Tag Archives: Analytics

Attribution: Measurement’s Only Unsolvable Problem

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Education. Time. Budget. Resources. Foresight. Successful measurement and analysis is prone to numerous roadblocks. (What did I miss?)

The big upside to the four problems I named: in an ideal situation these problems can be solved: Continue reading

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Measurement Granularity Depends on your Goals

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Sometimes I find myself thinking (and talking) in circles about measurement. Often when I get going on a new project or concept, I find myself lost in the weeds and forgetting the big picture. This, of course, is a deadly measurement sin.

Where I most often get stuck is the nitty, gritty granular details of measurement. Do I want to look at tweets and retweets separately? Do I need to break sentiment out by channel or roll it up?

What I’m forgetting is that all metrics and measurements should tie back to a goal. If I need to slice and dice the data 100 different ways to show success, so be it. But if I’m just doing it because I can (and because it’s fun), it’s most often a waste of time. Continue reading

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Measurement and Data Analysis Should be Built into Culture

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We keep hearing about “big data” lately. At least I do. Data is suddenly everywhere we turn, and more companies are popping up to help us collect and make sense of it.

A few years ago, big data was for IT or analysts or nerds. Marketers and PR folks are slowly jumping on the big data train, too, and companies that are learning to integrate and mine data for insights are getting ahead.

On a smaller scale, more and more we all need to understand how to find value in all of the data our consumers are producing each day (and data which results from our own work). It may not reach the scale of big data, but there are still hidden treasures hidden among news, tweets, check-ins, blog posts and Facebook pages. Continue reading

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Success Metrics Should Propagate Success

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My boyfriend was recently asked to help review a new Masters program plan for a local university. Part of this plan included success metrics like the following:

–       Number of students enrolled in the program

–       Feedback on courses and professors from students (through annual surveys)

–       Number of students who find employment (upon graduation or within six months)

–       Number of students who receive a promotion or other recognition (upon graduation or within one year)

While the first two are valuable metrics for other purposes (budgeting, curriculum building, etc.), I would not necessarily consider these to be success metrics. Continue reading

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Generalizations are Broad Guidelines, not Gospel

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Let’s get something straight: generalizations are not gospel. I’ve seen too many blog posts and articles lately which use broad generalizations to show how to be successful with social media, particularly Facebook.

For example, analyzing when your brand’s Facebook page community is most active (time of day, day of week) is incredibly valuable. This can help you time your own activities to catch the most people at the exact right time. But writing posts at noon because you read a blog post that says that’s when people are most active is lazy.

Studies like that look at Facebook brand pages across industries and categories. Their core consumers are likely vastly different, and each page likely has very different fan bases. Averaging these numbers doesn’t tell you anything for your own brand. It tells you the average time of day people across 30 different Facebook pages are most active. Continue reading

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How Do You Use Numbers to Tell You What Works?

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The last post I wrote received some thoughtful comments that were far more valuable than the actual post itself, IMO.

John Trader in particular made some really great points, including the thought below which is at the heart of many measurement problems:

“We are so focused on our silos that we tend to forget why we are doing what we do – increase sales and convert leads.”

Instead of focusing only on your own efforts and work, you have to focus on the big picture. At the end of the day, all of our jobs are to drive business outcomes like sales. No matter what tactics or channels you are using, you have to define what is working by what is eventually driving sales or other outcomes. Continue reading

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Creating Your Measurement Index

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Measurement in public relations and social media is one of the most polarizing topics in this space. Guess what? It has been polarizing for longer than you and I have been alive, most likely. Over the last several months, the drumbeat has intensified to come up with a more standardized approach to measuring the impact of our programs. Todd Defren got the ball rolling with his post about PR measurement fails, and using Web metrics as a gauge of success in PR. The truth of the matter is that Web metrics could be one potential gauge of success, but talking about it in a vacuum won’t work. Then a recent #pr20chat discussed a very similar topic, and it didn’t take long for the discussion to go slightly off track. Instead of talking about the process of identifying metrics, we ended up talking a lot about individual metrics. That, my friends, is what we call the measurement rabbit hole. As soon as you start down that path it’s very hard to pull yourself out of it.

By now we should all have the steps toward successful measurement beaten into our heads, but if not…. Continue reading

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Unicorn Metrics

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Caution: I am not a Social Media “Expert,” “guru,” “ninja” or “shaman.”

When we counsel our clients about what metrics are important for measuring a successful communications campaign, we often lob oral grenades such as engagement, influence and interactions. These kinds of metrics make you feel great.

But they don’t really exist. They have the possibility to exist and some folks have come close to making them a reality, but for the most part, these metrics are figments of our social media dashboard’s imagination. They’re Unicorn Metrics. Continue reading

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PR Measurement for Startups

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We all know that even the smallest startup needs PR. (And we hope they know it, too!) But what many may be overlooking is the need to measure their PR efforts, no matter how small.

Agencies and larger corporations are already measuring the effectiveness of their PR campaigns and programs, and while these measurements may not be realistic for startups (too much time or money), they can still offer some lessons and best practices.

I know the list below is not exhaustive by any means, but the measures below are the most important for startups to adapt when analyzing PR. Some of the measures I have suggested are not scientific and by no means as accurate as what we may like. But keep in mind that the point of measuring is to reduce error and uncertainty, not completely eliminate it. Any reduction is valuable, no matter how small. Continue reading

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How Do You Plan for Measurement?

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Now that PR measurement (and social media measurement) have become buzzwords, I would hope that all of us are measuring at least to some extent. I know that it’s still going to be a while before every single campaign includes measurement, but it’s about time you start planning for it.

While it’s encouraging to know more folks are starting to think about it, sometimes measurement is just assumed, but not logically thought through. This only leads to last minute scrambling and lower quality work. Just like the best campaigns, the best and most accurate measurement requires planning.

If data collection and analysis is something you’ve never had to worry about before, working it into your schedule can mean a lot of guesswork. Take it from someone who knows, it will take more time than you might initially think. Continue reading

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