Thursday, 27 March 2008

Measuring What Matters

Brian Morrissey in Adweek, this week advances the question "What is a friend worth?" A direct enough way of expressing the delicate balancing act between conversations and conversion.... As marketers increase their involvement in the social media space - how will they go beyond measuring engagement and get to measuring what matters, measuring those comments, tracks, discussions, topics, influencers etc that really drive business outcomes. It's a bit like the web analytics quandary - the greatest thing about the online space is the reams of available data, the worst thing is... you guessed it. The trick really is in not using the 44,000 reports that come out of the box with your analytics package and choosing the 3 that you need. My agency has developed an interesting way to tie social activity to search and site-side optimisation, much more to come on this.

And the quote of the day from the same article:
"Social media measurement is like radar. You can't fly a plane without radar. The question is how much radar do you need." Pete Blackshaw, CMO of Nielsen BuzzMetrics.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Everything & Nothing

A very interesting commentary from the Economist on AOL's purchase of Bebo - comparing the purchase to that a decade ago of Hotmail by Microsoft. And - challenging the economics of both.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Tracking You At The Network Level

I wrote a piece a while ago about this troublesome little marketing nugget. Now a UK based company called Phorm (anagram of morph) is coming to the US. The three biggest ISPs in the UK have already signed up with the service that allows the company to track and report - anonymous - web surfing habits of 70% of UK households with broadband. Whilst requiring its partner companies to let customers opt out of the tracking, Phorm leaves it up to those partners to determine exactly how to tell people about the opt-out option.

One privacy body in the UK - Foundation for Information Policy Research, claims that the methodology is simply illegal and now a bill is about to be introduced in New York state which would severely limit such activities.

There is territory here that would provide advantages for all sides and frankly I believe that Phorm is a step in that direction but care must be taken and the company must be challenged along the way to ensure that all interests are truly protected.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Do We Still Need Agencies?

(Full disclosure; I work in one so yes)

In the growing world of customer generated media and customer generated content, what is the role for the traditional agencies (oh, and I include "digital" in the traditional category).

Those agencies that have or are willing to hire the right competencies can be signposts, Sherpas or translators. They can help derive meaning from the chaos by applying their understanding of consumer behaviour, attitudes and demographics to bring value to advertisers...

In an article in OMMA, Greg Verdino, chief strategy officer of Crayon says:

"There’s still a role for agencies as strategic consultants and as curators of all that consumer-generated stuff out there. “There’s a ton of consumer content created every day, from Tweets to branded items in virtual worlds. Agencies must help advertisers find and celebrate the best of what’s being made by consumers — in a way that supports both the brand and the person who created it."

Monday, 10 March 2008

They Know You Are A Dog

A new report conducted for The New York Times by the research firm comScore, provides a first broad estimate of the amount of consumer data that is transmitted to Internet companies.

See more of it here...