Results measurement not up to date for content says M&C Saatchi’s Kate Smither

Ford, Smither and Quaintance with panel moderator Rakhal Ebeli, managing director, Newsmodo

Ford, Smither and Quaintance with panel moderator Rakhal Ebeli, managing director, Newsmodo

Results measuring effectiveness has not caught up with the direction of content, Kate Smither, M&C Saatchi group strategy director has told a forum.

Speaking at BEfest, the Festival of Content Marketing and Branded Entertainment, Smither, who was speaking on the successful Dove ‘Beauty Sketches’ campaign she was involved with during her time at Ogilvy in the UK, said: “I don’t know how you quantify success necessarily on a campaign like that.

“You’re talking about something that has 165 million likes and is the third-most shared ad in the world, that’s amazing success but its very hard to commercially quantify.

“It’s a tricky space and I don’t know that effectiveness and results measuring and capturing has really caught up where content’s going. When I went to write effectiveness papers on Dove it was really hard to get results to fit a very traditional model,” she said.

“The next big thing we all need to tackle as an industry is how we get that measurement to work in the way content is going.”

Smither on stage at BEfest

Smither on stage at BEfest

On convincing clients to commit to content and to effectively hand their brand over to an agency or content creator, Smither said: “Going in, clarity around what your brand stands for takes a lot of that nervousness out of the way.

“We were 100 per cent clear on what Dove the brand stood for and where it could talk which took a little of that nervousness away.

“In terms of what we put around the brand, the client was very brave in how it operationalised to deal with content. They adapted their models, they absolutely changed the way they worked to respond to this new world of what they were going to put out there.

“They went on that journey with us to go we buy into that the world has moved on, we buy into the culture we want to go into and we don’t want to reduce it down to a 30 second TV spot that we can sign off on,” she said.

John Ford, founder and CEO of brand agency The One Centre , who joined Smither on the panel about content strategy, said for clients content strategy is a big commitment.

“It is a bit like a massive commitment for the clients to embark on developing a content strategy, there’s a view on how do we operationalise this, this is just all-consuming, to think and act like a publisher we need to become a publisher,” he said.

Ford and Smither were joined on the panel by Lauren Quaintance, co-founder and head of content at Storyation, who told the audience it is important to remember content strategy is not “set and forget”.

“The audience needs are not static, that’s the world around your brand. They evolve, and it’s not set and forget. The audience you’re trying to reach, their needs and habits and desires do change, it’s about using tools, like social listening, to monitor that. Content is not a campaign,” she said.

Miranda Ward


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