Measurement Works

Strategic Planning - Focus Groups
Surveys - Training - Evaluation

April, 2013
In This Issue
Customer Communication
Social ROI for Non-profits
Quick Links
 Sinickas by Salvo
Based on the results of our newsletter survey completed by more than 221 subscribers last month, we've simplified the design of the newsletter and reduced the number and length of articles. Looking at the survey report may give you ideas on how to measure the impact of your own newsletter. 

We also started our own Measurement Works discussion forum on LinkedIn. Please join in! Our first question is on how you report your progress to leadership.

Hope to see you during my travels in the next few months to Europe and Brazil
                                                          Angela Sinickas  
How to track outcomes from communication
Tip: 3 questions to ask


Probing for potential outcomes during our first discussion with management clients can completely change our communication approach. Many of the key messages or preferred channels our clients initially request are quickly seen to be irrelevant, or even wrong. While one effective way to track the correlation of our work with business outcomes is by using surveys, many other techniques are easy and inexpensive to incorporate into our work.


First, it helps to build action steps into communication, whether that's a call to action at the end of an executive's webcast or Town Hall, or if it's a URL, phone number or address to use for requesting more information or taking the first step toward the ultimate desired behavior change.


A second way is to track the timing of behavior changes or other outcomes against the dates you launch different stages of your communication campaign. 


A third approach is to do purposeful pilot and control groups. Communication can take credit for any positive difference between the results in the pilot and control groups because all the other multiple factors that might have affected the outcome would, on average, have been the same at all the locations.


You can even do a retrospective analysis of "accidental" pilots you may have experienced, such as when your PR work is not picked up as stories in all markets. Even though you had intended the campaign to be launched everywhere, actual experience created pilot and control groups unintentionally. The results are just waiting for you to harvest them.  


Read on for examples of outcomes and how to construct pilot/control groups.


Case study: Comparing sales reps' views  
of communications with those of customers 


For one financial services company headquartered in Europe, we conducted a customer communication survey in five languages through one-on-one interviews with senior-executive customers at companies around the world who have power over purchasing decisions. Since every signed contract represents millions of dollars, the potential ROI of communications that might influence these executives' decisions was great.


Comparison of customers' vs. sales reps' perceptions of communication

The customer survey looked at the value of a number of customer communications on various stages of the sales process, from requesting a sales consultation to signing a contract. The numbers on the vertical axis in the graphic at right show the averaged percentages of the different types of influence identified by customers who had experienced each type of communication. At the same time, my client wanted to better understand how the sales reps perceived these customer communications and how -- or if -- they used them to support their customer meetings. The questions we asked sales reps about the probable influence of each channel were nearly identical with the "influence" questions asked of customers. Sales reps' averaged percentages appear on the horizontal axis in the graphic above.


The diagonal line in the diagram shows where a communication channel would be charted if customers and sales reps valued that channel to the same extent. The real opportunity for my client was to make changes related to channels that were far off the diagonal, where sales reps under-estimated some channels' value to customers (circled in red above). Based on these findings, senior leaders approved a number of changes in how communications were distributed and used with clients. 


Read more about the survey and the changes management made based on the research.


Social ROI for non-profits and government
Canadian consultant Melanie Simons wrote a useful blog post about measuring "social return on investment" for non-profits based on an approach developed by the New Economics Foundation. In my comment on her post, I suggest a way to take her example a step further to be able to calculate a financially based value that could be used by her fictional non-profit. The ROI calculation could even enhance their ability to find additional grant funding.
Workshops around the world
In the next few months, I'll be conducting training on strategic planning, ROI, electronic channel measurement, and becoming a strategic partner instead of an order-taker. (See full speaking schedule.) I'll also be consulting for clients elsewhere in Europe the first two weeks in June and in Brazil the first week of July with time available in between.
  • April 6, Hollywood, FL, infusing strategy into communication (AAMC)
  • April 30, webinar, what you need to know about measurement (PRSA)
  • May 10, Stamford, CT, half-day on measuring communication and ROI (IABC/Westfair)
  • May 20, Chicago, measuring electronic communication (ALI: $400 discount when you mention my name on your registration form)
  • June 18-19, Oslo, internal communications course (NCA)
  • June 27-29, Sao Paulo, two-day course on measurement (Syracuse University)  
  • Sept. 30 or Oct. 1, Biloxi, MS, communication measurement (SPRF)  
We can also conduct customized workshops for your organization based on concepts in our one- and two-day programs, or provide you with pre-recorded audios of one-hour segments of these workshops:

Measurement Manual
A practical manual on measurement
"A definitive hands-on resource... from advice on conducting focus groups, to measuring communication flow, to survey question construction, it's all here."

                                 --IABC Communication World


Now in its 3rd edition, this practical guide to communication measurement is filled with samples

of questions and reports, as well as dozens of stories

about how measurements have been used by others.   


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