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By Rebekah Mackay Miller, managing director UK

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The Drum Network article

This content is produced by The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

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March 24, 2016 | 4 min read

Return on Investment (ROI) is the obvious metric that most brands look for when evaluating or planning a marketing campaign. But ROI is usually a short-term metric, and it’s hard to quantify any long-term effects.

trnd's UK managing director Rebekah Mackay Miller.

When it comes to measuring the effects of Collaborative Marketing the biggest obstruction for a lot of brands is getting past the barrier that consumers are only good for consuming. Once you start looking at consumers in a different way – as co-marketers – then suddenly it’s easy to figure out what objectives and challenges they can help you solve, and to start seeing the true impacts of a meaningful consumer relationship.

Non-tangible but incremental value

There’s reason to argue that the non-tangible results of marketing are actually more important than the tangible. ROI is but a short-term and finite measurement. If you instead look at the relationships built between brands and consumers through Collaborative Marketing the effects are incremental, they don’t stop upon the end of one campaign.

A consumer who’s had a great experience with a brand that has engaged with her and listened to her thoughts and opinions, is likely to recommend that brand to a friend. In turn, that friend might then go on to talk to some other friends about that same brand and the positive experiences associated with it, because a personal recommendation is the most trusted form of advertising. This gets the ball rolling, and when that word of mouth is planned and scaled in a Collaborative Marketing campaign, it’s proven that the brand message and personal recommendations spread far beyond the selected team participating in the campaign and dealing directly with the brand.

Measuring recommendations

To measure recommendations or conversations in real life can be difficult – marketers are struggling with dark social, and if the sharing happens offline in the home of the consumers many would argue it’s near impossible. But by nurturing a community around your brand, you gain a level of trust from your consumers which means you can rely on people to give you their honest opinion and feedback. At trnd we rely on campaign participants’ reporting to measure recommendation rates, so we simply ask the consumers involved in the campaign how many people they spoke to about the brand or product in question. These figures are then verified and recalculated by external measurement companies like ifwom, validating our campaign results.

By partnering with companies like IRi we are able to prove both the incremental and long-term sales impact of a Collaborative Marketing campaign through a test and control market set up.

Rebekah Mackay Miller is UK managing director of TRND.

trnd has organised a free breakfast seminar on this subject to take place in London on the 13 April. To find out more or register to attend, click here.

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