This post first appeared in Anthony Bullick’s Daily Post column.

As businesses look ahead to 2022 and start to plan out marketing and PR activity, the one question at the top of the list should be: how will I know whether it’s been successful?

November marks measurement month, an initiative run by AMEC, the Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication.

And at the heart of its principles is a focus on sanity metrics and not vanity, for example focus on people taking action on your website as opposed to aiming to merely increase the number of visitors.

Simply put: link your PR and marketing communications to your overall business objectives.

A typical key performance indicator (KPI) on social media is growing the number of followers or improving your engagement rate, yet if we delve deeper into the analytics, we uncover valuable data that can make our efforts more efficient and effective.

For example, you may see that you maintained your normal reach on Twitter in a month where you published half the amount of posts your normally do. Review the updates to see whether the intel helps you post less and achieve the same outputs.

With regards to outcomes, did your social media fans contribute to your goals, such as visiting a certain section of the website or signing up to an event?

If you’re carrying out search engine optimisation (SEO), then digital PR is likely front and centre of your activity. As well as monitoring for outputs such as securing links from trusted websites, review for an increase in your domain authority and the subsequent growth in search visibility to track success.

Advertising value equivalent (AVE), which aims to put a financial figure on what a piece of editorial coverage would equate to, has long been tossed to the side by the industry as a genuine and worthwhile measurement tool.

In its place, we want to go further with the data at our finger tips to truly understand the impact of our work.

Did people take action? Has their opinion changed? What is the sentiment of all coverage? What is our share of voice?

On email marketing, go beyond number of clicks to look at who is clicking as well as what those people do once they land on your site.

In addition, conduct market research before and after activity to understand where your brand was positioned prior to the campaign, and where it is now after your integrated marketing and communications work.