If you’re not testing, you’re not doing it right
Testing performance is a vital part of adding value to the content your brand is publishing and where, and how that will directly correlate with its success. When marketers are working across paid, owned, and earned media, they will face challenges in terms of where to spend budget and what social channel will allow the brand to gain momentum in reach and engagement.
When the Sysomos Summit kicked off with talks around the evolution of marketing, the power of fans, and marketing in the moment, the crowd of attendees were eager to hear a session on Mastering Data-Driven Marketing Across Paid, Earned and Owned. Moderated by Sysomos’ Chief Strategy Officer David Berkowitz, the paneled session included fascinating insights from Lauren Harper (Pandora Music), Brittany McKone (Golin) and Matt Blasco (Havas). They helped break down the challenges that many face in the day-to-day decision-making of digital and social media marketing.
Is organic dead?
Brittany McKone leads a team of analysts out of the Golin Dallas office. When asked her opinion on whether or not organic is dead, she answered, “It is dying, but a slow death. Companies look to their agencies to create a ‘viral moment’ for them and create a piece or event that will go viral.”
Agencies are often being asked to create these moments for their clients and that’s not how it typically works.
She expanded on this point: “Organic opportunities arise when you choose personas for your brand and not rely on just analyzing who your current fan base is. Maybe your goals align differently from what your fan base currently is. If you are lucky, it is already where you want it to be- but it often isn’t.”
What do you use to determine success? Are you spending enough? Or too much?
Another captivating insight came from Lauren Harper of Pandora Music. With previous experience at Oracle, she currently heads up the content and social marketing team in charge of creating and executing content and social campaigns and strategies for Pandora’s B2B offering.
In response to spend and seeing success, Lauren mentioned that they “start from a campaign level, analyze quarter by quarter and find out what campaigns they are going to run for the year.” That is followed by asking yourself “What are your goals?” then breaking it down by channel.
For campaigns the major questions are:
What are you trying to achieve? How does social fit in? Why are we there? Who are we trying to talk to? Where does social help enhance the program, and get in front of eyes?
How do you breakout social from everything else?
Matt Blasco has worked at Havas for 8 years and specializes in brands’ digital footprints and how that impacts engagement planning. A bit of advice from him on social and breaking it away from other aspects includes, “Mobile, social, digital? Label and define them so you know what you are monitoring and analyzing.”
He followed up by adding, it’s important to know if your brand is seasonal in terms of popularity, in order to understand the full scope.
Channel Selection: Where do you begin and where do you draw the line?
This was another topic defined by Berkowitz, and Brittany again offered some strategy around channel selection. “Work with clients to map out a social ecosystem. Then help brands identify personas.” She finds this to be a great starting point when working with clients and helping them get the most out of their spend. Here again, testing is vital.
“It starts outside social data, looking at your current audience doesn’t always help. Look more at what you want your audience to be. Map that to existing social channels that are popular with those personas.”
Personas play an integral part in the testing of what will work and be successful in social. Once they are defined, the tests will be able to give more business value and you can properly allocate budget. “You can even potentially use paid to attract the right people in the right moment.”
Best practices shared…
To conclude the presentation, the panelists left the audience with one best practice each:
Lauren urged for all to “have a strategy, know what you are doing and don’t be afraid to include a channel. Do the research and have goals.”
In addition, Brittany left us with “finding a way to have analytics bring it all together. Use it to benefit and boost the next phases of your campaign.”
Matt concluded with “Start with the question you want to answer. Set a hypothesis and do the testing and tell the clients why certain things will work and others won’t. You will have more value to share with them and more return on your marketing efforts.”