Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Canadian Marketing Blog - Canadian Marketing Association: Measuring Social Media

Measuring media has been a challenge of business for a long time. I even wrote a controversial blog entry here on The Fallacy of Return On Investment in Marketing.

Now with internet, social media and web 2.0, the challenge is even greater. This new media has "democratized" the press and proliferation is huge. Tracking this new media and combining it with "old media" measurement is the new goal.

Let's first remember how much the media world has changed. Media was formally shout box from Brands to Consumers: TV, Radio, and Print: that was about it. Then technology and the Internet came along with a major curveball.

The world went online. All the news, weather, sports - everything went online. The sources of information increased dramatically. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc became easily accessible to all. Plus, these medias had influence. But their influence varied based on the number and character of each site. They are not all of equal value. It depends on the quantity and quality of the readership. Measuring the sentiment and changes in sentiment became a challenge.

Listen carefully. The noise on the internet is your customers. Your place is determined by your competitors. You need to see where you stand. Measuring it is the new challenge. Twitter, Blogs and Web sites can make and break companies. And there is no professional editor checking facts. But the media value still impacts. Measuring social media is not like measuring the news. These are your very customers, the most passionate of the bunch, talking about the very products you
are trying to sell. Listen to nuances, the qualitative component of discussion. Discover the context, associated topics and sentiment-laden words. And then check for volume, exposure, and statistical relevance. Your focus groups are
fine, but this is better.

The world has shifted from a few huge media sources to a multitude of small ones. The tough challenge is - how do you measure all this new media? What is the value of it. The new term is Media value. Measuring it is the new challenge.

Marketing Impact Measurement - Whether it's a product launch, public relations push, or advertising campaign, you need a yardstick to measure the reaction. In today's world, Media is leveraged such that you may pay for your first set
of eyeballs, but the rest come as word-of-mouth. Media Value is a new way of attributing impact and measuring the success or failure of marketing initiatives. Your tracking studies can work, but this is better (and cheaper).

Brand awareness is the key. Where does your brand stand? Where do you stand compared to the competition? And importantly, is the perception changing positively or negatively? Knowing what people feel about brands is important. Or trying to get a brand onto the radar. Not only awareness, perception, sentiment. All these are key components.

It is good to have an early warning system. Something that can tell you if sentiment is changing for or against you or for or against a trend. It is also great to know and understand the value of that media.

Measuring marketing impact is the key. Social media can give valuable feedback on the success (or failure) of a media campaign. Having the public comments and weighing them can provide critical decision making data.

Marketers are turning to things like media value reports by General Sentiment to try to figure out the value of various social media mentions and to determine the trending - whether it is positive or negative.
Canadian Marketing Blog - Canadian Marketing Association by Jim Estill

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