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Metrics matter. After all, if you're running a business, it's hard to make good business decisions if you don't have data on which to base them.
Those who run businesses on the web are often blessed with a plethora of metrics, and plenty of tools with which to collect them. But putting metrics to good use requires looking at the right ones, as two popular websites demonstrate.
Earlier this month, social media darlings around the internet were singing the praises of Old Spice, with Mashable claiming that the now infamous campaign was the "future of marketing" and that the agency involved, Wieden + Kennedy, had set a "standard marketing experts will admire and follow in the years to come."
Now, various marketing blogs and online news sources are reporting that sales have "fallen by 7%." But, with barely a week gone since Mr Old Spice conversed with "everyone" on YouTube, is it simply too early to predict ROI from the campaign?
Looking at the numbers, it seems the original analysis of the drop in sales may be flawed, given that it's somewhat premature to announce a verdict about the campaign's success or indeed, failure at this stage.
Many businesses are increasingly comfortable with social media, and many more have decided that social media is far too important not to experiment with.
But the growing level of maturity in the world of social media doesn't mean that mistakes are uncommon. To the contrary: many businesses make the same mistakes over and over again. Here are 10 of the most common.
Bleak times ahead for email according to Gartner, which is predicting that social networks will claim a growing share of communication among business users.
Seems plausible enough, though any reports of the death of email are somewhat premature. But can social networking sites claim the communications crown before this decade is out?
Cue much head shaking among the email services providers at TFM&A this week. I asked a few of them to fight their corner, and to provide an alternative view on the future of email.
Having been to numerous Econsultancy Roundtables in London, I was chuffed (very pleased) that my schedule allowed me to participate in Econsultancy’s Measurement & Metrics Roundtable at the New World Headquarters in New York last Thursday.
It was quite different from those I'd attended in London...
In this post, we'll be looking at the top mistakes we've seen email marketers make in 2009, packed full of useful tips and unusual analogies.
Imagine logging into your email every Monday morning to find a report clearly outlining the value derived from all the time, effort and resource you’ve expended on the social web. That would be nice wouldn’t it? Seeing what impact of all that faffing about in Facebook; Twitter twaddling and blog blabbing has done for your brand would be invaluable.
But what would you want to see (at a high level) in such a, currently fictitious, report? And who is best placed to provide it to you?
Such a report would certainly save a lot of time. The process of collecting and correlating data from several sources; then trying to make sense of it all so that it can be used to plan an effective brand engagement strategy is time consuming to say the least. For what it is worth, this is what I’d like to see.
Social media measurement is something that I think should be undertaken with a sense of perspective, by standing back and looking at the big picture.
A widescreen approach to social media measurement ultimately looks at the things that really matter: sales, profits, customer satisfaction and loyalty. Besides, honing in on the detail might not be the best use of your time, given the obvious difficulties that arise, particularly with attribution.
But standing back and looking at the bigger picture is not going to be enough for your data-mad boss, is it? It’s a bit too soft focus, right? He or she is going to want to see proof that all this social optimisation is actually working.
If that’s the case, then don’t worry: there are lots of things you can measure...
Most brand advertisers accept that the click-through rate is far from the perfect metric. But it's easy to understand and easy to measure, which offers some comfort. And that means that the low click-through rates (CTRs) associated with display ads aren't always so comforting.
Even though it's logical that there's more to display advertising efficacy than CTRs, the absence of widely-accepted alternative metrics is a problem.
When you read a news story about social media or come across a job posting for a 'social media expert', chances are the tools of social media will be front and center.
Twitter, Facebook, MySpace. If you had no exposure to social media, you'd probably assume that these popular services were the end all and be all of social media.
Online, it's all about measurement. From web analytics to advertising, the current economic environment demands it because without measurement, it's all but impossible to calculate ever-important ROI.
Increasingly, 'engagement' is one of the metrics that everyone is interesting in measuring. How are users interacting with your content or ads? How does that relate to your bottom line?
The Online Publishers Association (OPA), following closely in the footsteps of the IAB, is hoping to spark a creative revolution of sorts in online display advertising. To that end, a number of the OPA's high-profile members will introduce three newer, bigger, and more interactive ad units this summer.
The ads are even taking a page from the content side of the online equation: each will feature a forward-to-a-friend button.