May 21, 2024

The Art of Listening: From Diverse Signals to Business Value

Building content strategies that win the hearts and minds of your audience is a tricky business. Knowing which tactics are driving the most value can be even trickier.

Communications pros have long lamented the lack of a clear through-line showing the value of a specific campaign, or an overarching strategy. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to show correlation and get a pretty accurate picture of what’s driving real business value, and where improvements should be made.

While brands today have access to mountains of data, the key lies in diving deep: collecting and analyzing an array of signals that can help refine communications and business strategies.

But first, you have to know where to start.

What do we mean by signals?

Brand signals include interactions such as likes, shares, comments, and follows that content receives on social media platforms, but they can also include things like media coverage, Voice of the Customer, NPS, brand perception studies and more. These signals serve as indicators of user engagement, content popularity, brand health and so on, providing valuable insights for businesses looking to measure the impact of their strategic communications efforts.

Knowing which metrics to look at and how they can support more informed business decisions is time-consuming and often overwhelming, especially when considering everything from traditional and social media to the broader signals above (VOC, NPS, etc.).

For example, below are just some of some of the metrics that matter:

How do we identify the right signals to measure?

There’s no easy way to track ALL of those metrics, and not all will be right for every brand.

The journey to tailor KPIs starts with a deep dive into a client's unique goals, market position, and challenges. This foundational understanding informs the KPIs we set, such as increasing awareness among target audiences or increasing time spent on site, ensuring all KPIs are aligned with what the client aims to achieve.

We then work closely with clients to refine these KPIs and ensure they're measurable and actionable. The combination of our clients' expertise in their business and our expertise in analysis creates the foundation for successful reporting.

Monitoring and adjusting KPIs is an ongoing process. As campaigns progress or business objectives evolve, we revisit and revise KPIs to keep them in line with the current strategy and market conditions.

Here’s how we approach measurement at Just Drive Media.

Our analytics strategy blends the best of both worlds—we combine cutting edge tools, proprietary methodologies, and a tailored measurement strategy to capture and analyze the full scope of metrics that matter to each brand, and customize the output to suit our clients’ needs.

Our secret sauce is our commitment to human insight in developing sophisticated metrics and sub-metrics, forming a solid foundation for strategies that deliver the right results. After all, this isn't just about signals and data; it’s about transforming that data into genuine insights that can steer your strategy, and the business, in the right direction.

We layer multiple data points over each other to discern correlations and identify which channels and tactics are truly effective. We meticulously analyze these metrics for our clients, a particular challenge given that automated tools may have error margins as high as 29%. By contextualizing this data against customized KPIs for each company or campaign, we provide a clearer understanding of what drives success.

Why it matters: connecting metrics to business value.

Business leaders at every organization want employees to speak their language; in this case, it’s, “what’s the business value of what we’re doing on social media, in PR, or with our other marketing initiatives?” They’ll want to see that your work isn’t just about building a following—it’s about building the business.

Strategic content efforts can and should translate into tangible benefits like better brand visibility, increased sales, improved customer loyalty, and a more appealing employer brand.

By connecting metrics such as engagement rates or share of voice to specific business outcomes, companies can effectively measure whether their marketing efforts are truly making a valuable impact. This alignment allows you to fine-tune your strategies for better results and demonstrates the real value of marketing investments to stakeholders who expect clear ROI.

Let us know what you think!

Our approach not only has earned us accolades from the Conference Board and SABRE Award committees, it’s enabled us to empower a wide array of clients, from global tech titans like eBay, Skype and LinkedIn, to Silicon Valley investors, national sports leagues, and others ranging from startups to global corporations, with a clear, comprehensive view of their standing and pathways to refine their communication strategies.

We’ve guided our clients toward making more informed, strategic decisions during the past decade and longer, directly impacting millions of their customers, by mastering the art of connecting signals to business value.

If this has your wheels turning, let’s talk! Reach out to us at for a deeper dive into how we can help you demonstrate the value from your own strategic efforts.


Why are social and brand signals important?

  • Social and broader brand signals are important because they reflect user engagement and content reach. These metrics help businesses understand consumer behavior, enhance brand reputation, and adjust strategies for better engagement and conversion rates.

What are the most common challenges clients face that measurement and analysis help to address, and how?

  • One major challenge is understanding the true sentiment of their audience. Our analysis approach goes beyond surface-level metrics to unravel deeper feelings and opinions, enabling brands to connect more authentically with their audience. And again, we don’t rely on automated sentiment analysis, which can miss nuances like sarcasm.
  • Navigating a crowded market can feel daunting. We use analysis to identify unique conversation spaces and unmet needs, positioning our clients to cut through the noise and speak directly to what their audience cares about.
  • Staying ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing environment is another challenge. Our approach to analysis provides timely insights into trends and shifts in consumer behavior, allowing clients to adapt quickly and stay relevant.

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