All posts by Rebecca Denison

Reducing Attribution Uncertainty

I’ve talked about measurement’s unsolvable problem before. Attribution is quite impossible with all of the complex and untraceable connections between our offline and online lives.

That being said, there is still plenty you can do to reduce your attribution problem. While you won’t be able to give credit to each and every piece of marketing or activity that led someone to purchase your product or visit your site, you will be able to reduce a great deal of uncertainty. Continue reading

Measure Twice (at Least), Act Once

When you’re beginning a new campaign, it’s important to think through and execute at least two rounds of measurement: preliminary research and results. (There is a good argument for measuring along the way to make adjustments as well, but these two should be your priority.)

Once you have set your campaign goals (remember to make ‘em SMART), dig into pre-campaign research: Continue reading

How Cher’s Closet Can Help You Measure Anything

Growing up, I watched the movie Clueless about once each week. I loved that movie. And seeing it on TV the other day reminded me of two things: 1) I missed a lot of drug and sex jokes when I was a kid, and 2) Cher’s closet can teach us a lot about measurement.

You know the closet. It has a computer catalog that can sort through individual tops and bottoms to find a perfectly matched outfit. More importantly, it will take any two pieces of clothing you’ve chosen and tell you if they don’t match.

Ideally, you should use a very similar method when brainstorming and deciding on measurement for new campaigns or programs. Think of the marketing and creative teams as Cher, the fashion selector. Analysts or dedicated measurement teams should take on the role of the computer. Continue reading

Results are in the Eye of the Beholder

At one point or another, we’ve all heard a version of this story:

A king brings six men into a dark building. They cannot see anything. The king says to them, “I have bought this animal from the wild lands to the East. It is called an elephant.” “What is an elephant?” the men ask. The king says, “Feel the elephant and describe it to me.” The man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar, the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope, the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch, the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan, the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall, and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe. “You are all correct”, says the king, “You are each feeling just a part of the elephant.”

Sometimes it may feel like we’re all speaking a different language when it comes to measuring results or communicating success. The finance group and C-Suite are often focused on ROI and other tangible revenue-related outcomes. The sales team may be more concerned about lead generation, though, and your team is likely concerned about yet another metric. Continue reading

Planning Must be as Detailed as Measurement Will Be

You can measure nearly anything you wish so long as you plan properly in advance. It sounds simple, but it can be extremely tedious and detailed to ensure you will be able to measure exactly what you would like.

I recently participated in a Twitter campaign in which consumers were asked to publish a tweet with a hashtag in it. Those of us who did so were eligible to receive something free if we were in the right place at the right time. It was great! I got a good prize out of it. But there were steps along the way where I wondered if the team would be able to collect all of the data they might want. Continue reading

Seeing Through the Expected Results Weeds

Think about the last report you wrote or read. What was it about? What was the biggest takeaway?

Now think about the data behind the report. Ideally that report told the same story as the data. It sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many times I read reports that seem to totally miss the point.

I finally got to dig through Nielsen’s Social Media Report, and I was surprised to find that some of the biggest insights were not called out or highlighted in the report. Continue reading

Searchmetrics: A Tale of Two Visibilities

Last month I wrote about a demo of Searchmetrics Essentials, and this weekend I had the chance to get a first-hand look at the dashboard.

Essentials looks at the connection between social and search data, particularly SEO. Take the chart below, for example. This shows Social Visibility for individual blog posts from Social Visibility is defined as follows:

With a Facebook share or a Google plus-one users can vote on the quality of a site. Therefore, the aim is to motivate users to perform as many of these actions as possible. Social Visibility presents these results and prioritizes them according to the network and type of action. Continue reading

Marketing Mixers May Need a Cooking Lesson

Lately my boyfriend and I have been getting into cooking. Nothing terribly fancy just yet, but we’ve been cooking homemade meals every night for a couple months now.

Whenever we select a new recipe, I try to read a few reviews and get a sense of what worked and what didn’t from others. Maybe the peanut butter flavor was too overpowering. Sometimes others recommend cooking for a shorter period of time to prevent burning. And many times, I’m left on my own to guess what will taste best.

These recent experiments got me thinking about those of us in charge of building marketing mixes. For the vast majority of brands and companies, throwing all eggs into one basket is a bad idea. We know that, and we know that using just the right mix of channels and tactics is the key to success. Continue reading

PR Needs a Moneyball Makeover

Even though The Lion King in 3D topped the box office this weekend, I raced to see the new Brad Pitt flick, Moneyball. I read the book on which the movie is based when I was in college just getting into PR and measurement. (If you haven’t yet read Michael Lewis’ book, Moneyball, I highly recommend it.)

In the movie, one baseball coach uses the power of statistics to build a record-breaking team after losing his three all-star players. The movie glosses over much of the nitty gritty math, but you walk away with the same overall message: numbers are powerful. Continue reading

5 Ways PR Measurement is like Predicting Who Will Win the NCAA

With the college football season in full swing, I’m having a harder time focusing. After all, the college basketball season is only about one month away. There’s nothing I love more than college basketball, and there are surprising correlation between measurement and the NCAA, specifically predicting the outcome of that tournament in March. Continue reading