Mar­ket­tiers’ Leanne Foy on the prob­lem with AVEs.

Campaign Middle East - - FRONT PAGE - LEANNE FOY

When it comes to mea­sure­ment and eval­u­a­tion, how con­fi­dent are you dis­cussing mea­sure­ment with clients? Ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Con­sul­tancy Or­gan­i­sa­tion 2017 world re­port, 83 per cent of re­spon­dents in the MENA re­gion still use ad­ver­tis­ing value equiv­a­lents (AVEs) be­cause they say that it’s ex­pected by clients.

We, as an in­dus­try, are am­bi­tious and cre­ative, push­ing the bound­aries with fresh new ideas; we are ver­sa­tile with new tech­nolo­gies and strive to keep up-to-date with the lat­est trends. We also pride our­selves on be­ing ex­perts in our in­dus­try. But are we miss­ing a trick when it comes to mea­sure­ment and eval­u­a­tion? We pro­duce great work to be mea­sured, and that needs to stand up to scru­tiny. But, after all the hard work is over, are we re­ally show­ing our true value? Are we in fact do­ing our­selves an in­jus­tice when it comes to mea­sur­ing our cam­paigns us­ing AVEs?

We are all am­bi­tious when it comes to ef­fec­tive mea­sure­ment and ul­ti­mately de­liv­er­ing client cam­paigns with demon­stra­tive re­sults, both qual­i­ta­tive and quan­ti­ta­tive. So why as an in­dus­try do we still feel a need to use AVEs? A sim­ple re­sponse could be, what’s the al­ter­na­tive? Is it our role to demon­strate and pro­vide clients with new and more ef­fec­tive ways to mea­sure?

As a com­pany, we de­vel­oped a model: Me­dia In­flu­ence In­dex (MII), which mea­sures the ac­tual im­pact and out­comes of cov­er­age, where cov­er­age is an out­put. Has the cov­er­age af­fected brand sen­ti­ment, has it af­fected in­tent to pur­chase, and has brand ad­vo­cacy im­proved? Let us also not for­get that some ac­ti­va­tions aren’t cov­er­age-fo­cused. In those in­stances, data cap­ture, en­quiry, at­ten­dance at events and the like are per­haps sim­pler to mea­sure. We are all acutely aware there are a num­ber of dis­crep­an­cies when it comes to AVEs; the method for eval­u­at­ing does not hold up to scru­tiny, and in a for­ward-think­ing age, where demon­strat­ing ROI is now busi­ness crit­i­cal, AVEs have not stood up to the test of time.

The chal­lenge there­fore is to en­sure that in re­sponse to a brief we are clear and fo­cused on what the end ob­jec­tives are. For us, if it is data cap­ture or shift­ing au­di­ence be­hav­iour we need to fo­cus on the routes to mar­ket that we know will have tan­gi­ble mea­sur­able re­sults. Is it TV and ra­dio in­ter­views? Is it a video pack­age for dig­i­tal and mo­bile distri­bu­tion, or per­haps live stream­ing with mod­er­ated Q&A en­abled? For ex­am­ple, our work in the field of live stream­ing is tes­ta­ment to demon­stra­tive re­sults, al­low­ing us to de­liver high-im­pact, tar­geted cam­paigns, whether B2B or B2C, to core au­di­ences mea­sured by views, dwell time, data cap­ture and en­quiry, a tech­nique giv­ing us real met­rics.

Let’s be­lieve in our­selves as PR pro­fes­sion­als and demon­strate the true value of work by con­sis­tently re­fer­ring back to re­sults that have made an im­pact on the busi­ness.

It all starts at the art of plan­ning clear smart ob­jec­tives and de­vel­op­ing a cam­paign to achieve the end goal, but we all work in com­mu­ni­ca­tions and know this. Right? You’d be sur­prised, over the years, the amount of award en­tries I’ve seen that only ref­er­ence me­dia cov­er­age (and some­times even be­ing sent flow­ers) and not the pos­i­tive im­pact on the busi­ness.

We are ex­perts in our field and can mea­sure if our cam­paign has had an ef­fect on the busi­ness. Did the cam­paign drive sales or im­prove client re­ten­tion? This is real data, lead­ing to bet­ter mea­sure­ment and eval­u­a­tion, which in turn en­ables us to re­fine and im­prove our work, as well as jus­tify our po­si­tion fur­ther up the food chain with re­gards to im­por­tance to brand. We need to con­tinue to be ex­perts, im­prov­ing our prac­tices and show our clients a dif­fer­ent, more ef­fec­tive way to mea­sure.

We can do this one step at a time and there are a va­ri­ety of tools avail­able for us, such as AMEC’s PR Guide to Mea­sure­ment and AMEC’s In­te­grated Mea­sure­ment Frame­work – which both sup­port not us­ing AVEs – and also in­dus­try bod­ies such as PRCA and MEPRA.

Let’s be­lieve in our­selves as PR pro­fes­sion­als and demon­strate the true value of work by con­sis­tently re­fer­ring back to re­sults that have made an im­pact on the busi­ness.

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