Socialism And The Measure Of Success
When the discussion took a turn toward measuring success, panelists agreed that metrics have broadened from impressions to transactions, making it more important for marketers to understand the tools that connect the two extremes.
Those social media tools span from online to the real world. They range from Twitter and Facebook to Apple's iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry. It's creating hybrid ad and marketing agencies. "Think about Tom Cruise in the movie 'Minority Report,' where he's walking down the sidewalk and there are a million images," Young says. "As we move to a point to where more of our existence is connected through digital media, we're surrounded by impressions."
Advertisers and marketers need to rethink the measurements that represent meaningful transactions, but don't necessarily result in sales, Young says. Most marketers realize that it's important to know if someone willingly engaged with the campaign message, watched a video, or shared a piece of content -- but social media tools such as Twitter have become a daily metric, a free tool, to help monitor the influence of the brand's message.
Social media has become the tool to track how theatrical releases will open in theaters and the best way to promote a movie. Disney hired a marketing agency to study the opening of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" after realizing the big draw to the movie wasn't Johnny Depp and the action sequences, according to Jayson Oertel, VP of entertainment marketing at EarthBound Media Group. Come to find out through social media, the draw to the movie was Keira Knightley, he says.
Gil Aranowitz, chief instigator at buddingculture, says brand marketers will get the most from social media metrics when determining clear goals from campaigns long before they get started putting up the first Facebook page or Twitter ID.
Tools and tips to listen to the conversation range from humans to automated software. Aranowitz relies on Search Monitor, an online advertising competitive analysis service. It helps determine competitors' strategies past what's available through search engine optimization (SEO) tools. "It's a great tool because it gets past the marketing departments a lot, and it's a great way to deconstruct what competitors do on a profound level," he says.
Aranowitz says Search Monitor lets him see shifts in keyword strategies, and what companies emphasize and deemphasize as strategies change. For example, in the automotive industry, search strategies switch with the launch of new vehicles. At that moment, he says, the data turns from a bunch of tweets, blog mentions, keywords, numbers and metrics gathered from social network sites into "competitive intelligence.