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Too Many Tools, Too Little Think: Tackling the Challenge of Marcom Measurement

Too Many Tools, Too Little Think: Tackling the Challenge of Marcom Measurement on Marketing Horizons featuring Katie Delahaye Paine, aka The Measurement Queen

Marketers are under mounting pressure to demonstrate results. In this episode, the renowned measurement master Katie Delahaye Paine shares her latest tips on how to successfully overcome the challenge while preparing for the new developments ahead. Join us to learn two key reasons this issue persists, why you need to set the right objectives, and how silos and fiefdoms can doom your efforts. Innovative AI-driven tools are on the way, but we must apply them with care.




Cyndi Greenglass: Are all marketing measurements up for the challenge?

Katie Delahaye Paine: It depends upon the industry. If you're selling a consumer widget online and you have an e-commerce site, and it is fully tagged and all the metrics and attribution magic are attached to everything you communicate and everything you sell, yes, that is highly measurable. Except what's happened in the last certainly last two years, if not evolving over time, is that this classic marketing funnel that starts with awareness and ends up with action of some sort, as sprung a leak or seven. Today, you can have awareness, preference, consideration— all of those things – and have it instantly derailed because the CEO does something dumb or because somebody says something dumb, because somebody calls for a boycott. You can find attribution for an actual sale, but that doesn't tell you much because it doesn't tell you what you're losing.  And on the opposite side, other than those very few specific things where you can track everything in an e commerce environment, it doesn't tell you the impact of things like if you've just announced a new initiative, you're giving money to a charity that I care about, etc. There are so many other influences today outside of what marketers think of as their control world, and I just don't think that attribution is valid because there's so many other influences.

Cyndi Greenglass: Are you saying influence is the measurement we should be looking at?

Katie Delahaye Paine: Michael Ziviani has done a lot of research on this, so this is not my research, I'm going to attribute it to him. But, his point is that, yes, there's influence and then there's the “D” influence factor. He's done most of this research in the nonprofit world and finds that influence is one metric, actions you take to enforce your reputation and credibility, whether you trust an organization—all of those things go into the decision making process and you're so much more “influential” than an influencer. Influencers are certainly of value, but on the other hand if you choose an influencer that I find abhorrent, that's also not taken into account. Unless you look at the holistic communications effort, you don't get an accurate count.

Ruth Stevens: Are we ever going to figure out the effectiveness of our marketing communications?

Katie Delahaye Paine: I'm arguing for this holistic concept, where the entire communications team is working towards business goals. That’s not how measurement has evolved. Measurement has evolved as paid advertising has its metrics and digital advertising has its metrics and influence has its metrics and PR has its metrics. If you look at a measurement dashboard, there are silos. Everyone is measuring their own thing as opposed to how communications is contributing towards the overall business goal. What I do is I pulled together these integrated dashboards and it looks at earned media, traditional media, earned and paid social, digital content, internal communications, public affairs, executive communications, and anything else you want to throw in there. That's the way I encourage clients to think about it.

Cyndi Greenglass: Can global measurement break down the silos or do we have to break the silos down between us internally as marketers and get along more before the metrics are going to be able to do their job?

Katie Delahaye Paine: You become what you measure. If you're measuring clicks and likes and follows, you're going to get more of those. That's what you're going to work towards. If you are measuring the whole communications effort towards a goal, you're much more likely to cooperate with others. You're much more likely to share ideas and brainstorm and think about how we, with all the communications tools we have, can achieve this goal.

Key Takeaways/Three Little Piggies

  • We've got to go for the holistic concept, getting the whole team together to work toward mutually agreed objectives.
  • We want to consider what objectives were picking very carefully.
  • We have to make sure the tools we are using are actually right for the job and it is likely that a fully automated measurement is never really going to be available.


Marketing Communications Today presents Horizons, it’s forward-thinking, looking ahead, through the front windshield and beyond, into the marketing future. Join Cyndi and Ruth bi-weekly for new ideas, technologies, tools and strategies that are emerging to help marketers navigate over the marketing horizon.

Meet our guest

Katie Delahaye Paine, aka The Measurement Queen

Katie Delahaye Paine, aka The Measurement Queen ( @queenofmetrics ), has been a pioneer in the field of measurement for more than three decades. She was recently awarded the prestigious IPR Jack Felton Medal for Lifetime Achievement, an award given for lifetime contributions in the advancement of research, measurement and evaluation in public relations and corporate communication.

In her consulting practices, she designs measurement dashboards for some of today’s most admired companies. Katie has also been a leading developer and promoter of standards in the PR and social media measurement field. She founded two measurement companies, KDPaine & Partners Inc.(now Carma)  and The Delahaye Group (now Cision.)  Her latest company, Paine Publishing is the first educational publishing firm entirely dedicated to making more Measurement Mavens. Its newsletter, The Measurement Advisor , is the industry’s most comprehensive source of information about best practices in communications measurement.

Her books, Measure What Matters (Wiley, March 2011) and Measuring Public Relationships (KDPaine & Partners, 2007) are considered must-reads for anyone tasked with measuring public relations and social media. Her latest book, written with Beth Kanter, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit:Using Data to Change the World is the 2013 winner of the Terry McAdam Book Award.

Katie is a Senior Fellow of the Marketing & Communications Center at The Conference Board and a founder and member of the Institute for Public Relations Measurement Commission.

Meet the hosts

Cyndi Greenglass

Cyndi W. Greenglass is a founding partner and president at Livingston Strategies, a data-informed, strategic consulting firm that helps clients develop, execute, and measure their customer communications with a close focus on results. Cyndi has razor-sharp strategic skills matched by impeccable on-the-ground savvy and tactical abilities. She is an Adjunct Instructor in the Data Marketing Communications online master's degree program from West Virginia University.

Greenglass has twice been named into the Top 100 Influential BTB Marketers by Crain’s BtoB Magazine and was the 2012 CADM Chicago Direct Marketer of the Year. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for BRAND United and has taught, trained and presented at over 50 conferences throughout the world.

Ruth Stevens

Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, for business-to-business clients. Ruth serves on the boards of directors of the HIMMS Media Group, and the Business Information Industry Association. She is a trustee of Princeton-In-Asia, past chair of the Business-to-Business Council of the DMA, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York.

Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain’s BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She serves as a mentor to fledgling companies at the ERA business accelerator in New York City.


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