Business growth and public relations go together like bitcoin and anxiety. In today’s socially connected world, granular data derived from a brand’s Share of Voice is critical to helping marketers refine their strategies; these changes directly affect bottom line and business growth outlook. It’s safe to say companies know the positive impact PR may have on the bottom line.
But you’re not likely reading this article as an ROI-driven data guru. Most people aren’t. In fact, 40% of marketers say proving the ROI of their marketing activities is their top marketing challenge. That’s why it’s crucial to partner with an agency that can deliver ROI through targeted outreach.
Easier said than done, right? We’ve heard it all when it comes to companies who have had bad experiences with agencies who set high expectations and produce minimal results. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t believe companies are misled purposely by agencies, but rather that companies can be smarter about where they invest their marketing dollars. Everything needs to be measurable these days, so it’s important to pick a partner who can align PR efforts and results to a company’s overall KPIs.
So if this is common knowledge, why are agencies failing to produce tangible ROI?
Most agencies report on output. While they should track how they spend time, time spent is not equal to the impact of their work – and nobody wants to pay for mere effort. Google Analytics is a useful tool for seeing what’s driving traffic but it doesn’t clearly interpret the success of certain tools and tactics used in your campaigning. Brands want to know why certain content topics or coverage stirs interest, yet agencies struggle to prove impact or overall value.
What should companies track to produce actionable results?
The KPIs a company should track to depends on the stage and goals of a business. An early stage business should track volume, cadence and sentiment to ensure web searches consistently show positive, credible third-party endorsement from earned media. A business seeking M&A activity needs a much different strategy. It may decide to deposition its competition, track Share of Voice and ensure it’s getting attention from the outlets read by target audiences. A business in this position should be tracking the topics and tactics working for its competitors so that it can leverage those insights.
PR analytics are critical to achieving all of this and to informing marketing and PR strategy. Curious to know how we can help? Learn more about our robust insights program here.