Are you a data driven organisation?

In today’s hyper-competitive and hyper-digital business environment, businesses are increasingly relying on insights from data to make informed decisions. From consumer behaviours and market trends, to media coverage and competitor activity, data from internal and external sources can be used to identify opportunities and threats – helping businesses to retain customers, build awareness or develop new products and services.

In recent years, such data has become increasingly valuable to senior PR executives and other members of the C-suite thanks to the depth of information it provides. Instead of basing their decisions on historical research or even ‘gut-feelings’, today’s executives turn to real-time market data to validate their choices – leading to greater results and higher returns.

For PR professionals in particular, data can also be used to improve internal efficiencies and processes. While consumer insights and market data help to direct marketing and communications strategy – and improve customer relations – in-house data can help organisations to cut-costs, eliminate redundant systems and build stronger, more reliable teams.

Becoming a data-driven organisation

As competition strengthens, online data policies change and consumers become more empowered than ever before, knowing how to collect, store and analyse appropriate sets of data can be a constant and trying struggle. Especially if you’re not prepared to plan ahead or build a data-collection strategy that meets the needs of your organisation.

To be data-driven, you’ll need to draw insights from data, and turn information into measurable actions. Here are five steps to becoming a data-driven organisation:

1. Identify your goals

Consider what information you need to collect in order to achieve both your short and long-term goals. If you’ve collected data in the past, complete a comprehensive data-audit so you know what information you already have, and what information you need going forward. If you’re looking to enter a new market, or develop a new product, you’ll need data on your new target market and competitors, or if you’re looking to cut internal costs, you’ll need information about what processes are working and what processes are holding you back.

2. Build a data collection strategy

Once you’ve established your goals and the data needed to achieve them, put together a strategy to collect this data online. First put together a data management team to sort and file the information as you gather it. This could be your PR/marketing team or your IT team. Once you’ve determined who will control the data, decide whether you’ll need to use software like Meltwater to collect it in real time. Online data tools can also filter and segment information for you – making it easier to analyse later on.

3. Collect your data

If you decide to use a media monitoring or data analysis tool like Meltwater or Google Analytics you’ll be able to collect data quickly, efficiently and within your organisation’s budget. You will also be able to collect data like consumer demographics and psychographics via social media and other channels. If you have access to a database of consumer emails, why not distribute tailored surveys or electronic direct mail questionnaires to gather specific details, opinions and consumer insights?

4. Analyse your data

Once you’ve got the data, you’ll need to analyse it in order to compile a list of insights. Ask yourself what your data actually means and consider how it might help you attract customers or drive sales. Use the following analytical techniques to explore your data even further:

  • Predictive Analysis: uses existing data like statistics to predict future outcomes.
  • Retrospective Analysis: looks back at old data to determine the reason for a particular outcome.
  • Benchmarking: compares your organisations current performance to prior achievements or competitors.
  • Share of Voice: measures your organisations media coverage in relation to your nearest competitors.
  • Standard KPIs: Key Performance Indicators evaluate the success of a campaign or other business objective and help to determine whether you’ve met your desired goal.

5. List your insights

Once you’ve analysed your data for insights, collate the information and tie it back to your original goals. You can then use these insights to create a successful campaign, or change internal systems to increase efficiency. Your insights can also be supplied to the C-suite, or used to back-up your choices next time you present campaign results to senior management.

 

About the author:

Mimrah Mahmood is the Asia-Pacific Regional Director of Media Solutions at Meltwater, where he helps numerous organisations break down media data (social, print and other), to create meaningful insights; build progressive and scientific frameworks to track efforts in PR and marketing; build road-maps to improve communications plans; and identify opportunities and threats that arise from competitors. As a leader within a multi-award winning company, Mimrah is a proud advocate of better measurement practices in PR, Brand and Strategic Communications. You can connect with Mimrah on LinkedIn

Want to find out how Meltwater can help deliver brand insights and competitive intelligence for your company? Click below!

PR today, marketing tomorrow: Why PR professionals need a marketer’s skill set to succeed

Since the advent of social media, professional communicators have had to collaborate in order to engage audiences, promote products and ultimately, make a profit for their enterprise.

Today, integrated marketing communications is the go-to PR practice for large enterprises operating in a global and often frenzied market, and can make all the difference to campaign success.

What is IMC and why is it important?

Integrated Marketing Communications – commonly referred to as IMC – is a cooperative communications framework merging PR, marketing, and other sales strategies in order to optimise and improve a brand’s overall message.

Not only is it beneficial to consumer engagement and client relations, but it also ensures branded messages remain consistent across multiple platforms – including advertising, print media, social media and internal communications like newsletters and other in-house publications.

Before PR professionals can implement a successful IMC strategy, however, they need to master some of the key skills marketers use every day – including research and data analysis, competitor analysis, content marketing as well as social media marketing.

With a marketer’s skillset and an appreciation for the work their marketing counterparts do every day, PR professionals will be able to implement new and integrated strategies in order to boost the profitability of their brand or enterprise.

Research and data analysis

Research and data analysis skills enable you to explore different markets, examine audiences, and identify industry or consumer trends before your campaign or product goes to market. For marketing professionals, research is crucial because it lays the foundations for large claims.

To keep up with your marketing team, you’ll need to learn how to dig deep into data and other resources in order to find insights relevant to your brand. While most research starts with a list of links from a search engine, don’t be afraid to delve further into online libraries as well as Government databases and reports. There’s a sea of information online, and having the ability to find relevant data will pay huge dividends later on.

Competitor Analysis

The ability to monitor, measure and analyse competitor activity are other key marketing skills you’ll want to develop for a successful campaign.

As a PR professional, you should already know your competitor’s media strengths and share-of-voice. However, you’ll also want to track your competitor’s marketing and advertising activity to know as much about their communications strategy as possible.

To do this, you’ll need to examine their previous campaigns and other promotional activity – including on and offline ads, eDMs as well as industry events. In time, you’ll begin to notice trends and behaviours, which you can then use to your advantage.

Content Marketing

The ability to create a variety of content suitable for a range of audiences is something PR professionals do every day. In a marketing context, this is referred to as content marketing or content creation, and not only includes copy, but also visuals, graphics and videography.

To extend your content creation skills – and be on par with your marketing counterparts – you’ll need to master the craft of photography, videography and graphic design, or at the very least understand how these elements work alongside copy to deliver a message.

Social Media Marketing

Today, the ability to create content, measure campaigns and gather insights on social media is crucial to brand success. Once you’ve mastered the skills associated with content marketing, you’ll need to learn how to effectively deliver this content via social media, and then monitor your activity to report your findings to the C-suite.

Take some time to learn each social platform’s algorithm and find out how to make the most of organic – or unsponsored – content. You can also use monitoring software like Meltwater to track online conversations, industry trends and competitor activity in real-time – building insights into how your message is being received and how you stack up against your competitors.

With these skills, and an understanding of how your marketing team operates, you’ll be able to implement an integrated communications framework within your organisation and build successful campaigns that not only engage consumers, but drive results.

About the author:

Mimrah Mahmood is the Asia-Pacific Regional Director of Media Solutions at Meltwater, where he helps numerous organisations break down media data (social, print and other), to create meaningful insights; build progressive and scientific frameworks to track efforts in PR and marketing; build road-maps to improve communications plans; and identify opportunities and threats that arise from competitors. As a leader within a multi-award winning company, Mimrah is a proud advocate of better measurement practices in PR, Brand and Strategic Communications. You can connect with Mimrah on LinkedIn

Want to find out how Meltwater can help deliver brand insights and competitive intelligence for your company? Click below!

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