THE SOCIAL CMO Blog
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Thanks for an excellent, thoughtful article, Amber. This is clearly an area in need of more effort, and you have helped advance the ball here.
Two things (among many) really struck me:
1. Performance measurement is not an “all or nothing” effort – In a world where the results of many marketing activities can be very directly measured, many look for all activities to follow the same paradigm (e.g., “ROI” has become the de facto measurement tool as the direct mktg discipline has filtered into so much of the marketing effort). That’s the mistake. Not all activity is designed to achieve the same goal, so not all measures of performance and/or success will, or should, be the same.
2. Measurements alone mean nothing; it’s what you do with the information that really matters. The numbers, data, charts, stats are not important in and of themselves. It’s how you INTERPRET the data in relation to your goals and objectives, how you determine what it MEANS for your brand, business, organization in a way that helps you ACT on the information that makes measurement a useful business tool.
Thanks again for this stimulating post. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get cracking.
Amber, it would be just as useful if you shared the quantity of clients that demonstrate good behaviors vs bad behaviors. From my experience speaking and meeting with many vendors, agencies, and consultants across the measurement space (including web, advertising, pr, social, etc), less than 10% of all companies actually develop useful, on-going metrics. Most buy a tool and conduct ad hoc queries. And few tool vendors have experts in house to help, even if a client was willing to pay for the consulting time. Only Accenture has a real practice in this area.
Yep yep yep.
If most brands knew why they were using social media then they would know how to measure its effect.
As you have said it is a means to an end. Improved customer service, insight, direct sales, engagement.
All of those things are easy to measure with clear benchmarks, before, during and after (ps there should never be an after)
As with any other investment what is the innovation you are hoping to achieve.
Great post Amber!
Everything is mentioned in this post especially the fact that without an underlying strategy every Social Media initiative is not as effective as it could be. I write my diploma thesis about “Return on Investment of Social Software – The case of Microblogging within the Enterprise” and I struggled with the measurement. The first approach is done and I developed a model which visualizes the dimensions of Social Software and the success factors. http://alrikd.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/social-software-roi-model/
But I still need feedback if the most important parts are already mentioned or maybe something is missing.
This is a great post.
The part that sticks out to me most is #6 “Analysis is the hard part, not measurement”. As I’m sure you know all to well Amber, there are many ways out there to gather measurement data. You work for a company that does that and so do I and there’s a ton more out there. It’s what people do with those numbers afterwards that really gives insight into what companies are doing right and wrong. Numbers are part of the equation, but more importantly than knowing those numbers people need to know why those numbers are like they are.
Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos
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