"How many impressions can we expect?" "What kind of reach numbers will this get us?"

For any of us who direct marketing campaigns, we hear those questions over and over again as we discuss program tactics with our client partners.

However, if we want to ensure program success and deliver results that really matter to the C-suite, we need to ask an entirely different question: "How can we deliver powerful results that map to brands' business outcomes?"

That question presents a far more relevant discussion point because brands need to focus their time, energy, and marketing dollars on making their concrete business outcomes a reality.

Here are just a few of the business challenges facing today's brand managers:

  • Launching a new product
  • Changing brand perceptions
  •  Driving sales to a particular retailer
  • Generating interest in a no-news cycle
  • Proving out sales at key retailers
  • Expanding sales to a new demographic
  • Stemming customer attrition
  • Answering brand detractors

Traditional Measurement Approaches Present Challenges

Unfortunately, too often, campaigns in the PR, ad, and social space focus on targeting reach numbers rather than demonstrating how they can move the sales needle. For example, a successful PR team may say it has achieved 170 million impressions for a program—but reach numbers don't translate to consumer conversions and typically are just one piece of an integrated marketing mix. As a result, it's hard to tease out the campaign's ultimate impact when it's conducted amidst a sea of tactics.

Overall, the general sense post-campaign centers around "we did a whole universe of marketing tactics and we sold this much stuff—but we can't map one to the other."

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image of Stacy DeBroff

Stacy DeBroff is founder and CEO of Influence Central. A social media strategist, attorney, author, and speaker, she consults with brands on consumer and social media trends. Reach her via stacy@influence-central.com.

LinkedIn: Stacy DeBroff

Twitter: @stacydebroff