With consumers expecting, and even demanding, increased engagement from leading brands, the challenge to achieve and show success has intensified. It can be an overwhelming task to track investments across media and marketing channels to identify the true value, consumer sentiment, and ROI of a campaign. While most marketers understand the value of post-campaign analysis, crucial steps in the process are missing when media analysis is left until the last stage.

Marketers today are expected to be agile, able to make changes in real time while being fully in touch with the market, their audience, and competitors. To help marketers stay on top of everything, media analysis can help provide valuable intelligence to a marketing department by closing the gap between expected outcomes and reality.

Media analysis can help provide answers to a vast list of questions, including:

  • How are the media and consumers talking about our brand?
  • How does the volume and tone of this conversation compare to our competitors?
  • How are our competitors positioning themselves in the marketplace?
  • To what degree is our brand positioning and messaging being picked up and echoed by consumers and journalists?
  • What issues are being discussed that could impact our brand or industry?
    • What threats or opportunities do these issues present?
    • Who are our current and potential allies and adversaries in this conversation?

A fully rounded analysis before, during, and after the campaign can provide the best opportunity for marketers to gain a clear picture of their efforts. By understanding how a campaign is performing, marketers can utilize insights to identify possible opportunities and optimize the campaign in real-time. Pre- and post-analysis can provide actual data that helps build a data-driven strategy and ultimately measure success across a campaign.

The Three Stages of Media Campaign Analysis 

Pre-Campaign Media Evaluation: Implementing a pre-evaluation of non-paid media coverage in mainstream and social media is often recommended to obtain an initial review around a company or brand and its competitors. This can help design campaigns as well as formulate your overall strategy and, ultimately, maximize your ROI.

Mid-Campaign Media Evaluation: Once a campaign has been launched, ongoing analysis allows marketers to monitor the impact of the campaign in real-time, allowing for adjustments in mid-stream, if necessary. Critical questions that can be answered include:

  • Are key messages being picked up?
  • Is the volume of conversation around the brand increasing?
  • Is the tone of the conversation becoming more favorable? Less?
  • Is the share of the conversation owned by our brand vis-à-vis competitors increasing?
  • Are consumers reacting in unexpected ways to the campaign?

These metrics allow marketers to measure the success of their campaigns and where they fall short in order to make quick adjustments. They also provide hard data that can be correlated with sales or other business metrics to help demonstrate the value of a campaign to the C-Suite.

Post-Campaign Evaluation: Retrospective analysis after a campaign provides similar insights to mid-campaign analysis. Typically, a post-campaign analysis can be more thorough and in-depth while offering a more definitive view of a campaign’s total impact.

The Ideal Scenario

In a perfect situation, media analysis can be conducted at all three stages of a campaign with ongoing monitoring to detect any issues that require immediate attention and in-depth periodic reports to address key strategic issues. A good example of this came across when working with a large telecom manufacturer – they went through a media analysis of social media conversations centered around mobile phones to uncover market insights and consumer sentiment on a product category. The analysis suggested that there was dissatisfaction with the user experience of a competitor’s phone. With this new intelligence, marketing was able to enact a new campaign emphasizing the superior user experience offered by their brand.

Another example emerged with a healthcare brand that recently conducted a media analysis of print and broadcast news. The analysis revealed an emerging health trend that threatened the appeal of a popular product among health-conscious consumers. With this new intelligence, the brand managers were able to proactively pivot their campaign to address the issue before the new trend affected sales.

When evaluations at all three stages are conducted, marketers can oversee the evolving marketing communications landscape while taking advantage of opportunities and avoiding threats as they emerge. Ultimately, this process ensures the greatest return on investment for marketing campaigns as well as the long-term health of your brand.