How to Measure Success Today

Becky McKinnell, President, iBec Creative

Nancy Marshall, host of The PR Maven® Podcast, is a big believer in return on investment (ROI). Her PR agency would not be as successful if her clients didn’t see a clear ROI from their relationship with Marshall Communications. In her podcast episode with Becky McKinnell, founder of iBec Creative in Portland, Maine, Nancy discussed with Becky how she measured her own success.

Becky was recognized as one of Businessweek’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs 25 and Under, was named U.S. Small Business Administration Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and received the Stevie Women in Business Award, among numerous industry recognitions for her company’s work. It’s clear she is achieving her goals.

Yet, ROI means different things to different people and industries.

Today, with all the ways to engage with people and promote your company — from numerous social media platforms, networking events, pitches and press releases — it can be difficult to know what is important to measure in order to gauge whether your business is on track or doing well.

In the podcast, Nancy asked Becky what she thinks is important to measure. “I focus on quality over quantity,” Becky said. She likes to measure her success through engagement and believes that it is often more important to look for the quality of engagement rather than the amount. You can host an event and have hundreds of people attend, but the quantity doesn’t necessarily equal value. As an example, Becky mentioned an Instagram story workshop her company hosted this past summer. There were 25 participants — not a huge group — but they created 60-100 quality product Instagram stories and story ads during the workshop. If your business creates 25 very happy customers, that is high-quality engagement.

Focusing on quality over quantity regarding measurement holds true for other efforts, as well — not just engagement. Marketing and public relations campaigns benefit from this approach, too. You can write a pitch letter and mail it to every journalist who has ever covered your industry and hope it works, or you can spend some time to research journalists who have written pieces in your industry that you admire and who appreciate stories like the one you want to share. You can then tailor your pitch specifically to that individual and make it personal. By creating one thing of quality, you are far more likely to get a result than from mass emailing dozens of journalists with the same pitch.

For social media measurement, quality is important, as well. If you learn to create posts on Facebook or Instagram that earn you more than just likes, you have found a way to truly connect with your audience. If your fans post comments, it means the post captured their imagination, inspired them or created an emotional response. It shows they are invested in your business and an invested fan is one who promotes your business for you.

Sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees — but if you re-focus your measurement of ROI on quality over quantity, you will be certain that you’re evaluating what truly matters to your business — the creation of excellence.


The PR Maven® Podcast is presented by Marshall Communications, creator of The Marshall Plan® strategic process. The Marshall Plan is fully customized document using our 65 proprietary steps and leads to playbook for your success. If you think your business or organization would be a candidate for a Marshall Plan, you can take our Marshall Plan quiz to find out. Visit Marshallpr.com/quiz.

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