Measuring earned media impact with marketing automation

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:

What are the best PR agencies or consultants for tech startups? | LinkedIn Answers | LinkedIn

We can then see the impact that our additional owned media efforts had on this person:

Visit - Pardot

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.

Prospect: kareen mallet - Pardot

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:

GoodData - Pardot

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

Work at SHIFT

Posted on December 18, 2012 in Earned Media, Metrics, Sales

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About the Author

Christopher S. Penn has been featured as a recognized authority in many books, publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, BusinessWeek and US News & World Report, and television networks such as PBS, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, and ABC News for his leadership in new media and marketing. In 2012 and again in 2013, Forbes Magazine recognized him as one of the top 50 most influential people in social media and digital marketing; Marketo Corporation named him a Marketing Illuminator, and PR News nominated him as Social Media Person of the Year. Mr. Penn is the Vice President of Marketing Technology at SHIFT Communications, a public relations firm, as well as co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp New Media Community Conference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast. He is an adjunct professor of Internet marketing and the lead subject matter expert and professor of Advanced Social Media at the University of San Francisco. He’s the author of the best-selling book Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer.
Fedor Achterkamp
Fedor Achterkamp

Indeed, not only measuring this for paid and/or owned media is important -earned media should be measured as channel as well (and when possible offline as well).  We always like to integrate (and thus automate) measurement of these channels as much as possible -provided this means added value of course-.

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