When measurement can point in false directions

Just before last year’s EU referendum, BBI Brandboost posted an article on our website claiming "Remain Campaign has got its Marketing Wrong” We believed that this was largely because their focus was almost overwhelmingly on the economy.

Undoubtedly, the campaign had measured public opinion through research and had found that jobs and prosperity figure high in importance. Well of course they do, but other things matter too!

Management Today recently published an article by Adam Gale titled “Why KPIs are the enemy of good leadership”

The author boldly claims that data is the religion of 21st century business and:

“To the faithful, data is nothing short of the irrefutable truth itself. Anything, from profit and performance through to wellbeing, can be reduced to an all-revealing number or chart.

“Those who can interpret them increasingly run the place. Those who can’t, to paraphrase W. Edwards Deming, are just people with opinions.”

The value of assessment

Adam Gale draws attention to the problem of trying to measure the unmeasurable, specifically engagement, and how assessment is frequently a more valuable tool. “The distinction between measurement and assessment is an important one, because once we elevate something to data, we start basing decisions on it even when it goes against our better judgement.”

While Gale was specifically highlighting employee engagement, the similar is true when engaging with wider audiences, such as business prospects. Assessing something as complex as B2B engagement requires a qualitative approach to discover the facts behind the figures. Providing insights into the progress of engagement strategies requires the skills of assessment and judgement that Adam Gale recommends.

Triggers for engagement

Ways supporting statistical measurement by initiating in-depth engagement can include:

  • Website interaction:  the corporate website offers great opportunities to stimulate engagement through the information it provides and the channels of communication it offers to turn an initial visit into further contact.  This can include producing content that both provokes questions and offers problem-solving suggestions.
     
  • Email marketing: email is frequently used by businesses as an online sales tool but it can also build awareness and encourage feedback that may not necessarily mean an immediate sale. This effective marketing method allows for focused targeting and complete control of content. Perseverance and consistency without repetition are also key factors in a successful campaign.
     
  • Social networking: Social media channels can provide excellent tools for engagement in the B2B arena. Success is not measurable in terms of likes, smiley faces or even number of followers but in the quality of target audience interaction achieved. It is extremely important to select the correct channels and to establish the right style and approach for each, consistent with corporate branding and philosophy.

BBI Brandboost are marketing specialists with many years’ experience in producing strategic programmes for communication and engagement. Contact us on 01494 452600 to discuss how we might help your business engage more effectively with its target audiences.