Not that long ago there was a void in terms of online measurement tools that went beyond ‘you have had 24 mentions this month’. There was a lack of connecting measurement to ROI, something that dug a little deeper towards bringing it back to the business benefits.
Now there seems to be a plethora of options, some of which have had pick-up in New Zealand and some of which haven’t. As with most things, there will probably be a cooling off period where the best ones establish themselves and the others fade into obscurity.
We all know that social media/ digital marketing is just the first step towards better communications and PR. The more important facet is what to do with that data. It’s pointless having it and not using it. Before you jump into the ocean of data, you need to set a long-term strategic plan. But where do you start?
The way we start is to speak to the client about the desired outcome; in other words, what does ‘good’ look like? And what does ‘great’ look like? It sounds simple, but there is no point starting a journey if you don’t know where you’re going.
And when we speak about the desired outcome, this normally means selling more products or services. But it can also mean purely generating brand awareness, for example.
To give you some sort of context, it’s imperative that you check out not only competitors, but also partners who may be selling your product or service and other leaders in digital marketing. You should also check your ‘brand health’. Click here for more on that.
The next step is the idea. Nothing is ever set in stone, but it normally makes sense to think of idea first and platform second. If you start with the platform, it curbs your creativity.
Only once the business goal and idea are in place, should you consider the delivery – i.e. the platform.
All this seems like a lot of planning before the actual engagement, but it must be done. And the best results come from having people dedicated to the job within the brand and from the consultancy side. Having someone immersed in the brand as well as people with outside perspective can give you the edge on your competitors. By having the balanced approach, you’ll be better at communicating and better at using the data.
It’s this extra level of input, the final stage of analysis if you like, that sets apart ROI from mere engagement. No dashboard can tell you which numbers are most important; the ones that should be implemented into changing the business for the better.
It’s reassuring to know that, even in this digitised world of PR and comms, the human touch will remain relevant.