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.


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!


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.).


Take the results of steps 1 & 2 to learn, adjust and re-evaluate the plan. The end goal is to make smarter decisions on how to invest in communications.

A big thanks to Ross Toohey and 2E Creative!

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