"If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." --Benjamin Franklin
Traditional media vs. New media.
Counting impressions vs. Measuring engagement.
Measuring share-of-voice vs. Overall return on investment.
Lately I've been reading a lot of articles, blog posts and even Twitter conversations that seem to focus on the dichotomy of balancing the traditional model of communications/PR with the established social media and digital practices that are increasingly popular. Everything I read points out that there must be a balance or strategic approach to all activities (traditional or new) that justifies the cost and spend of any communication investment.
What strikes me now is that I see a tipping point where agencies, companies and government entities are starting to look beyond the traditional communication metrics and take a more encompassing integrated approach to evaluating and gathering information about their outreach activities. I see less emphasis on the estimated number of impressions and more on the engagement and conversion rates to measure the success of or if necessary, tweak the direction of a communications campaign.
Integrated measurement of communication tactics is not new. It's just a happy trend that I see becoming increasingly popular as private and public organizations seek to integrate social and digital communications into their traditional marketing and awareness campaigns.
Last week, Commentz pointed me to Olivier Blanchard (@TheBrandBuilder) presenting The Definitive Social Media ROI Presentation. It is the first time I have come across a presentation that articulates how companies should approach and measure the effectiveness of their social media and traditional marketing communication activities. Engaging as well as informative, Blanchard's presentation is the first one I've seen to talk about the non-financial impact (the focus of most social metrics initially) and mapping those to overall business metrics/analytics that accounts for and tracks real dollars and cents. I highly recommend viewing Blanchard's presentation. It struck me as the most articulate and accurate way to discuss the real business value (not just awareness and frequency) with C-Suite executives.
I also came across this article in today's Advertising Age which articulates how MS&L, Weber Shandwick, and Porter Novelli are tweaking their PR metrics to measure not just the effectiveness of their communication campaigns, but how their communication strategy can be mapped back to sales and conversions for their clients. While this is not new (a lot of IMC agencies have been doing this for years), it is exciting to see that "PR" firms are taking the lead on measurement and are not just using the data to evaluate the campaigns effectiveness, but are gathering information to tweak campaigns and raise client's situational awareness to address issues and engage in real time.
"PR" is becoming less about controlling the message and more about collecting, analyzing and acting upon intelligence from all stakeholders. Are you seeing more agencies, companies, and organizations moving towards a more integrated approach to measuring ROI? Are more resources (monetary or other) being devoted to listen and get actionable intelligence?