A few weeks ago, my friend and colleague Gary Getto, cofounder of the Advertising Benchmark Index, asked me to participate in a request from blogger Justin Kirby. Justin is Founder and CEO of DMC. He's an experienced digital strategy consultant, speaker, guest lecturer and author of ‘Connected marketing: the viral, buzz and word of mouth revolution'. Like many marketing bloggers, he made a series of predictions back in 2005 about social media measurement, and he asked a variety of experts to revisit his predictions and see how it actually went down. I have included by answers below, but you should really click through to read all of the answers from the following experts
- Marshall Sponder, Analytics & Metrics Consultant, WebMetrics Guru Inc
- Idil Cakim, VP, Media Analytics Consulting, Nielsen
- David Cushman, Strategy Partner at The Social Partners
- Ann Marie van den Hurk, Principal, Mind The Gap Public Relations and author ofSocial Media Crisis Communications: Preparing for, Preventing, and Surviving a Public Relations #FAIL
- Mark Rogers, Founder, Leadfindr
- Stephen Waddington, European digitaland social media director, Ketchum, CIPR President-Elect, and author of Brand Anarchy and Brand Vandals (out October 2013).
- Julie Walker, innovation and social business consultant
- Katy Howell, CEO, immediate future
- Brad Fay, COO, Keller Fay Group, and co-author The Face to Face Book
- Gary Getto, President, Advertising Benchmark Index
Justin’s 2005 prediction #9:
ROI metrics will be mandatory for viral, buzz and word of mouth campaigns. ‘Advocacy rates’ and ‘sales uplift’ will become important parts of ROI metrics, displacing traditional measures such as campaign reach.
Kami Huyse’s 2013 Update:
“Organizations are already aggressively looking for way to attribute sales to social media activity. Some have already started to try and incorporate social media into their Marketing Mix Modeling as well as looking for campaign-based wins using all kinds of tracking, mostly of unique URLs. To date most of this value is being measured through back-end analytics on eCommerce platforms, but also is being measured by softer business results such as lead generation, customer acquisition costs, and more recently multi-touch channel attribution.
Attribution tracks which channels (micro blogging, Facebook, blogs, forums, etc) contribute to a final sale based on cookie information from a customer’s device. It is safe to say that ROI will continue gain as a primary driver of social media measurement as long as it gets easier to measure with convenient tools.”
2005 prediction #10:
Word of mouth tracking will become a key metric in brand tracking market research.
Kami Huyse’s 2013 Update:
“Metrics such as the Net Promoter Score, recommendations, positive reviews and even sentiment can be seen as types of WOM measures. More crudely it can be measured as shares and Retweets. The future for WOM measurement is even more sophisticated. Tools like Tellagence and eCairn are already tracking large amounts of data using predictive algorithms to show how individual influencers and communities of users pass on and spread information. Look for these predictive methods to proliferate and for behavioral forecasting using correlations and regression analysis. Among others, HP Labs is already doing this kind of research with vast amounts of Twitter data, like this one looking at box office sales predications based on Twitter chatter.”
Measurement general feedback:
“The industry is trying to land on industry standards for social media measurement through initiatives such as The Barcelona Declaration of Measurement Principles, the Valid Metrics Framework for Public Relations Measurement , the Coalition for Public Relations Research Standards and The #SMM Standards Conclave, among others. However, these efforts, while bringing more rigor to social media measurement, will most likely be driven instead (in the near term) by the tools developed to do the measurement. Tracking and monitoring tools have become plentiful, with one analyst tracking 449 measurement tools
Kami Watson Huyse, CEO, Zoetica
Gary Getto might of said it best when he wrote, “We will continue to measure what is easy and fast to measure, not necessarily what is best to measure.” What do you think about these two predictions? Do you track ROI or word of mouth over other measures?
Photo Credit: Thanks to Funkya for the photo used in this post, from Flickr