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Marketing Metrics 101: Five Simple Steps

We get the question often, and it comes in several forms:

Metrics can be confusing, and worse, time consuming.

Metrics can be confusing, and worse, time consuming.

“What should we be measuring?”

 “We’ve got all these followers, but what are we doing with them?”

 “There are so many metrics, but which are the most important?”

“People saw our message, but what does that mean?”

The advent of digital marketing and social media is great because it allows us to measure an infinite amount of metrics.  The downside is determining which metrics are most important, and not wasting time on all of the other statistics. Here are five simple questions to ask when identifying the metrics that will matter most: Read more after the jump…

Is Your Crisis Plan Ready for Prime Time?

Anyone who has ever developed a crisis plan knows what a monumental, albeit critical, task it is. At the same time, once it has been drafted and shared with the crisis response team, you never know how effective it is until it has been battle tested with a real crisis. Fortunately many companies and organizations will never endure a full-blown crisis, but for those who do, it’s not something that will soon be forgotten.

In the summer issue of The Public Relations Strategist, an article titled Crisis Communications Plans Built to Fail: 3 Warning Signs and How to Avoid Them is a great reminder of the ongoing scrutiny required to successfully overcome a crisis. The author suggests three warning signs that your crisis plan could fail.

Warning Sign No. 1:  You do not have a clear system for reporting a crisis.

The communications team is usually not the first group within a company to identify a crisis. How do you make sure that all of the employees within your organization know when to sound the crisis bell, who to notify, and how to effectively notify them?

Warning Sign No. 2:  It is unclear what information you need to gather and share.

Make sure the person receiving the call on the crisis hotline knows what questions to ask to gather as much information as possible. If a 24-hour operator for the crisis hotline is not feasible, consider rotating a cellphone among the leadership team so there’s always a prepared person to respond.

Warning Sign No. 3:  Roles are not well defined.

If your organization doesn’t have an established crisis response team, now is the time to set one up, as well as develop short job descriptions for each person on the team. This will help avoid confusion when the proverbial “you know what” hits the fan. The communications team is of course responsible with communicating to all identified internal and external audiences in a timely, thoughtful manner.

As the author so eloquently points out in his article, “The difference between crisis communications success and crisis communications failure lies in planning. It is called a crisis communications plan for a reason.”

Saying Goodbye to Two Broncos Legends

A lot of attention has been given this week to Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen’s decision to resign control of the team. And that attention is well-deserved – he is a legendary owner in the sports world.

The single best stat to illustrate that point is that his teams were more likely to make it to the Super Bowl than have a losing season (six Super Bowls compared to five losing seasons). For comparison purposes, the Colorado Rookies Rockies have had one World Series appearance and 14 losing seasons over the past two decades.

But Pat Bowlen isn’t the only legendary Bronco to retire since the end of last season. Jim Saccomano stepped down this spring as vice president of corporate communications after 36 years with the organization. During his era, Jim established his own signature culture within the franchise’s communications organization.

The results of Jim’s legacy are impressive. It wasn’t a coincidence that Jim and his team were recognized with the inaugural Pete Rozelle award for the NFL’s outstanding public relations staff from the Professional Football Writers of America in 1990, and that the team won it again in 2014 after Jim announced he would be retiring.

So what lessons can your communications organization learn from Jim and his staff?

Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – Taking Matters Into Your Strategic Hands

Social media and digital marketing require a seat at the proverbial planning table on day one. By continuing to keep these practices in a silo you risk under-allocating creative resources and the budget to truly move the needle and prove ROI. Notable reach on all platforms – not just Facebook – requires purposeful content just as much, and sometimes more, as smart investments—in the form of ads and influencer collaborations.

Read more after the jump…

The “Buy One, Give One” Approach to Cause Marketing

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.38.06 AMI recently read an Advertising Age article about Target’s new cause marketing campaign (launched July 13) in which, for every Up & Up brand school supply purchased between July 13 and Aug. 2, the retailer will donate one Up & Up brand school supply product to a child in need via the Kids In Need Foundation. While this tactic may not necessarily be new – in fact, here is a list of ten “Buy One, Give One” Companies – I’m intrigued by Target’s use of this approach to build awareness and share for a specific category within a specific brand. (This is an approach we are seeing more frequently as the “Buy One, Give One” model continues to grow in popularity. As indicated in this Winter 2014 article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, companies such as Kiehl’s, Sephora, Whole Foods and Aveda have also introduced buy one, give one items.)

Read more after the jump…

Brands Raising the Bar on Instagram: And what we can all learn from following along

Williams SonomaWhen I got home on Thursday night my husband asked me how a client meeting had gone earlier in the afternoon. I replied, “The meeting went great. Spent a lot of time talking about social media and Instagram.”

Blank stare.

Yes, on a daily basis my Google Chrome tabs are open to Facebook and Pinterest and I’m scrolling through Instagram on my phone simultaneously. No, I am not wasting time. I am doing my job. How cool is that?

Read more after the jump…

Transparency Key to Crisis Communications in Malaysia Crash, GroundFloor Media Expert Says

Hours after the crash of Malaysia Airlines in a disputed region of Ukraine, GroundFloor Media Crisis Communications Expert Gil Rudawsky was asked by a reporter for Ragan.com about how the airlines can do a better job responding to the tragedy.

Without knowing the details yet, Rudawsky said the airlines and those involved in the investigation must be forthcoming.

“From a crisis perspective, airlines and transportation officials need to be as transparent as possible with the media and the families,” he says. “They need daily updates on what happened, and what steps are being taken to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

Read the entire article here.

Weekly Reads – How Sports are Leading the Way in Social Marketing

Social media is finally starting to move away from the siloed, online only entity of its infancy towards an integrated part of marketing strategies and tactics for brands. Sports, like in many other categories, is leading the way in utilizing new and innovative ways to engage fans through social.

Read more after the jump…

Bandwagon Fans and Social Media: Why Quality Is Better than Quantity

23690114As a hardcore Denver Nuggets fan, one of the most horrible things I can imagine is going to the Pepsi Center to watch my Nuggets take on the Los Angeles Lakers. For the past decade, the Lakers seemed to be the team that would perennially knock the Nuggets out of the playoffs and remind me that it’s a long hard road for a small market team in the NBA. It wasn’t watching Kobe Bryant’s smug face that would upset me, though.  It wasn’t even the fact that the referees clearly favored the guys in purple and gold. No, the absolute worst thing about playing against the Lakers is walking through the doors of “the Can” surrounded by thousands of Lakers “fans” who probably couldn’t tell you the names of the starting lineup.

Read more after the jump…

The Power of a Sincere Apology

David LuizWhile the World Cup has come to an end, at least one message will endure for some time. There aren’t enough words – or tears – to erase the pain of a nation as Brazil was defeated 7-1 by Germany in the World Cup semifinals. However, a heartfelt, sincere apology by team captain David Luiz had to have been appreciated by his compatriots.

Often in times of crisis or defeat, it’s easy to point fingers at others and shun the blame. However in business, as in life, a sincere apology goes a long way toward taking the edge off of the situation.

Read more after the jump…