#PRStudChat digital marketing analyticsIf a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

By the same token, if you run a digital marketing campaign and don’t track or measure it effectively, can you learn anything from it?

Was it as successful as it could have been?

Whether you’re a veteran marketer or newly-minted communicator, effective marketing communications measurement and analytics can be a challenge for anyone in our industry.

By comparison, if you’re a student about to break into the workforce, digital marketing analytics can be even more daunting.

So, as we head into graduation season, the #PRStudChat community gathered to discuss all things analytics and measurement, and how to apply that to our digital marketing endeavors.

#PRStudChat: Special Guest(s)!

As you’re already aware, thanks to your participation in previous #PRStudChat sessions, we always feature a special guest to host the online event.

Sidebar: If you haven’t participated before, what have you been doing?

PR Student Chat is a community to help students worldwide learn from the experience and perspective of industry professionals. A community where everyone can learn and grow together.

Follow them on Twitter and join the conversation!

For April’s #PRStudChat, we planned on welcoming special guest Chuck Hemann to lead the discussion.

Which was apt, because Chuck wrote the book on digital marketing analytics, along with his co-author, Ken Burbary. Literally. Really. His book is called Digital Marketing Analytics.

Keyword: Planned. As in, we planned on it, but that plan didn’t work out.

Unfortunately, Chuck had an unavoidable conflict at the last minute.

That said, all was not lost (by zombies, Laura. By zombies)!

Of course, we were sad that we couldn’t have Chuck join the conversation. However, thanks to the combined might and resources of the #PRStudChat and Spin Sucks Communities, we quickly had a new host on deck.

Welcome, Shonali Burke, president and CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.

#PRStudChat: GIF Wizardry

We laughed. We cried. Well, not really. There was a lot of [virtual] laughter, to be sure. A lot. Why? Because not only does Shonali have a vast knowledge of all things analytics, she is also a GIF wizard.

No offense, Chuck. We’re sure you are good with GIFs as well.

Nothing gets a Twitter conversation going like GIFs.

For all you unbelievers, this is just a little taste of what you were missing…

Exhibit A:

And whoever was running that @PRStudChat Twitter feed? Hilarious! (It may or may not have been me. You’ll never know.)

#PRStudChat: Digital Marketing Analytics

The problem with measurement and analytics isn’t that they can be hard to understand. It’s that they often beget as many questions as they answer.

For example: what do you focus on?

Additionally, are some metrics more important than others?

Which tools do you use? Do you know what the return-on-investment is?

How do you bring everything together, and how do we keep up to date with #allthethings?

As a result, the questions keep on coming.

Begging another one: If you’re just breaking into measurement and analytics, where do you start?

#PRStudChat: Marketing Analytics and Goals

The takeaway from the discussion: focus on goals. 

Furthermore, she continues:

Getting sexy with numbers/analytics is useless unless it’s helping us understand how our programs are doing, and whether/not we are getting closer to achieving our desired outcomes.

It’s all about goals. If you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve, you can’t measure it.

Follow #PRStudChat and check out some highlights from the April 26 PR Student Chat discussion.

The Next #PRStudChat: The State of Digital Corporate Reputation

In May, we’ll be talking about reputation. More specifically: digital corporate reputation. Next time we are featuring a special guest appearance from Mike Schaffer, SVP, Digital Corporate Reputation at Edelman.

Mark your calendars! See you soon.

Date: Thursday, May 24th
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
Topic: The State of Digital Corporate Reputation
Guest/Host: Mike Schaffer, SVP, digital corporate reputation, Edelman
Sponsored by: Spin Sucks!

Don’t forget to join the conversation in our Spin Sucks Community, and follow PRStudChat on Twitter.

Mike Connell

Mike Connell is the director of client services at Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. He is also a contributor to the award-winning PR blog, Spin Sucks, the leading source for modern PR training, trends, and insights. Find more of Mike's musings on his blog, Communative. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

View all posts by Mike Connell