How to Measure What Matters: Focusing on impact in a time of nonstop distractions

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Plus Media Solutions
Purpose-driven Marketing
November 22, 2023 5:05:10 PM EST

For marketers of purpose-driven products, brands, events and films, telling nuanced impact stories and measuring concrete outcomes — beyond likes and shares — can be a challenge. In this article, +Media CEO Julie Davitz shares why developing an impact strategy is so critical for those hoping to better our world — and how Plus Media Solutions is designed to help. 

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While supporting values-aligned companies and brands is a top consumer priority, today we are also awash in an overwhelming daily influx of information. To stand out and connect with consumers and audiences, purpose-driven brands, events and content producers need innovative ways to tell their story and align their efforts with concrete outcomes. 

“Today’s consumer has a short attention span yet demands engagement,” says +Media CEO and founder Julie Davitz. “They want to be entertained and informed, and they care about impact. Research shows 63% of consumers will choose a sustainable brand over a competitor. This means we need to create the opportunity for them to get the info they want and take action, without any friction, at the very moment of interest.”

Read on for Julie’s advice — based on decades of experience in the impact industry — on creating meaningful campaigns with measurable outcomes, and why doing so is critical for any organization striving to better our world while achieving greater financial success.   

+Media: How do you help clients determine the right metrics for impact-based campaigns? What is your strategy for aligning actions to overall impact? 

Julie Davitz: We start by identifying the client’s goals for the brand, event or film. If the client doesn’t already have goals in mind, we begin with listening and exploring. Once we establish a set of goals for the campaign, we prioritize them, identify what can be measured, and translate those KPIs into learn/act opportunities for the consumer or audience. 

For example, let’s say a client wants to know what sustainability issues are most important to their customers. We would curate a menu that highlights various facts about the product’s impact and the demographic of the consumer — let’s say someone can click to watch a video of the factory where the product is made; to download the product’s ingredient safety/quality info; to read about the company’s overall sustainability efforts; to volunteer with a related effort where they live; or to see where 1% of the product’s proceeds are donated. Now we have translated the goal of “learning what sustainability issues are important” into the language of learn/act opportunities in order to gather the data the company needs.

+M: Why is it so important to have clearly defined goals when designing a marketing strategy — whether for a brand, an event, or a film? 

JD: For me, it’s like grocery shopping. I hate grocery shopping. In order to be efficient and make the best choices for my budget and lifestyle, I make a list and stick to it.  

It’s similar for marketers. They’ve got a defined budget. They can’t just throw it around and hope for the best. They must identify goals and truly understand what outcomes they’re looking to achieve — and what actions from the consumer or audience indicate they’re achieving those outcomes. 

In this way, brands, events and content producers are all similar. They’ve invested so much time, energy and resources into creating a great product or an amazing film or an incredible event — they want a concrete way to measure the impact. +Media plugs into that ecosystem to provide a clear picture of what resonates, what inspires, what actions are being taken. This information is important to every stakeholder: the audience, investors, sponsors, producers, and marketers.

+M: What can marketers do to earn their customers’ attention in a time of nonstop distractions? What do customers want from brands, events and content producers around impact? 

JD: Today’s consumer has a short attention span yet demands engagement. They want to be entertained and informed, and they care about impact. Research shows 63% of consumers will choose a sustainable brand over a competitor. This means we need to create the opportunity for them to get the info they want and take action, without any friction, at the very moment of interest.  

This is where +Media comes in. At the exact moment of interest — whether that’s point-of-sale, while at an event session, or while watching a film — we are there with educational information, videos, product details, messages around the purpose of the campaign, etc. All of that is a customer service provided to help the person learn more and take values-aligned actions. From there, we measure consumer engagement, which demonstrates effectiveness.

+M: What challenges do you see marketers face in measuring impact? How does +Media help with these challenges? 

JD: Most marketers are not impact specialists and they shouldn’t be. So the first challenge is that they don’t have expertise in that area. It is also incredibly difficult to tell a highly nuanced, complicated message — and that’s often what impact stories are. How do I connect the dots to tell a consumer, very quickly and in an entertaining way, that by buying this body wash, they are supporting less plastic in the Atlantic Ocean because the product’s manufacturing system supports a river clean-up program that keeps trash from ending up downriver and pouring into the ocean? Some brands make it work — but many fall short. 

Because of this, even great marketers representing fantastic brands can end up with messaging that feels off the mark and sounds like greenwashing. Good-looking guy on beach with turtle = car? Really? How does that work?

+Media aligns the company/product with authentic and contextual impact, supports meaningful messaging, and measures the concrete reaction and behavior of the consumer, creating a live feedback loop for marketers.

+M: How can clear impact measurement help brands/events/films strengthen their relationships with their customers and other stakeholders? How can analytics data help increase their positive impact in the world? 

JD: Well, here’s my first question: Why have we been measuring impact by impressions, likes, and shares? Do these metrics really move the needle on our global challenges? And surveys, while interesting, are notoriously unreliable.

Here is what matters: behavior. +Media measures behavior. That helps brands know what their consumers want, events know if their programming is effective, films know that their message inspired action.

We can’t expect the majority of individuals to take on researching every company, product and issue. We’re all overwhelmed with information and requests for our time. +Media makes it EASY for brands to move consumers to sustainable products, for content producers to move audiences to take action, and for events to extend their impact far beyond the day of the conference.