Marketing Studies Spotlight of the Week 11-17-17

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Measuring the Impact of Communications Programs

A new study by Cision, inmeasurement graphic partnership with PRWeek, examines the biggest challenges facing communications professionals today. What it discovered is that there’s a widespread inability to measure the impact of communications programs and PR coverage on business objectives.

Key survey results include:

Inability to measure impact effectively named top challenge:

  • 75% of respondents believe aligning metrics to the bottom line impact is among the biggest challenges when measuring communications
  • 69% of respondents don’t feel that they have enough data and analytics to properly attribute how their earned media programs impact the bottom line
  • 71% of respondents don’t feel they are fully capitalizing on all the benefits of technology and data

Content deemed one of the most important PR activities, but its true impact remains unknown:

  • 66% of respondents placed content creation among the three most important comms activities
  • 86% of respondents believe sustained, ongoing content programs drive better results than episodic or one-off campaigns
  • 58% of respondents don’t know what people actually do after they consume the brand’s content
  • 72% of respondents see room for improvement in leveraging tools to better understand the demographic, sociographic and psychographic profiles of those who view their content


Small Businesses in the US Are Optimistic, But Concerned

Capital One’s Small Business Confidence Score tracking overall small business sentiment on the economy, hiring plans, future financial positions and recent sales, has reached its highest point since 2012.

  • 45% of respondents said taxes are a top concern affecting their business. As federal lawmakers promise to push through a major overhaul of the tax code, the uncertainty about how it will play out is likely to remain a concern well into 2018 as business owners wait to see if their tax rates will decrease, increase or remain about the same.
  • 42% of respondents listed cash flow as a top challenge, an increase of 11% from this time last year. The jump in respondents could be an indication that despite having a strong bottom line, there is insecurity on how to keep it strong.
  • 32% said keeping up with technology was a top challenge. This is an increase of seven points in the past year. As new technologies develop, cybersecurity threats continue and more business is conducted online, it can be difficult for small businesses to feel like they’re staying on top of technology. This could be a reason why many small businesses stay away from even basic technology—more than a third (36%) don’t have a website and nearly half (48%) do not use social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) to grow their business.
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