Want larger budgets for marketing campaigns? Focus on analytics

A few weeks back, I was privileged to speak on a panel for the Madison chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. My panel mates were Barb Hernandez, president of BCHOnPoint and a partner with Glynn Patrick & Associates, and Melissa Johnson of Shoutlet. We were asked to talk about measurement … how PR and marketing professionals can measure the success of their campaigns.

Melissa offered some great insights about social media and how the Shoutlet platform provides the ability to see who is most actively engaged with your social media content.

Barb talked about the Barcelona Principles, which focus on the importance of setting goals prior to any campaign so that success can be measured.

My presentation centered on using one’s website as the focal point for measurement, ensuring that you are tactically setting a baseline within your analytics so you can manage growth.

None of this is earth-shattering, but sometimes success measures get put on the backburner when you’re planning an exciting campaign. In a time of significantly reduced budgets, most of you are scrambling to cover important campaign costs, but measurement should be leading any campaign strategy. If you measure it, and it’s successful, it makes sense that more of your budget will be put toward future activities. An added benefit is that measurement gives you more informed decision-making for the future because you have the metrics to back you up.

A good example comes from a client that Barb and I recently worked with. This company is an online retailer that has great products and impeccable service but, because of the deep advertising pockets of its closest competitor, it could not move the needle to successfully compete.

By looking within its analytics and performing keyword and competitive research, we were able to identify many areas where the company could increase focus. Increased revenue was the obvious objective, but we were able to suggest several new ideas its competitor was not focusing on and execute additional tactics that would drive more customer acquisition and retention:

  1. Rankings: We needed to get our client to rank higher in search results. Moving from position 10 to position one has a significant impact on click-throughs from the Web, thus driving more new traffic and customers.
  2. Social media: Where could we most effectively run promotions to drive new business? Using social media is a great way to attract and retain customers by providing information and promotions. Providing a socializing area, like a blog, or placing campaigns where customers are socializing on Facebook will have a positive influence on retention.
  3. Mobile: What kind of mobile application attracts customers? This business focused partly on cooking, and many of the questions coming in through its onsite search were about cooking its products. Providing a mobile application tool to instruct the customer on cooking methods was a big hit.
  4. Publicity: We asked what kinds of publicity would drive customers to social media or the mobile application and keep them coming back for more. Then we ensured that all publicity used the keywords that supported the growth strategy.



I’m happy to say, after working with this client for 12 months, the results were amazing. Position one is a lofty goal, but we were able to achieve and maintain it on several keywords through content optimization, blog development, and a concentrated effort to improve links from quality sources. Our client’s Facebook page and blog are attracting significant interest, and we are expanding the mobile app to a new platform right now. Publicity around all these tactics continues to drive new interest.

Most importantly, the marketing budget to continue with these efforts was justified by the results, and our strategy has provided a structure for future budget planning.

PR and marketing professionals can make a good case for their budgets and resources by simply asking the question, “What is the goal of this campaign and how will we measure success?”

Let’s talk about this …

Fran Nahabedian is a partner with InMarket Success and an associate with Glynn Patrick & Associates.

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