Measuring Up | Event Recap

Businesses that build their sales through public outreach (advertising, PR, direct mail, digital, trade events) have long sought to quantify the effectiveness of their expenditures.For decades, the marketers used a “swim lane measurement” philosophy whereby each channel’s efforts were measured in isolation. This simplistic view of marketing resulted in each channel’s results usually being vastly over and under represented. The IABC St. Louis guest speaker for November, Ross Toohey, shared his view that marketers’ goal should be to measure the synergy of all outreach efforts and not the individual program effects. Ross is CEO and President of 2E Creative, a St. Louis agency that works with clients to answer the What, How and Why of their clients. He shared with the St. Louis gathering his three-step process to leverage the “Big Data” that abounds in every organization into meaningful communications plan: Centralize, Analyze, Optimize. Centralize Collect and quantify the data that’s available with a focus on the signals vs. the noise. Look at factors that affect your results — prior marketing plans, broad market conditions, and competitive actions. How did customers respond and how did your organization respond? The answers are somewhere in that data! Analyze Here’s where Ross suggests you do some “war-gaming.” Test your theories on customer behavior, tweak the strategy and tactics, then test again. Part of this process includes assigning a measure of elasticity to the different business drivers. That means determining what size of an effect does one driver (i.e., TV ads) have on another metric (internet search, clicking an ad, etc.). Optimize Take the results of steps 1 & 2 to learn, adjust...

Creating Space in Communications | Event Recap

Sigma-Aldrich chief of staff Kevin Krosley suggests that effective communications is based on the ability to “create space” in the minds of the audience. He offered techniques to create space in 3 different environments. Public Speaking Brainstorming One-on-one Conversing Public Speaking In a speaker-audience setting, Krosley suggests that the speaker first engage the audience individually to “create a space” where they want to hear, see, absorb the presentation. This can be done by offering a riddle, the answer to which should be revealed in the course of the presentation. Krosley also suggests presenting a series of questions that the audience can participate in answering. The best use of this technique involves questions where the answers are not what the audience expects, more so even when the audience gets the answer wrong at first. Krosley referenced an effective TED Talk by Prof. Hans Rosling as an example. Brainstorming Here Krosley suggests doing a private collection before public sharing. Challenging the group to privately collect thoughts on a topic and write them down. Then invite folks to offer suggestions to the discussion. This, Krosley maintains, helps ward off the opportunity for “groupthink” and hyper-focusing the group discussion on the first topic offered. People are better prepared and the brainstorm is more fruitful and varied. One-on-one Conversing Krosley suggests that in one-on-one conversations, try to “break the pattern” that the partner expects. He offered four questions that can spur dialogue in four different “conversation spaces:” Are you having fun? To create an emotional space. Are you learning something? To create an intellectual space. Are you making a difference? To create a productivity space....

Does Social Media Really Work? 5 Take-Aways from our June Luncheon

IABC St. Louis’ June luncheon drew professionals from a wide variety of industries and experience levels. One thing everyone had in common was the desire to understand whether Social Media really can make a difference. We’ve been inundated with articles lately proclaiming that social is broken. With titles like “There is no ROI” and “One in five companies say they’re losing money in social,” it’s no wonder people are starting to question its true merit. But as our guest speaker, Brian Cross, explained, it’s understandable. Brian is managing partner and co-founder of Elasticity, a digital communications firm here in St. Louis. He’s also Executive Director and co-founder of Rally St. Louis. It goes without saying that we were all tuned in for what he had to say about social media. The truth is there are issues with social: The Community Manager role has changed, there have been reach and engagement issues, ROI is hard to define, and it’s difficult to tie social directly to sales, among other things.  Brian had a great deal of info to share with us in just an hour’s time, so here are the top 5 take aways from our June luncheon: 1. The sales funnel is no longer linear, because the purchase process is no longer a linear one! Rather than an upside down triangle (awareness – familiarity – consideration – purchase – loyalty), social media has changed the look of the funnel. The new sales funnel is filled with twists and turns. The two most important pieces being purchase consideration (word of mouth, peer comments/recommendations and online social behavior) and post-purchase experience (complaint or delight,...

IABC Discount on Ragan Communications Seminar in St. Louis

Ragan Communications’ presents the Social Media for Nonprofits Summit – a summit that will give you strategies to make social media an integrated part of your communications with advocates, members, media and other stakeholders. Join us at this even on September 9-10 at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. Some takeaways of this event include how to: create a uniform brand across social media channels, prepare for and manage an online crisis, measure the value of your social media initiatives and use social media for nonprofit fundraising. For a limited time, IABC St. Louis members receive a $150 discount – learn more...

An Evening of Wine and Interesting Ideas

Join IABC St. Louis for an evening of networking, fine wine and dialogue on the power of nonverbal communications. For more than a decade, TED Conferences, LLC has been fostering the power of “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Together with other St. Louis communicators, explore insights from a TED Talks video presentation by social psychologist Amy Cuddy, Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. In the presentation, Amy discusses her latest research on the impact of body language to our hormone levels, feelings and behavior. She illustrates how “power posing” – even when we don’t feel confident – can in fact have a dramatic impact on our chances for success! Have you been looking forward to reconnecting with your fellow business communicators? Then join us for what will be an intellectually stimulating evening with IABC St. Louis! When: Thursday, June 20, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Where: Sasha’s on Shaw, 4069 Shaw Ave.  St Louis, MO 63110 Meeting Fees: $30 – members $40 – nonmembers $20 – students RSVP Here! About the Presentation Amy Cuddy is a Harvard Business School professor who studies how we perceive and are influenced by other people and vice versa. Her fascinating work on how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect people from the classroom to the boardroom has won praise worldwide. Amy’s TED Talk on power posing, posted in October 2012, has been streamed over 5 million times and is already one of the all-time most viewed talks on TED.com. Amy’s work has been featured on the Today Show, CNN, MSNBC and in Fast Company, Harvard Magazine, Wired, The New York Times, Financial...

Discovery Premium Content Open to All Members

Reminder: Discovery premium content open to all members As of January 1, premium Discovery content is available to IABC members for no additional fee. (Previously, subscriptions to premium Discovery were $99 per year.) All members will automatically have access once they log in with their member ID and password. What’s the best Discovery topic you’ve learned...