In 2013, it was reported by CIO Insight that there were almost as many bits of data as there were stars in the universe.
At that point, there were 4.4 zettabytes (I know, I didn’t even know that was a thing either) of data in the digital universe. Its been projected that there will be ten times this, 44 zettabytes, by 2020.
The sheer amount of digital data out there can be overwhelming – especially when you’re trying to measure the effectiveness of an online campaign.
With so many brand and keyword mentions, so many hashtags, posts, tweets, @replies, comments, likes, favorites, photos, videos and audio out there, it’s certainly getting harder to evaluate whether a marketing, communications and digital activity is genuinely increasing sales, decreasing costs and improving brand reputation.
It’s also difficult to assess which element of paid, owned and earned campaign activity is the most effective. But, with a mix of clear objectives and the right tools, the sheer volume and complexity of data becomes less of an issue.
The sheer volume of data that can be tracked can seem daunting. The best measurement frameworks get to the heart of what are the best sets of data to collect, to indicate whether a particular objective has been met, or not.
For our latest Social Listening in Practice Guide, Campaign Measurement, we took an in-depth look at how to do it right.
Why measure your campaigns?
On the face of it, asking ‘why measure’ seems an incredibly naïve question. The obvious answer is ‘to prove success’.
But all too often, ‘success’ is not clearly defined from the outset – then it’s very hard to prove.
If different people within the same organization, even within the same team, define ‘success’ in different ways, then someone is always going to be disappointed with the results.
Adopting and sharing a clear definition of success can help structure what should be measured, even if that definition is quite complicated.
What should you measure?
If you’re trying to work out what to measure and report on, without first asking ‘what do we want to achieve?’ then you should probably slow down.
The starting point for any measurement framework is to establish clear objectives and then to work out what data will help demonstrate when/whether you’ve achieved them.
Defining clear objectives is at the heart of a good measurement and evaluation program, partly because it helps focus the whole organization on what is, and what isn’t useful and relevant. Then, agreed and transparent results can be used to justify the associated budgets.
Because different organizations now use digital channels for very different things, including customer service, sales generation, stakeholder management, relationship management, recruitment, communications and marketing, the criteria to measure
will be different as well.
A ‘one size fits all’ evaluation dashboard is impossible
But, it is possible to create a framework around which anyone can measure and then evaluate pretty much any campaign.
There are many management theories about how best to create clear objectives, but one of the most useful is to insist upon SMART objectives, where the desired outcomes are:
Using this SMART Framework makes it much easier to translate general campaign activities, which clearly contribute to the organization’s objectives. For example:
- Improving customer service satisfaction
- Promoting specific deals and driving traffic to a specific website landing page
- Managing relationships with journalists, politicians and trade bodies online
- Maintaining strong brand awareness against a competitor
- Researching customers’ views on a potential new product launch
- Building and grow a community who will talk about us amongst our target audience
We look at common objectives for campaigns and the appropriate SMART objectives for them in the guide.
We also take real-world examples of how brands have increased brand awareness and tracked intent to purchase, and show you how to measure these as well as ROI, share of voice, brand sentiment, calls to action and customer service.
It’s critical, regardless of business size, to define campaign success. Many companies believe they’re doing it right, when they really aren’t scratching the surface.
Download the Campaign Measurement guide now and learn how to measure your campaigns effectively.
Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community