Media measurement in a changing world; AMEC Summit key take-outs you don’t want to miss
Reputation Management is increasingly challenging. We are dealing with a more polarized world, divided by facts and fiction. A lot of content is behind paywalls these days. Opinions are widely spread among audiences and platforms, publicly and in private. The time spent per adult with digital media is continuous climbing up and people are not trusting what is said in the media. The AMEC Summit in Prague last month was all about measuring the value of communications. We were there to collect the most important insights for you!
It’s time for CEO’s to take a stand
Research of Edelman Trust Barometer states CEO’s should take the lead in change rather than waiting for government to impose it. Allyson Hugley, Vice President and Market researcher at Prudential Financial, stated: One in two people choose to switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on its stand in social issues. CEO’s are prioritizing issues such as climate change, sustainability and workplace diversity, because change is coupled with elevated expectations from society.
It’s becoming more important for organisations to take a stand in issues such as people, climate and purpose. Global trends show that purpose is going to be crucial to reputation; the new generation is more influenced by purpose than other things. But how can we measure purpose?
From data to decisions
During a Panel Session, Industry Leaders from AMEC showed some global insights and trends with us. Measuring purpose requires a different approach in media measurement. Data and insights are not the main goal. Intelligence requires shifting from a data to a decision orientation. It is key to start with understanding what you are trying to do and then make appropriate measurements.
The goal should be to move communication intelligence up the decision curve. Go from ‘monitoring for mentions’, to ‘where is the risk or opportunity?’ To do this, media measurement should not just contain the standard Advertising Value Equivalents (AVE’s), such as reach and volume.
5 tips to find the right metrics
There is so much data to capture, the trick is finding the right data. These 5 tips will help you find the right metrics for your goals:
#1 Look for the metric that has the long term outcome rather than looking for the easiest one to measure.
“There’s measurement that focuses on sales (short term), and measurement for the long term effectiveness”, says Daniel Stauber, Marketing Science Expert at Facebook. Make sure you use both metrics for measurement and not just short termed ones, such as campaigns or monthly reports.
#2 Success is a lousy teacher.
Daniel Stauber continues: Data can also cause a bias! Sometimes it is best to find something that is not working instead of something that is, so you know what you need to change. Instead of always measuring what you know or think that works; you will just keep looking for what you already (think) you know.
#3 Optimize for Right outcomes and audiences.
Every channel we use for communication is part of a bigger story. Focus on different touchpoints. It seems simple when you have trackable channels such as an app or mobile advertising. But what about the other things they were exposed to as well? “Consumers are always exposed to multiple touchpoints. We measure as if consumers are rational, we silo everything. But no consumer ever takes a stand about anything after only seeing it on one channel”, says Sam Ruchlewicz, Vide President Digital Strategy & Data Analytics at Warschawski. Pick the right audiences and look at that data, don’t look at a huge audience. Wrong people, wrong data.
#4 Use different data sources.
Matt Sato, Senior Vice President at Edelman Intelligence stated: “In real life we cannot just collect data from PR, we need to take a bigger view for measuring impact of media by combining traditional and online data sources.”
#5 Use data to look forward.
You want to help customers making better decisions in the future, so don’t only look back. No single data stack will suit everybody. Analytics should be agile and able to address unique questions within your industry. Find that unique mix for your business. Your methodology should start with your business outcomes. Finding metrics that matter and that align with your strategic company goal.
Adoption: putting data to work for your organisation
Media measurement data should not only serve a monitoring or evaluation goal, it can also serve as a risk mitigant. It’s not only about proving value, it’s about smarter decision-making. Therefore you should make a shift from monitoring to a data informed approach to serve on a strategic level. To move communication up the ladder, you have to talk in the same metrics as the CEO. They might not fully understand reach and media value, but they love to hear about valued coverage, prominence and risks and opportunities.
Increase the focus on measurement beyond outputs. To move to this data informed approach you need to convince internal stakeholders. Therefore data needs to be understandable, consistent and you should start speaking in a C-level language. An audit can really help. Dr Jennifer Bruce, Global Leader of Communications Measurement at Adobe Systemsdobe, gave an example on how they used to have 900+ global reports on an annual basis. Everyone was going for the same path, but everyone was doing something different. There was never a simple point of truth. After minimizing data silos (you can’t have trackers everywhere), prioritizing, consistency and focussing monitoring and insights on media that matters for their business, they really made a step forward.
Get ready for the next step in media measurement
To get your department ready for the next step in media measurement, you need to find and educate the people that do the measurement, and invest in good data. According to research, PR professionals believe strategic planning is the most important skill next coming years. Data by itself is useless, you need to be able to ask ‘so what, now what?’
“There is a lot of technology, but it is very important, that there are people that understand the data and make sense of the data” – Timo Thomann-Rompf, COO at Cision Insights.
More and more data is now available, but you really need experts – people – to draw the right conclusions. And those people might not always be the communication professionals. So either educate your people to become data analysts, or work with a specialized agency that does this for you. Also, make sure you prioritize a cultural transformation towards data. Show the data real time and actively within your company, for example by narrowcasting. People have to be surrounded by it in order to live it.
Most data project fail, but expect failure. If you are not failing, you are not succeeding. Sometimes the data is not 100% accurate, but humans aren’t 100% accurate either. Start small and grow from there. Encourage your teams to fail forward; innovation comes from not being afraid of getting things wrong.
You should be able to ask your team every day: what mistake did you make today? If you’re not making mistakes you are not trying. Mess up something, just don’t do it twice.