Never Underestimate the Power of a Good Message


There is a new expectation concerning the right to access information to build a purchasing decision. Businesses may recognize the need to be active in social media, yet many do not truly understand how to do so successfully and how they should be measuring their involvement effectively.

Businesses need to know what persuades customers or influences marketplace perception. With this knowledge, businesses can then develop effective communication to minimize brand switching and improve purchase intent. In my experience, many private equity business owners fail to see the value of this knowledge.

If we believe that media has the power to persuade people, then it becomes imperative to understand and measure the process by which a message induces a change in beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Advertisers spend billions of dollars researching demographics and purchasing trends to learn how to subtly persuade us.

“Do you know why people buy the products or services of your business – and, more importantly, why they don’t?”

This investment is made to rationalize the buyer’s journey and tailor content messaging to a user’s situation. The goal is to encourage the message recipient to imagine a situation in which there is less suffering and more pleasure.

Today’s voice-of-the-customer (VOC) analytic tools, allows us to properly measure message influence by monitoring the audience behavior to specific messages. The same tools also provide competitor intelligence enabling benchmarking of the message influence of opponents as well.

“The ability to influence people without irritating them is the most profitable skill you can learn.”

-Napoleon Hill

Message Influence Score (MIS) measures the value of any message sent out by the brand that is intended to shape, reinforce or change the responses of others. As businesses monitor their MIS over time, they will be able to establish parameters for resonance, extend reach and build a more favorable opinion for their brand(s).

A few essential measurement factors needed to effectively score message influence include:

  • Awareness of the message: use metrics like volume, reach, and amplification to better understand how far the message is spreading.
  • Engagement with the message: use metrics around retweets, comments, and replies. How many people take action when the message goes out – and how often?
  • Share-of-voice because of the message: track your volume relative to your closest competitors. How much of the overall conversation is about your brand?
  • Traffic because of the message: Are people moving from external channels to your website? What do they do once they’re there?

Placing value in the VOC is not something only retail stores, brick and mortar and online, need to measure. It is relevant in nearly every industry and just as dominant in B2B sectors as B2C. Underestimating the role VOC will play in the due diligence process moving forward will define which private equity teams are extracting maximum value from their portfolio companies and which are leaving money on the table.