Rethinking the Connected Marketing Future – Part Five

In the final post in our series about Connected Marketing, we're revisiting a selection of predictions made back in 2005 on social media monitoring and social media measurement....

Welcome to the final post in our series about Connected Marketing. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been revisiting a selection of predictions made back in 2005 and asking you to tell us where you think they hit the mark, what they missed and what we can expect next.

This week we’re focusing on the predictions about social media monitoring and metrics that go beyond reach.

Monitoring dashboard
Image source: sentimentmetrics.com

Please use the comments section to send us your feedback and to share your own views.


 

2005 prediction #9:

ROI metrics will be mandatory for viral, buzz and word of mouth campaigns. ‘Advocacy rates’ and ‘sales uplift’ will become important parts of ROI metrics, displacing traditional measures such as campaign reach.

2013 update:

“Until recently Return on Investment (ROI) wasn’t particularly applicable to Social Media due to “dark social” and “dark data”; essentially you didn’t have enough of the right information to calculate ROI in Social.  Now, the tide is turning, measurement is becoming more vital than ever, and both social platforms and audiences’  increasing use of them have allowed Social ROI to be measured in some cases.  Of note is the next generation of Social Analytics platforms beginning to emerge along with the maturing of the Web Analytics platforms (Google Analytics/ Google Universal Analytics, Adobe Social Analytics, WebTrends Social, etc)”.

Marshall Sponder, Analytics & Metrics Consultant, WebMetrics Guru Inc

“ROI metrics are undeniably important as clients and vendors alike struggle to show the business value of social media. Few plan for it. Reach remains the most commonly measured aspect of a campaign. It’s still tough to show the connection between engagement and sales. Marketers need to invest in technologies and services that connect the dots between word of mouth activity and purchase behavior.”

Idil Cakim, VP, Media Analytics Consulting, Nielsen

“Sales Uplift absolutely is getting measured in this kind of campaign activity. But I think more than that savvy organisations are finally moving out of the experimental phase with social. The slack social marketers have been cut is being hauled in. And that’s a good thing. We’re moving away from soft measures towards harder ones such as the direct ROI for your social. When you deliver an un-arguable positive ROI then social starts to get taken seriously.”

David Cushman, Strategy Partner at The Social Partners

“Organizations are already aggressively looking for way to attribute sales to social media activity. Some have already started to try and incorporate social media into their Marketing Mix Modeling as well as looking for campaign-based wins using all kinds of tracking, mostly of unique URLs. To date most of this value is being measured through back-end analytics on eCommerce platforms, but also is being measured by softer business results such as lead generation, customer acquisition costs, and more recently multi-touch channel attribution.

Attribution tracks which channels (micro blogging, Facebook, blogs, forums, etc) contribute to a final sale based on cookie information from a customer’s device. It is safe to say that ROI will continue gain as a primary driver of social media measurement as long as it gets easier to measure with convenient tools.”

Kami Watson Huyse, CEO, Zoetica

“ROI is key with any campaign. Period. It needs to be tied to measurable goals and objectives… KPIs. Let’s rid ourselves of these “fluff” terms and use the language of business not social media. ROI is a “Return on Investment” and in the business world it means dollars and cents. (And yes I’m cranky on this topic)”

Ann Marie van den Hurk, Principal, Mind The Gap Public Relations and author of Social Media Crisis Communications: Preparing for, Preventing, and Surviving a Public Relations #FAIL

“This is a fundamental and overdue shift.  Measuring advertising by the numbers who might have seen it never made much sense.  Advocacy is good, but real sales numbers are hard evidence, and the technology that can track attribution is now with us.  Social media will outperform other channels, where social can be a vector for the brand message (i.e. where there is “talk-ability”).  Where a brand isn’t much discussed (life insurance, anyone?) sales will still be driven by conventional push marketing.”

Mark Rogers, Founder, Leadfindr

“Social media, like other digital marketing activities, generates massive amounts of data. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of measuring things for the sake of it. The only real way of determining the value of your investment is to measure outcomes. Everything else is a proxy at best. Organizations such as AMEC with its Social Media Valid Framework and Google with its Zero Moment of Truth are doing some good work in this area and helping us grow-up.”

Stephen Waddington, European digitaland social media director, Ketchum, CIPR President-Elect, and author of Brand Anarchy and Brand Vandals (out October 2013).

“WOM is happening online as well as off-line, what social provides is, the opportunity to identify where these conversations are taking place and who is involved in those conversations.  This means that WOM tracking through social conversations can extend beyond simple tracking measures to include, how and where customers review, discuss, mention, recommend, ask for and provide information about products, services and companies and the impact these conversations are having on business measures.

Tracking WOM across social channels can also provide early indicators of the type of reception a product launch, campaign message, business announcement or company issue is having on engaged social customers.  Having the internal processes in place to react swiftly to both positive and negative word of mouth in equal measure, either through amplifying the benefit or responding and resolving an issue will provide building blocks to build stronger relationships with social customers.”

Julie Walker, innovation and social business consultant

“WOM Tracking – not yet! Most companies are not geared up to analyse and understand the value of monitoring the conversation. Bar crisis measures, very little is being done to look at the value data provides to business and market research. The value in understanding conversations is not universally recognized, and I cannot see, unless there is a tangible link to ROI, many companies opting for an approach that includes on-going assessment and analysis of social conversations.”

Katy Howell, CEO, immediate future


 

2005 prediction #10:

Word of mouth tracking will become a key metric in brand tracking market research.

2013 update:

“WOM happens so often in Social Media, is so common, that most of the times, it goes unrecorded.  BTW, WOM and Brand/Product Advocacy could often be used interchangeably and no one would be the poorer for it.  Recently a friend of mine (in real life and on Facebook) told me how much energy Trader Joe’s “Super Green” powder gave her.  The next day, I went over to Trader Joe’s and bought a bottle.  Sounds like WOM to me.   WOM is already trackable, and has been, it’s more likely people thought too abstractly about it and failed to set up the necessary mechanism and process flow tracking to capture it.  But WOM is happening all the time, and it will figure more and more into our decisions – in fact, it’s part of Altimeter’s recent predictions as well around social sharing technologies (which I wrote a post about recently).”

– Marshall Sponder, Analytics & Metrics Consultant, WebMetricsGuru INC

“WOM tracking remains a niche metric. Media planners still veer towards impressions and click throughs. Keller Fay Group’s efforts to institutionalize WOM metrics and measures such as ‘conversations’ and ‘catalysts’ are noteworthy.”

Idil Cakim, VP, Media Analytics Consulting, Nielsen

“I think you’re going to see WOM come back with a vengence – and it’s because of the need to understand trust at the intimate level in order that it can then be scaled. It’ll have a key role in working out where trust actually resides and how its value varies from touch point to touch point and brand to brand.”

– David Cushman, Strategy Partner at The Social Partners

“Metrics such as the Net Promoter Score, recommendations, positive reviews and even sentiment can be seen as types of WOM measures. More crudely it can be measured as shares and Retweets. The future for WOM measurement is even more sophisticated. Tools like Tellagence and eCairn are already tracking large amounts of data using predictive algorithms to show how individual influencers and communities of users pass on and spread information. Look for these predictive methods to proliferate and for behavioral forecasting using correlations and regression analysis. Among others, HP Labs is already doing this kind of research with vast amounts of Twitter data, like this one looking at box office sales predications based on Twitter chatter.”

– Kami Watson Huyse, CEO, Zoetica

“Word of mouth is a key metric within public relations already. Social media is actually very helpful to PR practitioners. Through a simple search of a hashtag on Twitter or keyword on Facebook’s Graphic Search a lot of nuggets can be found. It is trackable and give brands key insights. There are platforms out there currently which can help brands track and convert into valuable information.”

– Ann Marie van den Hurk, Principal, Mind The Gap Public Relations, and author of Social Media Crisis Communications: Preparing for, Preventing, and Surviving a Public Relations #FAIL

“WOM measurement will only gradually get credibility as the adoption of tracking allows brands to distinguish between paid and earned in social as they already do in search.  The challenge the marketplace faces is that for too long we have been selling a false prospectus.  As the web used to be measured in impressions (CPM) and is now more measured in actions (CPA) so social is no longer measured in likes, or buzz volume, but in outcomes, actions: sign-ups, leads generated, customers acquired.  It sound prosaic, but this is how budgets get allocated.”

– Mark Rogers, Founder, Leadfindr

“Word of mouth listening and measurement are critical functions for any brand that wants to listen to its market. Increasingly it’s not only communication and PR departments that are tracking conversations but customer service, sales, and product development, to gain customer insights. This is the shift to social business.”

Stephen Waddington, European digitaland social media director, Ketchum, CIPR President-Elect, and author of Brand Anarchy and Brand Vandals (out October 2013).

“WOM is happening online as well as off-line, what social provides is, the opportunity to identify where these conversations are taking place and who is involved in those conversations.  This means that WOM tracking through social conversations can extend beyond simple tracking measures to include, how and where customers review, discuss, mention, recommend, ask for and provide information about products, services and companies and the impact these conversations are having on business measures.

Tracking WOM across social channels can also provide early indicators of the type of reception a product launch, campaign message, business announcement or company issue is having on engaged social customers.  Having the internal processes in place to react swiftly to both positive and negative word of mouth in equal measure, either through amplifying the benefit or responding and resolving an issue will provide building blocks to build stronger relationships with social customers.”

Julie Walker, innovation and social business consultant

“WOM Tracking – not yet! Most companies are not geared up to analyse and understand the value of monitoring the conversation. Bar crisis measures, very little is being done to look at the value data provides to business and market research. The value in understanding conversations is not universally recognised, and I cannot see, unless there is a tangible link to ROI, many companies opting for an approach that includes on-going assessment and analysis of social conversations.”

– Katy Howell, CEO, immediate future


 

Measurement general feedback:

“”Social Marketing” is becoming more holistic, as marketers are learning that “social influence” underpins all decision making.  Social strategy is therefore moving beyond the ‘social media” team, and being integrated in to all corporate functions, including advertising, PR, CRM, and more. This is increasing the importance of measurement and analytical tools that include offline as well as online word of mouth.”

Brad Fay, COO, Keller Fay Group, and co-author The Face to Face Book

“WOM measurement is not widespread — niche firms offer WOM tracking and sophisticated players invest in it. ROI measurement approaches vary and are often confused with reports on reach.”

Idil Cakim, VP, Media Analytics Consulting, Nielsen

“The industry is trying to land on industry standards for social media measurement through initiatives such as The Barcelona Declaration of Measurement Principles, the Valid Metrics Framework for Public Relations Measurement , the Coalition for Public Relations Research Standards and The #SMM Standards Conclave, among others. However, these efforts, while bringing more rigor to social media measurement, will most likely be driven instead (in the near term) by the tools developed to do the measurement. Tracking and monitoring tools have become plentiful, with one analyst tracking 449 measurement tools

Kami Watson Huyse, CEO, Zoetica

“The pace of business continues to accelerate and marketers are looking for faster ways to measure and gain insights.  As a result, we will continue to measure what is easy and fast to measure, not necessarily what is best to measure. Recent efforts by AMEC and other industry bodies has encouraged measurement tied to business objectives which hopefully will provide a counter to the fast and easy measures.  As Einstein said “not everything that can be counted, counts…”

Gary Getto, President, Advertising Benchmark Index

“My biography tells a bit of this story: formerly owner of a market insights business (Market Sentinel), now owner of a business that drives measurable outcomes from social engagement (Leadfindr).”

Mark Rogers, Founder, Leadfindr


 

We aim to publish a round-up of responses at the end of the August. In the meantime please let us know your thoughts about this week’s topics by leaving a comment below. You can also catch up with other posts in this series:

Part One: Content Creation

Part Two: Marketing Distribution

Part Three: Engagement – External and Internal

Part Four: Engagement – Social PR to Social CRM

 

We hope you have enjoyed this series on Connected Marketing. The online discussion is a precursor to a book collaboration, so it would be great to get your feedback about the themes we’ve covered, as well as ones you’ve think we missed.

In the meantime, we’d like to thank Our Social Times for hosting the series, and the following for their contribution:

Jenny Andersson, Paul Bay (Citizenbay), Stowe Boyd, Luke Brynley-Jones (Our Social Times), Idil Cakim (Neilsen), Andrew Canter (the BCMA), Dave Chaffey (Smart Insights), David Cushman (The Social Partners), J-P De Clerck (Digital Business Academy), Brad Fay (Keller Fay Group), Brad Ferguson (ClearStreet Inc), Gary Getto (Advertising Benchmark Index), Graham Goodkind (Frank PR), Steve Hearsum (Deboxing), Christer Holloman, Katy Howell (immediate future), Antonin Jamond (BSUR), Oliver Karstedt (Maloon), Andrea Learned (Learned On), Bruce Lewin (Four Groups), Charlene Li (Altimeter Group), Sean Moffitt (Wiki Brands), Richard Potter (Steria), Simon Rees (Idiro Technologies), Mark Rogers (Leadfindr), Alan See, Euan Semple, Chris Sice (Blended Republic), Marshall Sponder (WebMetricsGuru INC), Aaron Sugerman (Stradella Road), Ann Marie van den Hurk (Mind The Gap Public Relations), Stephen Waddington (Ketchum), Julie Walker, Kami Watson Huyse (Zoetica), George Williams, David Wilson (Bell Pottinger), Sarah Wood (Unruly Media)

Read Next

In this article

Join the Conversation

1 comment

  1. Zoetica Media The State of Social Media Measurement in 2013 » Zoetica Media Reply

    […] of predictions back in 2005 about social media measurement, and he asked a variety of experts to revisit his predictions and see how it actually went down. I have included by answers below, but you should really click […]

71 Shares
Share7
Tweet30
+115
Share19