This week I moderated a panel at OMMA Social that focused on social media metrics. In preparing for the panel, I started my research with trying to define what social media measurement really is. I had a preconceived notion that everything can be measured, right? Well, to quote someone from the conference (who was quoting Einstein), "Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted."
If you are not a reader of Erwin Ephron's Ephron On Media , you should be. Ephron is credited with having "invented" media planning. Where that is true or not (probably is), Ephron has certainly been around since the start of media planning in the '60s. And he remains one of the lucid voices in the media opinion world. In his most recent piece, he talks about the new Nielsen fusion initiative which marries the NTI TV ratings service with measures on streaming video and consumer purchase behavior. He explains in greater detail than I will go into here, fusion …
A client shared with me a copy of a solicitation email they got from an otherwise reputable marketing measurement company with a proprietary methodology for linking the value of marketing communications to shareholder value.
If an advertiser wants to use online advertising to get a message in front of women 21-49 with kids, and to reach 70% of them at least three times, the tools exist to enable that. I can't think of a single good reason to discourage the practice.
As someone who came out of traditional media and who believes its members have a good understanding of what clients want and need, I am always astounded by the question of the validity of using GRPs for a Web metric. But then I back off and remind myself that there is a whole generation of advertising people who are from the Web era with no background in traditional. The answer is yes, of course. Why? Let me count the ways.
A question any practitioner of Internet-based analytics will be asked by many different stakeholders is, "Why don't the numbers match?" Counts of the identically named metrics from ad servers don't match the Web analytics tool, which don't match the for-pay third-party audience measurement tools, which don't match the free audience measurement tools, which never match any of the homegrown internal measurement tools. And none of them ever match each other.
When I started as an Internet marketing strategist back in 1993, I was usually asked, "Jim, can we really make money online?" I would lead clients through their Web awakening, explaining that the Internet is a communication tool and could be used to contact customers from awareness (advertising) to education (marketing) to transactions (sales) and solving problems (customer service). During the next few years, the question was, "Jim, how do we make our Web site better?" My immediate response was, "Better at what? What are you trying to accomplish?"
I think there are two things that we can expect to see driving adoption of mobile-based Internet access over the next five years: demography and technology.With respect to demography, a colleague of mine who until recently was a college professor tells me that overwhelmingly, the platform of media choice for 18- to 24-year-olds -- based on her observation of the university population -- is the phone With respect to technology, consider the impact of the iPhone, not yet a year old. According to M:Metrics, fully 88% of iPhone users access news, information or entertainment content via mobile handset.
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