Sometimes there are things that just deserve a little extra attention, especially when they take your breath away with their audacity.
Like this tweet by Bill Sledzik:
I being a measurement geek immediately followed the link and was met by the following headline on this Ad Age article:
Twitter Generates $48 Million of Media Coverage in a Month
After I caught my breath, I tweeted that this was "bogus old media measurement applied to new media."
The article goes on to point out that there were 2.73 billion impressions which, as Bill rightly points out, would put the value of a mention at 1.75 cents on average.
The story then takes another detour and compares the "media value" (Advertising Value Equivalency) of these mentions of Twitter to the marketing spend by Microsoft on its new search engine, Bing.
One would think that Microsoft will get a much better determination about how well that marketing spend impacts traffic to Bing than some arbitrary value that is assigned to media coverage.
What WOULD be valuable is to align these appearances of Twitter in the news media with the number of new users of the service. That would be of immense value to potential investors, sponsors or advertisers — once Twitter comes up with a revenue model.
Funny thing is that all of this data is available and the calculations could probably be done, but it is much easier and sensational to say that the coverage was worth some astronomical dollar amount that no one would have spent anyway.
But people insist on using these bogus Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) measures because they seem important and useful. Moreover, they are easy to do, require little thought and are hard to discredit; even though the math is clearly fuzzy (aside: was that an oxymoron?).
Of course, this "measurement" was done by VMS and while AVEs are their bailiwick; they do not tie mentions to business value. Maybe they should have just stuck to monitoring, but that wouldn't have made headlines.
What do you think?