You’ve decided to centralize your comms measurement… and why not?
It looks good on paper and ticks all the boxes:
- Consistent metrics and KPIs for management
- Less work for regions
- Saves a lot of money
It’s also a salesperson’s dream: one big deal, one signature and lots of regions in one fell swoop.
But what the salesperson won’t tell you is that it can be quite tricky to get a global measurement program right. And when you have a global measurement program that doesn’t work, it quickly becomes the bane of your existence.
So how do you ensure that you’re making a smart and informed change?
Here are the three key things you must consider when setting up a global measurement program:
The right combination of both local and global monitoring providers can help you save money and more accurately prove your efforts
The biggest pitfall of any measurement program is content: you have to get the content right. Miss one article from a German local paper that a team worked hard to achieve and the credibility of your program is questioned forevermore.
But here’s the industry’s dirty secret: not one provider can get you everything. Print content is copyrighted with different laws and regulations in every region. Online content is increasingly paywalled. So even global providers like CARMA need to work with some third party monitoring providers to get niche and regional media from all corners of the globe.
Chances are your regions are already doing their own monitoring. They will have invested a lot of time and energy to ensure they’re picking up all of this niche and regional coverage they’ve worked so hard to achieve. Leverage this information to build a more efficient global monitoring strategy.
Your measurement provider should be able to assess what needs to come from these third party providers and what can reliably come from a centralized monitoring contract. There will be an ideal combination that saves you money and keeps your regions happy.
Reports are not enough – make sure that you have access to all of your data
Global scorecards on PowerPoint cannot possibly provide enough data to satisfy every level of a global communications team. Every region should be able to access their own data to work smarter, and any decent measurement program should allow you to analyse your results at any level.
It’s easy for measurement providers to hide behind pretty PowerPoint reports or fancy algorithms, but don’t underestimate the value of having access to your data. That data, if accurate and shared dynamically online, will be so valuable to your regional teams and to you. It will allow your teams to drill down into their results and see what worked on a local level. Then, make sure they have the ability to customize their results. Your provider should have the capacity to regularly engage with your regions and provide local customization when required. In turn, this will make it easier for you to maintain support and cooperation.
KPIs should be fair and transparent across regions
While your centralized measurement program should indeed have a single set of KPIs, those KPIs should reflect the different media environments and regions in which your comms teams are operating and encourage the right behaviors.
Does your program encompass China and Finland? Germany and Saudi Arabia? Then your KPIs need to be fair. Counting metrics like reach (also known as ‘the new AVE’skew regional performance measurement. Centralized reporting needs to respect regional differences, both in scale and in media environment. There are many ways to do this (GRPs, percentage KPIs, flexible media lists) and your measurement provider should have reams of examples and recommendations on how to fairly measure regions against common KPIs.
Counting metrics also reward the wrong behaviors. Simply counting the number of ‘potential eyes’ on your content encourages your teams to ignore the communications objectives you’ve painstakingly crafted around target audiences and target media.
Do not assume that the salesperson or account team pitching to you have experience in setting up successful global measurement programmes. There are a lot of unhappy regional teams out there.
Ask questions like:
What monitoring strategy do you recommend?
Hint: “We can do everything! Easy peasy!” is not the best answer.
What access will of my regions have?
Hint: listen for “Dynamic” and “Online” and “Customizable”
What metrics would you recommend for measuring regional successes?
Hint: Look for examples of happy regional teams and confident comms leadership.
And above all…
DON’T underestimate the effort involved in making this change, the time it will take, or the pain caused by getting it wrong.
DO make sure you are trusting a measurement provider with demonstrated experience.
How do you pick the right provider? They should have their own long list of pitfalls to avoid, a great track record and detailed implementation and communication plans for keeping your regions engaged throughout the measurement journey.
When you get it right, everybody wins.
Having spent over a decade in the media industry, Alison has become a trusted consultant to global brands, designing multi-market measurement programs for communications teams across traditional, digital and social media. At Carma, she manages a team of experienced consultants in the UK and USA, ensuring the delivery of measurement programs which are flexible, actionable, and industry-leading. On the weekends, Alison keeps busy running after her toddler, experimenting in the kitchen, exploring London on her bike and planning her post-lockdown travels.