measurement questions answered.
Email yours to Katie Delahaye Paine.
Do I Use Measurement to
Show a Link between PR and Sales?
mostly in the timing.
we have another installment in our series (begun
last month) of quick questions posed at a recent PR NEWS
Webinar. Each of these questions has something to do with the relationship
between PR and sales. (Interested readers may wish to read Sabrina Horn's
PR to Drive Sales in the Current Economy” that appeared in
a previous issue of The Measurement Standard.)
How do we overcome the impact of competing influences such
I wouldn't call advertising ‘competing’—I would
hope that your advertising is complementing and enhancing your messages.
way to isolate the impact of advertising is to manage the timing.
For example, Southwest Airlines will launch in a new city with PR
first, and measure how many tickets they sell via PR. Then, after
a month or so of PR only, they'll add in advertising and measure the
results of that.
albeit cruder, way to isolate PR’s impact is, when you are surveying
an audience, ask them how much news they get from various sources.
If your advertising is on TV and they rely mostly on print for information,
chances are that PR is impacting them more than TV.
How can you map PR to spikes in sales?
See the timing technique mentioned above. If you are tracking customer
transactions, you can compare those transactions to your PR efforts
over time. If PR is the only way you are getting messages out there
during a specific time, then sales changes are probably related to
PR changes. For example, Sears launched a new line of fashion footwear
with one story in The New York Times. There was no
other information out there about the footwear at the time, so the
jump in sales could only be attributed to the PR effort. You need
to be working closely with other communications and marketing groups
if you want to isolate PR results from other activities.
What are techniques that allow you to claim PR is a key
driver of sales?
You first have to determine that PR can influence sales. Which means
asking customers what drives their purchase decisions. Here is one
way: Suppose that, through product placement and tests, you can prove
that being positioned as being ‘best in class’ is a major
driver of purchase decisions. Then measure what share of the discussion
of "best in class" you are actually receiving. If you track
that share over time, and compare it to sales, you may well be able
to show an impact on your market share.
How is sales linked to perception and behavior?
You need to ask your customers what is driving their sales patterns.
And you need to track the sales patterns over time. Only by tracking
specific transactions and mapping them against various marketing activities
can you determine any link.
| To The Editor
2002, all rights reserved.
Reprint information is here.
133 Islington Street, Portsmouth, NH