Marketers demonstrate what metrics to use and how listening affects business

Social media and digital marketing have allowed marketers to listen to more of what customers are saying about their brands and those of their competitors. As a result, listening and engaging online with consumers are now parts of many marketers’ online strategies, and there are many ways to measure these initiatives to track success.

A June 2011 study commissioned by Dell from Forrester Consulting found that marketers from different industries look at various key performance indicators (KPIs) when measuring the success of their listening and engagement initiatives.

One of the more popular KPIs was number of impressions/reach, which was cited by 42% of respondents from the high-tech industry. Additionally, 57% of those in media, entertainment or leisure industries used the number of social network fan “likes,” and 46% of those at utility and banking services companies analyzed customer satisfaction scores.

Key Performance Indicators Used to Measure the Success of Listening and Engagement Initiatives According to US Marketers, by Industry, June 2011 (% of respondents)

Additionally, many areas within a corporation can benefit from listening to and engaging customers. Respondents said that market strategy (74%), web-interactive marketing (74%), brand management (72%), public relations (64%), product marketing (63%) and market research (53%) were all corporate functions that had created strategies based on information from listening and engagement initiatives.

No matter what metrics and KPIs marketers used to track listening and engagement initiatives, many were seeing success. Sixty-three percent of respondents told Dell and Forrester Consulting they had seen a positive effect from such initiatives on brand awareness, while 57% said the same about brand sentiment, and 50% about overall business success.

US Marketers Who Have Seen Positive Impact from Listening and Engagement Initiatives on Select Business Metrics, June 2011 (% of respondents)

Listening to customers is not a new strategy, but consumers and brands are connecting more intimately via online channels. Companies must take the right steps to track and measure these initiatives, which will lead to continued improvements in this area—and in the business overall.

SOURCE eMarketer

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