So much of ‘marketing talk’ is a load of rubbish; overused clichés that have been done to death.
Take ‘know, like and trust’ for example. We’ve all heard it. And we’ve all thought “Yeah, yeah, next”.
But actually, the ‘know, like and trust’ mantra is really smart when it comes to impact measurement; in fact, it’s a really important part of it.
That’s because, saying you create impact and showing it are two different things.
Alright, so if you want to build trust, you need to demonstrate your impact.
Your impact story, as in, why you exist and what impact you actually create, is why people know, like and trust you; it’s what gives you a competitive edge, and it’s the thing that makes people buy from you.
And, there are three fundamental parts to this.
1. Don’t ask, don’t get
Trust is built by having conversations and asking the questions to your stakeholders you currently don’t.
If you don’t ask them what they impact they’re actually after, or what impact they’re experiencing as a direct result of your efforts, you’ll never know how best to improve, or even if you’re making any impact at all.
(Btw, I appreciate it’s very ‘British’ of us not to want to put people out – you’ll know this if ever you’ve asked someone to write a testimonial for you! – but it’s something you just have to get over, as it’s for their benefit as much as yours)
That said, don’t be afraid to ask how much your activities have contributed to the change they are experiencing (worst case, you’re not contributing anything and need to radically change what you deliver). Best case, you can find out about the changes you didn’t even know you were contributing to. Result!
2. KISS – keep it simple, stupid (ah, another great marketing gem!)
Look, impact measurement does not have to complicated, especially if you use my lean social impact approach.
(nice little plug for myself, there)
Keeping it simple means not developing a theory of change, or identifying the specific impacts you want to measure.
But Heidi, wait, I thought you HAD to be specific?
You’re right, but in this case, identifying those specific impacts, could alienate all the other things that you need to know about too.
So, instead, it’s better to start from the view that asking a general question to your stakeholder such as: “what impact do you want to see?”, and then through their responses, refining it to measure specific outcomes from there.
And, better still, keep it even more simple and limit the amount of cooks in the broth!
Choose just a handful of people to ask and build the trust up with; people who clearly represent the masses, and stick to that.
You don’t have to consult everyone. And lord oh lord, you DON’T have to capture data on everything…you have a home time too, remember.
3. Go easy on yourself
The point of all this is to build the trust with your stakeholders, yes? Yes. So, would you agree that, if you didn’t give them what they needed, building that trust would be quite hard? Yes.
Impact data is proof to your stakeholders that you have the ability to deliver what you say you will. But, crucially, it’s proof that other stakeholders have benefitted from your claims, rather than them being just empty words, or ‘marketing talk’!
Finally, responding to what your stakeholders tell you, really helps build that trust, as it shows you’re listening, making changes and you’re willing to learn from them. Now, isn’t that just wonderful.
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