Measurement is key in developing communication strategies. How else do you know how far you’ve come?
As Lord Kelvin said all those years ago: ‘When you can measure what you are speaking about, you know something about it.’ So without measuring how your plan is working it’s difficult to fully understand the progress you are making. This all goes back to your original strategy to attract new clients, to engage with them to grow your business. Part of your plan will have included targets to help you achieve this, using the SMART method, developing objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
‘When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it.’ Lord Kelvin
In order to do this you need to record the position you are in today. What kind of activity does your website generate? How long do people stay on your website and how many different pages do they look at? The best way to assess this is by using the Google Analytic tool. How else do your customers find out about your business? Are they followers on the social media channels you operate on? How many actively interact with the information you post up? If you’ve recently exhibited at a show how many people visited your stand and what was the result of the engagement with you?
Part of your communication plan will look at the different channels you are using and which are the most successful. It’s a good time here, when developing your plan, to look at types of communication you are not currently using and assessing whether it would be worth while trying something new. Once you have your measurement procedure in place it will be easy to see whether these work or don’t, though some processes may take longer than others.
Once you have established the position you are in you need to think about where you want to be in say three or six months time. You may have a new product or service you are launching or wish to continue generating more sales from an existing range. By linking your business plans to your communication activity it is easy to review and measure the progress that is being made. Without this you could be putting time and money into activity that is not paying the right dividends.
- Your measurement process stems from the original strategy
- Make your objectives SMART so they will be measured from day one
- Develop a set of benchmarks as an ongoing reference point
- Make sure you measure your progress frequently – on a weekly and monthly schedule, even if the longer target is for six months
- Measuring your progress helps you to review what is and isn’t working so you can amend your plans accordingly