Communication Funnel: Correct understanding, proper execution

Evaluating the effectiveness of a media campaign based on a certain framework for communication and public relations is called a communication funnel.

From then and now, communication and public relations have been always considered a difficult field to evaluate marketing effectiveness. The results of marketing campaigns are not measured by the number of posts in newspapers or the number of views or monthly access to websites.

CISION Group in the fourth quarter of 2009 introduced a specific concept of a communication funnel. From the marketing theory to the detailed statistics, professional communication and relations practitioners can identify their stage in the communication and marketing campaign to make a niche measurement. Also, the board of directors or organizations can acknowledge the efforts of the communication department in general or the specialized department in particular.

Phễu truyền thông

Branding level

At the top of the funnel, the brand-level impact is the first thing coming to our minds about the effects of communications and public relations of an enterprise. It is vital, obviously, but it’s the beginning of the marketing strategy only, it’s not all of what the marketing development exercise.

The brands are profiled in the minds of potential customers and the majority of the public. It is showed through concepts such as awareness (do the public know the existent of the enterprises and brands?), thinking about the business of the enterprises (who do they think about when talking about the business?), and prestige (good, bad or neutral?). Once the public recognizes or interacts with a brand favorably, the marketing plans are considered as having good results.

However, it becomes more and more difficult to attract the attention of the public due to the turbulence and perception affected by the VUCA chaos and fake news.

Brand mention frequency has been considered as a way to measure brand awareness. Besides this factor, enterprises need to pay attention to the quality of these mentions. The number of unexpected mentions is likely to happen accidentally.

After all, every communication or marketing plans have the ultimate goal of oriented-behaviors of customers and revenue for the business to survive.

Secondly, talking about mindshare (a communication term that describes the perception of consumers or the popularity of a product, an idea, or a business), we will imagine the searching trend in the mentions, especially mentions relating to the features and distinction of the brands or enterprises. For example, if a celebrity talks about the brand/enterprise or its product in detail, it will affect the reputation of the brand in some way.

A successful communication campaign is followed carefully to check its activity scope and associate with the social and target customers’ pervasiveness, as well as magnify the social impact by the mass engagement. These activities are considered as the best expression for the mission and messages of the enterprises.

Moreover, digital measurement including communication and public relation has made a big step recently. Whilst, people were concerned that it was a difficult field to measure the effectiveness.

Mentioning this issue, Mr. Nguyen Tien Huy – the founder of Pencil Group with 13-year experience in advertisement, software, and consultants for different brands, said there are two methods to improve the traffic of website via social media including direct traffic, or backlinks.

To get online traffic, the marketing messages need to be good enough to provoke the curiosity of the audience so that they will dig into the information directly. Heretofore, many enterprises wanted a good domain, short keywords with high traffic for more effective SEO (search engine optimization) results. In fact, Google’s formulas no focus on the quality of content instead of the domain. Hence, good content is the most basic way to appeal to traffic.

Mr. Huy emphasized: “If the blog post served the purpose of digital traffic only, necessary factors are backlinks to attract traffic as well as introduce the brand”.

Besides activities to push traffic and SEO results, one way to measure the effectiveness of communication plans is social media. Thanks to social media, the expansion of communication has become quicker and stronger.

Social media is also a great place for public relations or marketing plans with the advantages of remaining existing relationships and connecting with a wide audience and influencers. However, you need to use these social media professionally because the ultimate goal is for human-level connections.

Mrs. Duong Thu Huong, General Director of Forbes Vietnam shared, communication via the third channels or influencers has created more impact in recent years. Even though it is undeniable the positive positions of this method, Mrs. Huong believed these KOLs/influencers are not the keys.

“The key is the audiences that the enterprises want to target, then, the enterprises will choose the KOLs/influencers who have an appropriate impact. Communication is always a two-way activity which is reflected in the sending messages and receiving the interaction” – Mrs. Huong affirmed.

From the views of senior management representatives of Kido Group, The Vice-director Ma Thanh Danh said, the Kido Group itself is careful in choosing the marketing campaigns because there are many TV shows with “sought-after” KOLs but they go against the messages of the Group.

After all, every communication or marketing plans have the ultimate goal of oriented-behaviors of customers and revenue for the business to survive. It is the last filter in the formulas of the communication funnel. Mr. Danh also noted that costs for communication should be considered as an investment, but if you invest it wrong, it can become a long-term risk.

In general, all effectiveness measurements of communication and public relation focus on the upper of the funnel which relates to the brands. In fact, the measurement of part 2 and part3 of the funnel is the key factor for reinvestment.

Even though a marketing campaign was over, but net-impact measurement of the bottom line is still happening such as determining how much sales the communication and public relations department has driven to a retailer; how many contributions to a nonprofit starting with communication and public relations; how many businesses were created or affected by these activities…

Correct understanding of the communication funnel makes communication and public relations practitioners confident and active to prove their ability and increase the value of their activities.

Le Mai Anh

National Director of PR Newswire Vietnam.

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