At Maverick, we keep a close eye on emerging trends and changes in the communications industry. One of the trends we observed is the increasing demand from organizations for proper measurement and evaluation, as well as data-based insights of their communication efforts.

For some time now Maverick has been strengthening its measurement and evaluation capabilities to use data and purpose-driven strategies to take a brand’s corporate and marketing communications further.

In line with this, and also because I had been a consultant for six years already, I volunteered to redirect the trajectory of my career from a consultant into an analyst to strengthen our overall offering.

It was not an easy decision because I needed to leave my comfort zone and learn many new things, but it is at the same time exciting because I can grow my professional skills and be really useful at Maverick as we continue to march with the times.

As part of my immersion, I was registered for the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) Summit on July 8th – 9th. AMEC is the leading global organization where it comes to measuring and evaluation communication efforts. The summit is an annual event that brings together the top minds in this field with their cutting-edge insights and practices.

As with any event affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was virtual but that did not diminish the great insights and learnings I received. There was so much to learn and pick up that I’m writing my experience in three installments.

The first is this posting where I recap the highlights of the summit. The second posting is on the 3Os (Output, Outtakes and Outcomes) – the AMEC-inspired measurement matrix that has seen quick adoption around the world. Finally, I’ll round up this series with some tips for those of you who want to adopt the 3Os, but don’t know how to start.

Now onto the highlights…

The AMEC Summit 2020 was presented and attended by private companies, communications firms, government departments, educational institutions and NGOs. The speakers offered a variety of viewpoints and practices regarding measurement and data. Three key take outs that I can share are:

  1. The demand for integrated measurement is there, the challenge is to implement it

AMEC Chairman Richard Bagnall, cited the organization’s Global Membership Survey results suggesting that many organizations from across the world, including those in the Asia Pacific, have started to ask for sophisticated types of evaluation that can demonstrate the benefits of communications activities. They have also tried to look for an integrated measurement framework that can combine PR/communications with other marketing activities, thus providing more relevant insights for the organizations’ growth and sustainability.

The old metric of Advertising Value Equivalents (AVEs, and by extension PR Values because they are a multiple of AVEs) cannot satisfy this need. In fact, they were never a valid value of communications in the first place (See the reasons here).

Realizing this, AMEC introduced the 3Os integrated measurement framework. You can see the details here.

The ability to implement the framework, however, remains a challenge because it needs a whole organization to understand and be fully aboard in adopting this framework. For those eager to adopt this framework you can go here for tips on how to do so.

  1. Insights is key, and it is part of the job of a communicator

Many organizations have also emphasized the increasing need for insights instead of counting news clippings. Providing insights is not the task of only the Research & Development or Research & Innovation team. It’s also the task of communicators, who are in charge of handling an organization’s activities across paid, earned, shared, owned (PESO) channels.

The ability to mine data from PESO channels and turn them into insights are therefore a necessary skill of the communicator. With insightful data you can strategize better and also create thought leadership/new content that works for the PESO channels.

  1. Measurement tools and methodologies are quickly updated, so keep an eye for changes

Many of us use different monitoring and analytics tools but still largely depend on humans to synthesize the data. Meanwhile, technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), which may change the way we communicate and measure, are maturing very quickly. Some of these technologies have already been adopted in some measurement and evaluation components, such as keywords tracking, topic/thematic identification and influencer identification. Their use would expand to other areas of evaluation soon.

Nonetheless, one of the speakers, Dr. Ahmed El Adl, a technology and business innovation leader, reminded us to firstly understand the basics of AI and ML before making an investment in those technologies.

This is because some of the AI technologies, such as computer vision and natural language processing are already mature to be adopted, while some others still need more time to learn from real-world experiences. We need to understand what we need and how we want/can use the technology, so that we can use AI and ML properly according to its stage of development.

Written by Karen Kusnadi, Manager.

For more insights regarding measurement and data from Maverick, check our other blog posts: