A Primer on How to Be #DataSmart

As a marketing manager responsible for team visibility and strategy within Ketchum Global Research and Analytics (KGRA), I am surrounded by exceptional researchers on a daily basis. But, when I first joined the group as a fully self-aware (and slightly intimidated) right-brainer, I often thought to myself: “I understand how valuable data is to our clients’ success, but how can I begin to take my base of knowledge to the next level?” Turns out, the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication’s (AMEC) 2017 Measurement Month, a month of learning dedicated to the latest thinking in measurement and analytics, was the perfect place to start.

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait another 11 months to start on your own measurement education. There are a ton of free resources available to you online (for example, check out the Resource Centre on AMEC’s website or PRSA‘s Ask Doc Rock column) or better yet, find a researcher (obviously one from KGRA) and just ask them questions! To get you started, here are my top-3 #DataSmart takeaways from this year’s Measurement Month, designed to help any novice begin using data to make smarter decisions, diminish risk and, ultimately, achieve business goals.

Native content is here to stay!
Are you measuring effectively and getting your money’s worth? Native content, a type of of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform upon which it appears, can be leveraged like any other type of content to drive brand awareness, expand customer base, increase credibility and reputation, or drive engagement. Make sure you are bringing a data smart approach to the entire process from the beginning and move beyond just impressions and click-through-rates!

Find a predictive analyst (a.k.a. a PR fortune teller).
While advanced analytics may only tell one part of a larger story, if leveraged correctly to answer the right questions, it can give you a glimpse into future scenarios and help you make better decisions while improving your chances of achieving goals and minimizing risk.

There is more data out there than you think.
You might already be analyzing media coverage or social media chatter, but there may also be other data sources – often free – that can provide an additional layer of information and insight to strengthen your analysis. Creatively explore different data streams to develop better, holistic approaches that will fuel innovative insights and break through creative.

As client counselors, we need to trust the tools and skills we have. Simultaneously, we must challenge those same tools and skills to make room for innovation and improvements.