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Measurement and data in marketing

November 21, 2011

The desire of every marketing initiative is to measure it.

The reality is, some marketing isn’t measurable. As I write this, I’m watching Arsenal FC who have Fly Emirates on their shirts play in the Barclay’s EPL.

The Clock End of the Arsenal Stadium, Highbury...

Image via Wikipedia

Will this make you drink Barclay’s or book your next flight on Emirates? At half time, there were be a bunch of 30-second spots. One of them was for Mercedes. Are you interested in a car?

On the way to work, you’ll see a few billboards while listening to radio. THe traffic will be sponsored. The news update will be sponsored. If you listen to an NFL game, the drive of the game, the player of the game and perhaps the turnover of the game will be brought to you by something or other.

All of these brands advertise and sponsor to sell product. Even though there is no clear metric on whether the efforts result in the selling of product, the expectation is that not marketing is wrong. Period.

Which brings us to digital.

The difference between the things mentioned above and digital is ‘proximity to purchase’. Online, we’re perilously close to clicking on a shopping cart and buying something. So it’s downright tempting to measure clicks to buy.

And I get that. But when one takes a step back, one can see how silly that is. Because unlike the IRL world, where measurement is based on estimated impressions, online everything can be measured. The metric can be

  • Loyalty
  • Fandom
  • Community
  • Engagement
  • Shares.

Or it can be something altogether different.

What are we measuring?

Before embarking on anything digital, determine what will be measured. It should never be hits. Measuring hits is almost like measuring impressions.

Instead, think about building a community. Give it 6 weeks and try ways to engage. Don’t leave social media alone on some island. If you have other media, use it to tell people about the social media site.

Social media is about building a community of the best customers and engaging them. And like TV, it is about selling product – getting them to buy product is the reason we do everything we do. Plus, since social media is made up of fans – there’s an excellent chance that someone who sel-identifies as a fan has already bought the product.

So think about engaging fans and building community. And think about ways to measure that. What do you measure?

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