@MLBee Thank you!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@JasMollica What is your record on @jeffespo’s NFL game?

JasMollica
JasMollica
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich It was not good. I think I had 4 or 5 wins, if that. Embarrassing. cc: @jeffespo

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@JasMollica Dang! Too bad we didn’t bet. Ask @mattlacasse how that’s going.

MattLaCasse
MattLaCasse
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich @JasMollica I have a feeling I won’t be living this down any time soon.

JasMollica
JasMollica
3 years 11 months ago

@MattLaCasse @ginidietrich I’ve seen the jabs. I like Gini’s brashness here. Sorry Matt. 😉

MattLaCasse
MattLaCasse
3 years 11 months ago

@JasMollica @ginidietrich Nothing to be sorry about. Dietrich is a fountain of football knowledge we’d all be lucky to drink from.

JasMollica
JasMollica
3 years 11 months ago

@MattLaCasse @ginidietrich I’ve RT’d that for posterity. 🙂

MattLaCasse
MattLaCasse
3 years 11 months ago

@JasMollica I gathered as much. 🙂 cc @ginidietrich

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@JasMollica @MattLaCasse Bwahahahahah! This is the most fun I’ve had on Twitter in a LONG time

jeffespo
jeffespo
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich @JasMollica 5… gini had that in her sleep.

Martina McGowan
3 years 11 months ago

Well-said Gini. Most people skip over the very first step of determining what their goals are. It is impossible to measure, track and adjust accordingly if you don’t know where you are heading. Too many businesses, I think, know that they should have some type of social presence, but instead of taking a metered approach, they use a shot-gun, trying to do something everywhere.

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@Martina McGowan It’s so true, Martina. Everyone is attracted to the new, shiny penny and they forget all the business skills they acquired in growing their organizations.

FletcherDoyle1
FletcherDoyle1
3 years 11 months ago

.@JasMollica @KensViews @SpinSucks @ginidietrich This makes sense. One interviewer asked if I knew SM but she had no plan. What could I say?

maryanneconlin
maryanneconlin
3 years 11 months ago

good ordering too, Gina! Think about your goals and align your efforts to your goals…before you even think about measuring.

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@maryanneconlin That’s the one piece people always miss!

YODspica
YODspica
3 years 11 months ago

@radiojaja your are invited for http://t.co/HbfmifXS

KensViews
KensViews
3 years 11 months ago

Thanks for the RT, @JasMollica

JasMollica
JasMollica
3 years 11 months ago

@KensViews You are welcome! How are you?

KensViews
KensViews
3 years 11 months ago

@JasMollica I’m well. Even though I’m not a PR agency owner, I’m doing what I encourage PR agency owners to do!: http://t.co/Em46KReQ

JasMollica
JasMollica
3 years 11 months ago

@KensViews I like that post, Ken. A lot. I’ll leave a comment.

KensViews
KensViews
3 years 11 months ago

@JasMollica Wow.Thanks!

MattLaCasse
MattLaCasse
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich They finally invented a ruler for hot air? #measurepr

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@MattLaCasse Oh no you’re being funny. I see how it is.

MattLaCasse
MattLaCasse
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Ha! I’m going to go back and read that a bit more in depth tonight. Gave it a once over and it looks very interesting.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@MattLaCasse It won’t be news to you

MattLaCasse
MattLaCasse
3 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Maybe not, but reading up on stuff like that is always a wise idea. Honing the fundamentals. 🙂

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@CARMA_Tweets It is indeed!

LouHoffman
LouHoffman
3 years 11 months ago

RT @DailyBrew: Excellent systematic guide to measuring #marketing communications http://t.co/xZqFOz5g via @ginidietrich #tech

trackback

[…] Gini Dietrich addresses “those…who are solopreneurs, freelancers, business owners, entrepreneurs, and business leaders…” with “The Complete Marketing Communications Measurement Guide” at Spin Sucks. […]

SpinSucks
SpinSucks
3 years 11 months ago

@nshafer2 Thank you 🙂 Hope all is well!!

JasMollica
JasMollica
3 years 11 months ago

@SpinSucks Thanks for the follow..

nshafer2
nshafer2
3 years 11 months ago

@SpinSucks anytime! Let’s catch up next time you’re downtown.

T60Productions
3 years 11 months ago

Thank you for this post. 🙂
 
–Tony Gnau

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@T60Productions You’re welcome for this post!

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin
3 years 11 months ago

One of the most useful posts Ive read in months @profkrg @ginidietrich

SelenaSandhu
SelenaSandhu
3 years 11 months ago

Attention #marketers RT @ModWorkingWoman The Complete Marketing Communications Measurement Guide http://t.co/LNC6sNUf

ModWorkingWoman
ModWorkingWoman
3 years 11 months ago

Thanks for the retweet @sheconsulting @allenmireles @BrennerMichael

tamelainc
tamelainc
3 years 11 months ago

@MariSmith @SpinSucks Very informative. Great summary!

TedRubin
TedRubin
3 years 11 months ago

As always… incredibly valuable post. Thanks for sharing Gini!

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@TedRubin Thanks Ted!

kymberlaine
kymberlaine
3 years 11 months ago

I love how simply you explain things that should be simple – my personal favorite, “take the French out,” and “ego-driven metrics.”

ginidietrich
3 years 11 months ago

@kymberlaine Thanks for noticing “take the French out.” It’s my favorite!

trackback

[…] The Complete Marketing Communications Measurement Guide (spinsucks.com) […]

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[…] we obsess over the numbers found in our Facebook analytics, we are doing ourselves a disservice. Are they important? Yes. But they need to be understood within the context of relationships, rather than the context of […]

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[…] that’s not a new conversation for those of us here; we talk about it a lot. We talk about how measurement of our efforts to real business goals will get us the seat at the leadership table. We also talk about how our jobs are quickly becoming […]

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[…] we obsess over the numbers found in our Facebook analytics, we are doing ourselves a disservice. Are they important? Yes. But they need to be understood within the context of relationships, rather than the context of […]

barrettrossie
3 years 6 months ago

Well, well, well… I was researching “communication strategy” and found this blog post attached to a +1 from Anneliz Hannan. Nice stuff Ms.Gini!

ginidietrich
3 years 6 months ago

@barrettrossie I LOVE SEO!!!

trackback

[…] you know by now, measurement is huge. Being able to judge the success of your blogger outreach program is critical. Being able to easily […]

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[…] The old sales and marketing tactic of “spray and pray” doesn’t work offline, and it certainly doesn’t work online. The biggest digital marketing successes come from staying focused on specific, measurable goals. […]

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