What are the challenges of measuring communication ROI?


There are some challenges in measuring the ROI (return on investment) of certain communication actions. Thus, to evaluate the achievement of spontaneous media, for example, it is necessary to know more than the value of advertising spaces in press vehicles.

In other words, even though centimeters continue to have their value, today, with the massive use of social media, it is necessary to use metrics that also include digital channels, allowing the company to gather more input for intelligent decision making.

Read more:
>> 5 metrics to measure spontaneous media in the press

>> How to be more accurate in your communication actions

News consumption grows, but on digital

A ranking by Alexa, Apple’s virtual assistant, shows that four of the ten most accessed sites in Brazil are news sites. Globo.com, Live.com, Uol.com, and Yahoo occupy the fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth positions on this list, respectively.

Complementing this information, the Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report research makes it clear that print news consumption has declined dramatically over the years.

Thus, it dropped from 50% in 2013 to 23% in 2020, but online access has remained stable between 90% and 87% over the same period.

4 Key Communication ROI Challenges

Communication professionals, in particular public relations professionals, are frequently faced with the need to measure the return on investment of their actions and press campaigns.

But even though there are several practices and tools to perform this activity, it is necessary to expand this portfolio of instruments that are able to contemplate the specificities of each company. 

With that in mind, we have listed some of the main challenges to measure ROI in communication. Check them out:

1. Deficiency of methods 

According to the CEO and president of the Institute for Public Relations, Tina McCorkindale, in order for PR to get a more complete picture of the return on communication and news, it is necessary to employ other methods, such as studies, experiments, and predictive analysis, which can be achieved through more comprehensive tools. 

2. Scarcity of metrics 

Another challenge pointed out by communication professionals is the constant race to prove the competence of their work through “unrealistic results that lack credibility”.

An example of this is centimeters, or media valuation, which calculates the amount of money earned by a news story compared to the advertising space in a newspaper. 

The discussion around this metric that takes into account only the size of the news item is that it disregards other factors, such as sources heard, editorship, data presented, tone of the information (positive or negative), relevance of the vehicle, and repercussion – indicators that directly impact the reliability of the data collected. 

3. Qualitative information

Combining qualitative and quantitative information is fundamental to evaluate the return on investment more broadly. After all, although ROI is important, qualitative data brings quality and efficiency indicators. And this demonstrates a 360° perception of the repercussion of a news story and other projects.

For example, knowing that a news item had a thousand interactions is extremely valid, but it is also necessary to understand the particularities of these interactions. That is, if they were positive or negative.

4. Lack of integrated tools 

Glean.info, a media measurement company, states that there is a mismatch between what tools deliver and what organizations need.

According to the company, several of the media monitoring and measurement tools either lack integration with traditional media and social media or do a questionable job in this regard.

In this way, the result ends up being incomplete for communication. On the one hand, this happens because the platforms struggle to keep up with the news when it reaches the social networks.

On the other, because they do not aggregate valuable data. This, in turn, makes it very difficult for professionals to perform.

4 dimensions to solve ROI problems

So far we have talked about the challenges of measuring ROI, but the time has come to show the solution. With the Knewin Score, which is Knewin’s Communication Relevance Indicator, the company can map the reputation of the brand and also of the competition in traditional media. 

To measure the score, the platform uses 14 variables. They are distributed in 4 dimensions, which build a qualitative and quantitative perception. The dimensions that are part of the Knewin Score are:

  1. Font: refers to the relevance of the font for that brand and also the type of media, such as online news, print, radio, and television.
  2. Content: includes theme, characters, size, image, mention in the title, and number of mentions. 
  3. Intensity: news visualization, which is defined through Knewin’s exclusive technology; unique visitors, Social Match (which tracks news content from traditional vehicles when it reaches social networks), day of the week, and time of publication. 
  4. Sentimetrics: sentiment analysis (such as positive, negative and neutral) and social sentimetrics, which is the measurement of how users reacted to the news on social media (such as like, Haha, Wow, strength or clap).

Through these dimensions and variables, the Knewin Score addresses several of the biggest bottlenecks present in the task of measuring return on communication investment, because it contains an efficient method for doing this activity. 

Moreover, it presents valid metrics for each scenario and brand, reconciles quantitative and qualitative data, and aggregates information from traditional media and social networks. This way, professionals who need to calculate ROI will have a complete and efficient device.

To find more information about communication and marketing strategies and the most suitable monitoring solution for your business, contact Knewin. We can leverage your brand’s results with our solutions.