A Basic Guide to Monitoring vs. Measuring
Posted by Maurice Rahmey
Wanna impress a potential employer during your job or internship interview? Show them you know the difference between these two marketing terms.
There’s a misnomer that marketers who track the comments on a Facebook page or the mentions of their Twitter profile everyday are measuring the success of their efforts — they’re not. In reality these folks aren’t measuring anything. They’re specializing in something else entirely known as monitoring.
Although they may sit by their computer and count the number of retweets or comments coming into their social networks, they aren’t really finding out if the content they created was successful. Instead, they are tracking the current sentiment of what they are doing online in real-time.
So what exactly is monitoring and why is it different than measurement? And why do so many people confuse one term to mean the same as the other?
Monitoring is essentially listening to how people are currently interacting with you. This can be through realtime site visits to your website, mentions of you in news publications or on blogs, and yes, social media activity.
But monitoring is a very surface level form of doing research for your brand. This listening technique allows you to only gain a snapshot of your client as opposed to the bigger picture.
Although it’s certainly important to look at the day-to-day success of your marketing efforts, it’s more important to let your campaigns run on their own too. People tend to forget that it takes time for a campaign to grow or gain traction. They think that if they alter X or add Y immediately because they aren’t currently working, it can improve their results.
Instead, marketers should use monitoring as a part of their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) strategy – monitoring is about listening to your customers and engaging with them. It’s an excellent way to build your brand, especially in a digital world.
If monitoring is a tool for building your brand, measuring is a tool for evaluating your brand’s success in the marketplace. It allows you to look at your success over time as opposed to instantaneously.
Unlike monitoring, measurement requires more planning from the beginning. Some of the steps you need to take include:
- Setting your goals
- Setting your metrics that your want to measure and the benchmarks that you would like to hit
- Planning out when you would like to measure your success
- Evaluating your results
- Analyzing why those results were the way they were and how they can be improved
Measurement can help you understand what to do or not do in your next campaign – it’s quantitative assessments with qualitative deductions. It’s about more than just instant reactions. It’s an excellent way to help your brand grow in the minds of the client as well as of the consumer.
A Need for Both
So is monitoring or measuring more important? The short answer: both.
Without monitoring, you aren’t listening to what your audience is saying. That can be detrimental and can show that you don’t care about people’s needs – you only pay attention to your own. Not monitoring, could mean significantly lower success rates when you measure your campaign.
Without measuring, you can’t evaluate if your campaign was a success or not. You can only assume based on brief snapshots you’ve seen during your monitoring stage. That sort of approach could make you appear as though you don’t care about the most important part about any company’s business – their bottom line.
Both students and professionals need to know that there isn’t only a difference between what monitoring and measuring are, but that they are both equally important in driving a successful campaign.
Did you know the difference between monitoring and measuring as far as what they entail? What points did I miss?
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Posted on November 17, 2011, in Digital (Social) Media, Marketing/Communications, Public Relations and tagged 101, analytics, basic guide, campaigns, evaluations, measuring, monitoring, Social Media, tutorial. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on A Basic Guide to Monitoring vs. Measuring.
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