Struggle #3 My Strategy is Too Hard to Measure

50% of people say that their strategy is too hard to measure.

It’s not much of a strategy if that’s true.  It’s been interesting to watch PR pros in the last decade.  Social media insisted you be short and direct with messages.  (My blog articles are usually under 300 words for you.) You should also be short and direct when you ask, “What does success look like?”    Your strategy has a tangible outcome.  It’s not about trying, it’s about doing.  The outcomes are measurable but you might need to collaborate to demonstrate your valuable part in the success.  That’s where some of you get overwhelmed.  We can help. Continue reading

Struggle #2: Even pros don’t know how to approach and implement measurement.

80% of PR professionals don’t measure because they don’t know where to begin.  Even if someone hands them some metrics (the raw building blocks of measurement), they might not have an approach for making it useful.

If you wanted to measure the path from your door to your car, you could use a tape measure or a yardstick.  If the path had direction changes in it, you’d measure each length and add them together to get a final answer.  If the path has a curve, you’d add its circumference.  If the path includes taking the elevator, you’d add in the height between floors.  Summed, they are a single and final answer to the question, “How far will I travel to reach my car?”

Media measurement is no different. Useful answers come from integrating your metrics together to arrive at knowledge.  Your approach should include gathering impressions, costs, and outcomes (sales, savings, actions).  Your implementation is a resulting equation to answer the question, “How effective was my activity?”  Knowing how things compare gives you insight for being more and more effective over time.

Comment if you are stumped about approaching your metrics and calculating your final answer.  I can help.

#1 Struggle: “People can’t find meaningful measurement.”

What does it mean?  One study found that the number one reason that people struggle with measurement is that they can’t get meaningful measurement.  Supposedly, it’s true for any industry, organization or endeavor.   It’s certainly true for people who invested in “canned” dashboards.

To get meaning from your measurement, you need a little help at the right time.  You know more than you think about what would be meaningful.

Here’s a few tips for getting to meaningful measurement.

  1. Involve a measurement expert from the start (not after the fact).
  2. Use data to set measurable goals for what success means to you.
  3. Measure before, during and after an effort.
  4. Conclude with answering these questions…
    • Did I reach my goal?
    • What happened and why?
    • What does it mean?
    • What will I do about it?

Keep it simple, but get the help of a measurement partner to make it easy and meaningful.

Measure well!  No excuses.

Debi Parcheta


Image Courtesy of Creative Commons Flickr, Author:  chetbox

Comment below: What does this heat map view of a face mean?  People struggle with measurement because they need meaning.

Integration is the data “hack” of the decade.

We’ve reached an age where data is everywhere!   BUT… really useful, accurate and appropriate analytics are still a long way from being at the right people’s fingertips. It’s not a slick dashboard that gets you there. You have to do better than that.

The “hack”?  It’s simply gathering data from different sources into one model or system (referred to as integrating data) and inferring or deducing new knowledge or competitive advantage from the soup that they become when you throw them together into one pot.   Computer programming and mathematical training and the tools, experience and knowledge that you already have can be used in very creative ways to integrate data, many times more quickly than you think.

What are the things that keep us from hacking analytics in every industry?
•    Territorialism:  People don’t share data well.  Collaboration is what sets our species apart from others, but we still don’t fully embrace it.  Try to think more like a barterer.
•    Money: Data collection and analysis is an ongoing investment, not a whim. Do a cost/benefit exercise – most analytics are worth the price tag but there should be a return on your investment.
•    Time (commitment): Most analytics need to be ongoing – showing change over time.  You’ve failed if you start but don’t continue to analyze for actionable insights or build on your initial findings.
•    Vision:  It’s one thing to look at analytics.  It’s another to imagine how the results move your mission into the future.  Be a thinker.

None of those roadblocks are new.  In fact, they are age-old people problems.  We stand in our own way a lot.


Photo thanks:

Flickr Creative Commons, Jess (Paleo Grubs):