a graphHad a very enjoyable and informative day yesterday at the Arts Marketing Association seminar on “Tracking Success: Measuring the impact of press and pr” given by Katie Moffat. A huge amount was covered, but one small piece rang a particular bell for me.

A while back there was a big project by AMEC about measuring the impact of PR and one of the the things they said was “Transparency and replicability are paramount to sound management”. We often we spend time discussing the transparency aspect, but for me it is the replicability that is just so important. Maybe it’s my background in direct marketing, maybe the programmer in me.

How often do we analyse an activity so we can report on it to our clients and those “upstairs”? Didn’t we do well. But analysis just to pat ourselves on the back, or otherwise, is a waste of effort. The reason we need to analyse is to learn and that is why replicability is important, because if we do the same thing again and the outcome is different then we are obviously missing a critical factor and it is something that we should be searching for.

The action – analysis – action cycle should continually improve our performance over time as we learn what factors have the greatest impact on our results. If they don’t then you should be questioning your methods of evaluation.

You probably already have a website. You might quite like your website. It looks nice and you seem to get plenty of visitors. So it’s doing its job, right?

When you first had your website built did you have a clear objective, did you know what you wanted to achieve once the website was up and running? Maybe you wanted more customers to buy tickets online? Maybe you wanted more membership sign ups? Maybe you didn’t even think about it.

And if you didn’t think about it you wouldn’t be alone. Lots of organisations set up their website without any clear idea of why they are doing it and it ends up costing them money rather than doing what it should be doing, which is making them money.

Stop and think about your website.

  • What does it do for your organisation?
  • Does it make your organisation more profitable?
  • How are you measuring the success of your website?
  • Is your website vital to how profitable your organisation is?
  • Is your website effective?
  • Does it work for your target market?

Can you answer each of these questions? You should be able to and it should be easy to see whether your website is as effective as it should be. If you can’t answer these questions or it becomes clear that your website isn’t working as hard as it should then it’s time to change the status quo.

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