How to get leaders to look beyond vanity metrics


Gillian Proudfoot, Ragan Power Conversation

Communicators know the drill: Surface-level vanity metrics look good and feel good on a results deck, but they often don’t translate to bottom-line results.

At Ragan’s recent Employee Communications & Culture Conference in Chicago, Gillian Proudfoot, executive director of customer success at Dash Hudson, spoke with Ragan’s editor-in-chief and editorial director, Justin Joffe, about analytics and measurement for communicators, what metrics really matter, and how to translate those data points so that leaders can understand and champion them.

She noted that simply looking at followers and views isn’t enough in an omnichannel environment where social users are served content directly without ever having to follow or engage further with the brand.

In fact, sometimes followers aren’t a factor at all: Proudfoot recalled when the CEO of beauty brand Tarte Cosmetics said 96% of its TikTok Shop purchases were made by people who were not following its account.

And views, of course, don’t always signal intent — but they can form part of the analytics that inform your strategy. For example, when evaluating the success of short-form video, proprietary metrics like Dash Hudson’s “entertainment score” combines traditional metrics such as views and account engagements with retention, while also taking into consideration benchmarking for each metric.

“That’s where the bar has been raised with these newer, newish algorithms,” she said. “People want to be entertained. But the question leadership has is ‘Does entertaining content result in sales or more bottom-of-funnel?’”

Analysis of these more sophisticated measurement strategies can tell us that: Proudfoot noted that a study with Nielsen IQ showed that videos that had an entertainment score of five or above yielded 200% more online clicks.

Learn more about how savvy communicators are thinking about content and communications measurement in the video below.

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