The Metrics Arms Race

Noting that there now are hundreds of metrics for measuring and defining the behavior of consumers sharing brand-related content online – 90 from Facebook alone – Seraj Bharwani, Chief Analytics Officer, Visible Measures says Madison Avenue has entered a “metrics arms race.”

Bharwani, made this observation during his opening keynote at today’s OMMA Metrics & Research conference in New York, said that “at least some brands and agencies are joining the race.”

By that he means they are helping to fuel the proliferation – not to mention the hyper-fragmentation that comes along with it – out of something he described as “metrics envy.”

Bharwani said some brands are “blindly chasing” metrics like likes, fans and friends, just because they consider some new form of bragging rights that are essential to their brand’s dominance, but without knowing what it really means for their brand’s performance.

“If Coke has 30 million likes, apparently Pepsi marketers want a respectable number to match the results,” he said, adding that the logic is being driven not necessarily by a new consumer behavior, but by a new marketing executive behavior: “not missing out on the likes party.”


1 comment about "The Metrics Arms Race".
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  1. Patrick Probst from Passbox, February 22, 2012 at 4:18 p.m.

    Good point. I'm often asked what a 'like' is worth from my co-workers. I say, just like having a Facebook presence, you don't question it. You simply have to be there (on Facebook) and you have to acquire 'likes'. Point of entry.

    More important is this - is there a sufficient volume of conversation occurring within this social media element that you can/want to participate in it? Is your target there? What is the mindset of the target and type of conversation you can engage them in?

    If you choose to be there, then other metrics can be important (e.g., on Facebook, virality can indicate conversations that are resonating).

    Still, I'd like to be able to quantify what a 'like' is worth so I'd know how to build achieving that into the value proposition for the consumer and the retailer. Anyone got a perspective?

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