Gen Y-er and typing in the back of the room. Typical, isn’t it?  Many in my generation say they feel as if they on the edge of awesome in the social media/marketing/ public relations realm, but more and more, I’m living it. I could even venture to say I do so on a daily basis.

Confession: I was stopped 20 million times and almost missed the first session. Way to get off on the right foot, depending on who you ask.

Stuart Foster stated yesterday, “Success is the only metric I care about.” Seems fitting for the first session.

If we aren’t measuring success of programs, objectives and strategy? Seriously, who will care? You aren’t proving zilch.

Are we quantifying what we do today? Depends on who you talk to. Different people have different goals, dependent on their professional role, what industry they are in, and what sector they represent. My thought? One has to be always aware of what trends are happening, and what unique soft/hard metrics you can offer. Make it about what the brand needs to know, not some random metric that makes no sense.

In the profession and the world of marketing, it’s not easy to quantify what we do.


Some people threw out these answers:

  • People don’t understand metrics.

  • Lack of data

  • Long sales cycle; hard to connect dots with marketing vs. sales

C-Suite is now coming to marketers asking, So, tell me. You’re spending X amount of money, but what are we getting from it?”

Pretty common and a legitimate concern. Marketers can’t claim a program is effective without facts;  intuition doesn’t mean anything. Use quantitative and qualitative metrics to prove the worth.

The session stated, “Decision make 78% intuitive, 20% fact has switched now to minimally intuitive.”

I agree to a point.  I think intuition drives a lot of beginning foundation for strategy, objectives and tactics. Obviously, you scale back to craft a unique approach to the brand,  but awesome doesn’t exist when you operate through regulations and boundaries.

Another question thrown out:

How do you measure success? (My snarky brain thought: "If I’m kicking butt at building a brand, obviously.")

An audience member talked about setting goals up front. Honestly? Disagree. Goals is a generic term, and many marketers don’t break it down. A better approach is creating objectives, what tactics will be used to accomplish objectives, then you can set benchmarks to reach overall goals. Think of objectives as the foundation for the goal base, not vague goals as the beginning. Goals need to be attainable.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. From that? Work with brands to maintain expectations and set benchmarks specific to them. Blanket approaches don’t work, and they never will. Educate to understand the difference between hard and soft metrics, and how you can balance qualitative and quantitative metrics to prove value.

It’s a mesh of the two.

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Lauren Fernandez is a public relations and digital communications professional based in the Midwest. She is dedicated to providing clients with hybrid expertise and commitment to their brands. In her current role at Fleishman-Hillard, she works on the consumer team and digital/social media approach for the agency. Lauren has been recognized among PR Week's "Top Tweeters", as well as one of the '30 under 30' and 'Top 100 PR Professionals' on Twitter. Her blog, LAF, was named 'Best Up and Coming' in the 2009 PR Blog Awards. She is a regular contributor for MarketingProfs Daily Fix. She is also the co-founder of #u30pro, a Twitter ongoing conversation that focuses on working professionals and bridging the generation gap. The chat started in Aug. 2009, and has grown into a robust community with a weekly chat, digest, FB/LinkedIn groups and Brazen Careerist partnership. Lauren is a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan and graduate of the University of North Texas.