Marketers are confused these days. The things that have worked for decades aren’t working anymore. Can you imagine if you worked for 30 years in your given vocation and then, almost over night, all the rules changed? In truth, marketing is only now becoming what it truly should have been - a conversation.
When marketing is in alignment with the business, you are more likely to travel in the same direction. Alignment and accountability are the first steps every aspiring marketing organization must take to improve its performance management and measurement.
For all the hype about cross-platform media measurement in recent years, there hasn't been much progress made. From Nielsen and Arbitron's aborted $45 million-plus market-research initiative Project Apollo, canceled in 2008, to the year-old Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, still months away from launching its first major study for its 22 members, most efforts have been slow at best. So it's no small feat that Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN was able to pull off something of a media miracle this past summer. ESPN XP, the company's landmark research initiative launched in conjunction with the World Cup, was the first program of its kind to track event-based cross-platform media behavior in the U.S., recruiting 15 different research partners and nine major sponsors including Cisco, AT&T, Sony and Anheuser Busch.
Influence has been a hot topic here for the past few months. But what determines someone’s influence on Twitter? Number of tweets? Number of followers? Number of followers' followers? Researchers from Northwestern University seem to have found the answer, and it’s a lot more complicated than who follows who. Ramanathan Narayanan, a Ph.D candidate at Northwestern University, and his professor Alok Choudhary developed a project that tracks influence on Twitter based on specific topics.
In most businesses, not knowing how well a particular product is performing would be almost unthinkable. But newspapers have always been a peculiar business, one that has stubbornly, proudly clung to a sense that focusing too much on the bottom line can lead nowhere good. Now, because of technology that can pinpoint what people online are viewing and commenting on, how much time they spend with an article and even how much money an article makes in advertising revenue, newspapers can make more scientific decisions about allocating their ever scarcer resources.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s publication of its “The Popularity Issue: America’s most popular products and how they got that way” makes some fascinating statements about today’s business culture — but not because of the items it named (although those do make for an interesting read.) The fact that a business publication would devote an issue to things which are “popular” and that it plans to do this every year (as this issue was named its “1st Annual”) suggests that popularity is a concept businesspeople care about – which is an interesting, and not necessarily good, development. Further, the methods by which BusinessWeek measures so-called popularity reveal the vagary in any undertaking to understand popularity – which leads to some important implications about business success.
As early data on iPad apps trickle in, one thing is clear: It's going to require mountains of metrics for advertisers to pony up for the new platform's ads -- and their high prices. But early data from Conde Nast will bolster the argument the iPad is worth a premium, as it's delivering on reader attention better than other media channels.
There can be no doubt that social marketing has been the hot topic for the last few years, but many marketers still have reservations about seriously investing in the space. Whilst many of the reasons for such reticence can be quickly brushed off (it’s just for kids, it’s a fad, etc…) some deserve more attention. One such reason, which continually crops us, is the issue of measuring the effectiveness of social, and understanding how to make real use of it. There has been some great attempts to try to overcome such reservations recently, including the IAB’s measurement framework, and Nielsen’s Facebook work, but still such concerns persist. It’s for this reason that a bunch of enthusiastic people set-up MeasurementCamp, an informal, open-source event, which was recently relaunched in London. I was lucky enough to be asked to speak at the first of the new MeasurementCamp series, and thought that I would share the topics discussed.
I would encourage marketers to graduate to Social Media 3.0, an entirely new dynamic that requires a high degree of professionalism, new strategic platforms, new metrics for success, new monitoring tools, cross-disciplined planning and an open-mindedness to social media in just about any business category. To that end, here are four courses of action that marketers should consider to really make the grade in social media.
I attend a lot of marketing conferences where I hear over-excited pitch people telling me all about The New Thing that will Change Every Paradigm Forever. So much over-enthusiasm can jade just about anyone, so it was with relief that I joined a much more sober group for their conference. I spent the last few days at the Advertising Research Federation’s (ARF) re:Think 2010 conference taking place in New York City. I found, however, that even here among the stodgiest of marketing researchers, there’s talk of … a paradigm shift.
Ever since the phrase “you manage what you measure” made its way into the dialogue of corporate America, metrics have played an increasingly important role in the management of businesses. No one can argue the value of timely, detailed, and accurate measures of performance as assessments of effectiveness and guides for decision-making. Yet, which metrics are best remains highly debatable.
The next interview in the B2B Marketing thought leader interview series is with Christine Crandell, one of the most innovative thinkers I've met on the topics of sales and marketing alignment and marketing accountability. Christine sits on several advisory boards including Coupa and SDForum, and has held senior marketing positions at Egenera, Ariba, and many others. Her thoughts on organization and how marketing can earn credibility and "go toe-to-toe" with sales leadership are definitely worth reading.
An overnight success ten years in the making, social media is as transformative as it is evolutionary. At last, 2010 is expected to be the year that social media goes mainstream for business. In speaking with many executives and entrepreneurs, I’ve noticed that the path towards new media enlightenment often hinges on corporate culture and specific marketplace conditions. Full social media integration often happens in stages — it’s an evolutionary process for companies and consumers alike. Here are the ten most common stages that businesses experience as they travel the road to full social media integration.
It's an unpleasant, abominable idea, submitting something as delicate as culture to the rack of metrification. But here's why it's necessary. There's so much going on "out there" in culture, so many different people creating so many different innovations, subject to change so violent and frequent, that unless we have metrics at our disposal, well, we're done for. We have no real hope of canvassing all that water front.
Last month, we reported on a survey that found that 84% of social media programs don’t measure return on investment (ROI). The comments in that post indicated that a lot of individuals and businesses want to be able to measure the ROI of their social media strategies and campaigns, but they don’t know where to start. Companies and executives are finally beginning to really jump on the social media bandwagon, and that’s fantastic. However, for social media to fully work (for everyone), businesses and brands need to be able to evaluate the impact their social media use is having, both positive and negative. Measuring social media ROI isn’t impossible, but it can be difficult because many of the pieces that need to be evaluated are difficult to track. This guide is designed to help you track down those pieces and determine the ROI you’re getting on social media.
"You get what you measure." I found this wonderful adage in this paper on measurement for agile development. And it helped me to put my finger on what I want to change about digital measurement. The way we approach digital measurement needs to be fundamentally reconsidered. I propose that the experiences we create and the metrics we use to measure their effectiveness should be in service of creating proven valuable outcomes for the client's business. It's a simple idea, and something that feels obvious. Yet, much of digital measurement as it's conducted currently, fails to meet that standard.
One of the ultimate excuses for not measuring impact of Marketing campaigns is: “Oh, that’s just a branding campaign.” Admit it, you’ve heard it. I suspect you’ve even used it liberally!! : ) Before we go any further I must clarify that I love branding campaigns just as much as the next guy.
Want to know your social media score? Fill in the following equation: (Twitter followers + Facebook friends + LinkedIn contacts) x (Total tweets + Twitterers you follow + Months on Facebook). Wait! Stop! It was a trick. If that equation sent you scrambling to look at your Twitter stats or Google analytics, it's time to take a big step back. You've fallen prey to the greatest peril of social media: analytophilia.
While the concept of personal branding has taken off corporate branding seems to go in and out of favor. Economic cycles may have a lot to do with that. With the growth of the Internet and social technology tools, personal branding activity and opportunities have exploded. On the other hand, in some ways, the arc of Web 1.0 to 2.0+ (not to mention this current economy) has seduced many marketers into being focused on tactics at the expense of strategy including branding. Hot media tactics often substitute for the "strategy." If you are skeptical that brands still matter in the age of 1-1, millennials and social media, or if you are trying to run a business and make numbers and don't have the patience for brand consultant-speak or theories, here is a quick, simple refresher on good old fashioned branding that works today, that can help you frame your marketing and other operational tactics...to drive business results.
As a consultant working with many brands on social media strategy and efforts, I hear a lot of perceptions about social media. Extended out to the conferences that I attend and sometimes speak at, it is surprising how often I hear the same myths about social media. These are not things that brands are just using as reasons to not engage ... they often come from brands and marketing teams that are actively using social media as well. The following is a selection of some of the myths that I hear most often, as well as some thoughts on why they are simply myths and what your brand can do to get past them.
For years, the online ad industry has fought off periodic calls for tighter regulation of its consumer tracking practices with a two-pronged argument. After all, cookie-based tracking doesn't include personally identifiable information, only a number assigned to a computer. What's more, industry reps hasten to add, the practices of Internet marketers are child's play compared to the direct-mail crowd, which combs through financial records and other sensitive information to fine-tune their pitches. But now, as it has periodically over the past decade, pressure is mounting from privacy groups, federal regulators and lawmakers for stricter rules governing how Internet advertising targets consumers. The proposals all vary, but a consensus is building that change is coming. The outstanding question is whether that change will come via a government regulatory regime or through industry policing.
There are plenty of Twitter tools out there designed to help you understand Twitter metrics. These tools come in handy for measuring change in tweet fluctuations, charting follower count numbers, finding out hashtag frequency, and quantifying Twitter activity. Most of us, however, will find ourselves wanting to know more about the tweets themselves, and to really understand the context and content of a tweet.
March Madness lasts only three weeks, but Metric Madness goes on all year long. What is Metric Madness? It's the notion you can run anything by the numbers, and it's become the hottest concept in business today.
We're awash in data. Here's how to make yours matter.
I'm sure I'm not the first one to tell you: We're in a recession. The doom has advertisers hanging signs along the lines of "Will Work For Food" on their agency walls, and marketers continue to face facts and figures like these, from Forrester's 2009 Global CMO Recession Survey: 71% of marketing budgets have been reduced this year, and more than half reported reductions greater than 20%. Now here comes the curveball: I think this might be the best thing that has happened to our industry in decades.
Larger ad formats might be in vogue right now, but when it comes to online display advertising, bigger is not always better. Ad effectiveness depends less on size than it does on shape and placement, according to Dynamic Logic.
Its relatively easy with all the tools and metrics available in today's marketing landscape to find yourself lost in the shuffle. Many marketers lose sight of their goals and find it hard to craft strategies that will actually produce results. Even experienced marketers resort to "wait and see" approaches when trying to jumpstart a campaign and then wonder why they are falling short.
If you are a good marketer you've heard of the Net Promoter Score (NPS). If you are a very good one, you know what your NPS is. If you have no idea what I am talking about, read the definition at the bottom, and then meet me at paragraph two.
On June 6, 2008, Veronica Noone attached a small sensor to her running shoes and headed out the door. She pressed start on her iPod and began keeping track of every step she took. It wasn't a long run—just 1.67 miles in 18 minutes and 36 seconds, but it was the start of something very big for her.
What are the hottest business trends in social media? Gaming and virtual payments are among the fastest-growing segments, according to social media experts gathered at the Advertising 2.0 conference Wednesday in New York.
Return on Marketing Investment is still the #1 concern among C-level executives. Accountability is new to most marketers, but others in our organizations have been here before us: Finance, Operations and IT folks have been measured [and have been measuring] for decades. Marketing is the final frontier for performance metrics.
On a recent Thursday, Darren Herman, the president of Varick Media Management, was sequestered in his SoHo office. He wasn’t scrutinizing a television ad or images from a photo shoot. He was combing through graphs and Excel spreadsheets. From the “Mad Men” era until now, advertising has been about a catchy tagline, an arresting image, the Big Idea. But Mr. Herman and his competitors are bringing some Wall Street-like analysis to Madison Avenue, exploiting the huge amounts of data produced by the Internet to adjust strategy almost instantly.
One of the corporate barriers to going social that David Griner identified in his recent presentation was the lack of ROI. That argument always seems a little odd to me, as arguably anything that happens online is inherently measurable. And while doing a project for a client to identify online influencers I went into Delicious to search for bookmarked pages that combined the tags “socialmedia” and “measurement.” The result? 2302 bookmarks. The fact is we’ve got measurement coming out of our ears.
March Madness lasts only three weeks, but Metric Madness goes on all year long. What is Metric Madness? It's the notion you can run anything by the numbers, and it's become the hottest concept in business today. One scientist recently predicted that the great discoveries of the future will come from finding patterns in vast archives of data. "The next Jonas Salk will be a mathematician, not a doctor." The marketing community eats this stuff up. Nobody generates more data than they do. Hallelujah! "The Singularity is Near," as Ray Kurzweil wrote in his book of the same name, and marketing people can't wait to join the revolution. I'm not too sure.
Seems that even the shiniest applications on the Web also face the same growing pains as any product, no matter where it resides on the adoption bell curve.
There are several stakeholders concerned with brand equity, such as the firm, the customer, the distribution channels, media and other stakeholders like the financial markets and analysts, depending on the type of company ownership. But ultimately it is the customer who is the most critical component in defining brand equity as it is his/her choices that determine the success or failure of the company and the brand.
Here's a question I've been thinking a lot about: What kind of future do Web sites have?
Good news for online video: Mindshare, a unit of WPP's giant media buying operation GroupM, is embracing a new metric that could speed the migration of TV advertising dollars to the web.
When in doubt, ask your customers to help you. I am quite fond of saying that in the context of using methodologies like Surveys and Experimentation and Testing in service of improving web experiences. Today I used that idea in a different context, ask you what was top of your mind so I could try and answer some of them. My question was very open ended.
Marketing's age of accountability began in the early-90s. Prior to this, marketing activities were widely seen as a cost and marketers were regarded as 'fluffy'.
Since we treat people like an audience, not just a consumer, it changes the way we think about how to create ideas for our brands. But at the same time it must also change the way we think about measuring these ideas — particularly with the growing significance of social media. Audiences are not just exposed to marketing messages. They react, reject, discuss, share, contribute, create — a ripple effect of responses that conventional models for measuring advertising effectiveness tend to ignore.
The great paradox of the web is that it's an interactive medium and everything can be measured. And that's wonderful -- unless you're measuring the wrong thing.
Although there are some things that each financial crisis has in common (e.g. a bubble in a commodity that bursts spreading problems across the whole economy), each crisis also has its new elements. Jerry Muller, writing in The American, says that what's new about this particular crisis is the role of "opacity" and "pseudo-objectivity."
In 2018 we will look back with bemusement at the industry before 2010, when most advertising meant ads - brief, static bits of promotional info on TV video, Web sites, radio, paper or big flat outdoor posters. These repetitive ad messages were everywhere you went, and people quietly tolerated them and went about their day. Before 2010, most ads offered little opportunity to complain, ask questions, collect more information, meet the people involved, or play a game. How ridiculously boring, really.