5 Tips to Prepare for the Ultimate PR & Marketing Question: What’s the ROI?

The sophistication of the discipline of measurement has grown by leaps and bounds, as everyone in the PR and marketing worlds knows. The thing is, word has gotten out, and it’s not only people in those worlds who know. Those who enlist your services are going to want to see evidence of ROI, and what’s more, they’ll want to see that your practices are up to date, meaningful and impactful. Savvy clients and execs aren’t going to be satisfied by a bullet point that says “We do measurement.” Check! Next item! No, those days are past.

In her article in The Book of PR Measurement Strategies & Tactics, Laura A. Borgstede, CEO of Calysto, suggests that answering questions like “What am I getting for my budget?” with analytics should be a complimentary service to clients. To show clients or senior leaders that you offer the total package in a convincing and thorough way, absorb her five tips for effectively communicating the value of your services.

  1. Pick the right metrics. Map your company’s service offerings to the warranted KPIs. Remember that the objective of your PR and marketing metrics is to drive sales of your services. Therefore, avoid pointing out deficiencies that you are not prepared to address.
  2. Find the right tools. The Internet abounds with marketing metric measurement tools and techniques. They range from free services to paid commercial services to hybrids (so-called “freemiums” that may provide basic features for free with more comprehensive capabilities). Pick one that best fits your needs in terms of KPI measures and budget. Note that in some cases it may be necessary to use more than one platform to cover all the KPIs your client needs to measure.
  3. Get in the habit. Run client analyses on a regular basis. Your clients’ needs (or perhaps budget cycle) may dictate the frequency of each analysis. In any case, analysis should be undertaken often enough so that clients come to expect it as a normal part of their PR or marketing communications process.
  4. Let account teams carry the ball. Running marketing metrics for clients is an excellent way to provide consultative selling opportunities for your teams. To do so, running the reports, meeting with clients to explain the analytics and using results of the analysis to chart next steps in the client’s account plan need to be inherent parts of the process. To empower teams in this manner, they’ll need extensive training in the use of the tools employed as part of your service so they become comfortable using them with clients.
  5. Market, market, market. For marketing analytics to become an integral part of your professional service offerings, it needs to be promoted in the same manner as your other services.
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