What’s wrong with your metrics?
March 19, 2015

The push for measurements in PR and marketing has increased substantially in recent years, and the argument that marketing is an art that can’t be measured no longer holds water. Rightfully, companies demand proof of marketing’s impact before they dole out the dollars, and this demand is prompting marketers to develop metrics to justify their worth. Despite this trend, there are still roadblocks that prevent marketers and PR pros from effectively measuring their efforts. Specifically, many organizations make these four common mistakes:

  1. Measuring what will make the team look good: It’s easy for teams to fall into the trap of only measuring areas where they know they are exceling. Who doesn’t want to present a positive trend line to the C-suite? Unfortunately, this exercise doesn’t produce any real insights for the team, and it only reiterates what is already known.
  1. Measuring things they assume are important: Marketers may think customer satisfaction is the most important metric that drives revenue, but unless the company has done its research and can definitively tie the two things into a causal relationship, how do marketers even know that what they’re measuring is having an impact? Rather than assume, marketers need to do the hard work of understanding the important factors that drive business success before implementing a measurement program.
  1. Measuring tactics instead of strategies: Perhaps a company’s social media campaign is producing strong results and the metrics are through the roof. However, if that campaign isn’t reaching the company’s target audience, the results aren’t worth the investment. Marketers need to set up metrics that inform the success or failure of strategies, not tactics.
  1. Measuring without giving attention to the results: Creating metrics for the sake of having measurements is a worthless exercise. Marketing teams need to analyze the data provided, reviewing trends over a period of time, to understand what the metrics are telling them and take action to adjust and improve. Without consistent attention to the numbers, measurement becomes a drudging affair with no real purpose.

So how can companies avoid falling into these measurement traps? First, marketing teams need to measure the correct data to feed the metrics deemed important, which requires companies to invest in gathering the right information. Second, marketers need to be consistent. Since metrics tell a richer story over time, inconsistent measurement does little to inform the team about the success of its efforts. Finally, the best companies embed a measurement mentality into the company culture. They talk measurements daily – not just at monthly or quarterly reviews – and respect for measurement is demonstrated at the management level. By avoiding these four common mistakes, marketing teams will be better equipped to use their data to drive department, and company, success.
If you’re ready to work with a PR team that knows how to measure its results effectively, contact Metis.  

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