There are nearly limitless ways to measure the impact of earned media, but here’s one you probably weren’t thinking of: marketing automation. One of the tricky parts of standard web analytics is that you don’t get access to personally identifying information. Google Analytics is a fantastic tool for measuring what’s happening in aggregate with your marketing programs, but because it doesn’t capture any contact information, you can’t see what impact your earned media has had on any given individual.
Marketing automation systems like Eloqua (a SHIFT client), Marketo, Pardot, and many others have the ability to track where people are coming from, and more importantly, see their activity history over long periods of time. This is absolutely vital for measuring earned media impact deep in the funnel, where you care about whether a potential customer is being influenced by your earned media. A piece of earned media might be just the thing that tips a prospect into returning your sales call.
Here’s an example. This prospective customer first heard about SHIFT through a discussion group on LinkedIn in which Jason Falls, a prominent marketing and social media professional recommended us:
We can then see the impact that our additional owned media efforts had on this person:
Digging in more, we see that they’ve read our blog, seen us mentioned again in social media, and gotten to know us in depth.
Earned media got us the first bite, and owned media cemented their impression of us.
Any sales professional would be delighted to have another reason to contact a prospect, especially after seeing that they’ve participated in an earned media campaign. “Hey Bob, I was just checking in. Oh, you saw that piece in the Times about us? Yeah, wasn’t that fantastic?” A power tip for sales folks? Segment out your prospect lists into prospects who have seen your most recent earned media hit and those who have not, then do an outreach campaign to the folks who missed the news about you.
As we add more earned media hits from traditional media and social media, we can see what’s driving people to come visit us over and over again, what impact earned media is having on our sales funnel:
If you want to make the most of earned media, don’t just hang the news clippings on the wall in a fancy frame at your office. Measure the impact of earned media deep in the sales funnel with marketing automation software, then use it as a lever to get back in touch with prospects, help convince them that you’re the company of record to do business with, and close some deals.
Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology