Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Measuring What Matters Most

From Media Post

What is the most important thing in your marketing plan to measure?

A) Campaign response.
B) Customer satisfaction.
C) Brand value.
D) Media mix efficiency.
E) All of the above.

The fact is that there are so many things to measure, more and more marketers are getting wrapped around the axle of measurement -- and wasting time, energy, and money chasing insight into the wrong things. Occasionally this is the result of prioritizing metrics based on what is easy to measure in an altruistic but misguided attempt to just "start somewhere." Sometimes, it comes from an ambitious attempt to apply rocket-science mathematics to questionable data in the search for definitive answers where none exist. But most often it is the challenge of being able to even identify what the most important metrics are. So here's a way to isolate those factors that are really critical -- and, thereby, the most critical metrics.

Let's say your company has identified a set of five-year goals, including targets for revenue, gross profit margin, new channel development, customer retention, and employee productivity. The logical first step is to make sure the goals are articulated in a form that facilitates measurement. For example, "opening new channels" isn't a goal. It's a wish. "Obtaining 30% market share in the wholesale distributor channel within five years" is a clear, measurable objective.

From those objective statements, you can quantitatively measure the size of the gap between where you are today and where you need to be in year X (the exercise of quantifying the objectives will see to that). But just measuring your progress on those specific measures might only serve to leave you well informed on your trip to Nowheresville.

To ensure success, you need to break each objective down into its component steps or stages. Working backwards, for example, achieving a 30% share goal in a new channel by year 5 might require that we have at least a 10% share by year 4. Getting to 10% might require that we have contracts signed with key distributors by year 3, which would mean having identified the right distributors and begun building relationships by year 2. And of course you would need all your market research, pricing, packaging, and supply chain plans completed by the end of year 1 so you could discuss the market potential intelligently with your prospective distributors.

Metrics Insider

When you reverse-engineer the success trajectory on each of your goals, you will find the critical building block components. These are the critical metrics. Monitor your progress towards each of these sub-goals and you have a much greater likelihood of hitting your longer-range objectives.

Kaplan and Norton, the pair who brought you the Balanced Scorecard and Strategy Mapping, have a simple tool they call Success Mapping to help diagram this process of selecting key measures. Each goal is broken down into critical sub-goals. Each sub-goal has metrics that test your on-track performance. A sample diagram follows.

Metrics Insider

By focusing on your sub-goals, you can direct all measurement efforts to those things that really matter, and invest in measurement systems (read: people and processes, not just software) in a way that's linked to your overall business plan, not as an afterthought.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ten Ways Social Media Changed Our Thinking in 2009

by David Berkowitz (From Media Post) , Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All the top trend lists this year have been a blur. There's lots of talk of Twitter and Michael Jackson, but I wanted to dive deeper and think about what we really learned. In many ways social media managed to change our thinking about what happened, what's going on, and how the world's changing.

I'll focus on 10 ways in particular. Not all are exclusive to the past year, but many of the milestones from the past 12 months may well shape how we perceive the road ahead.

Democracy: The Green Revolution, Iran's populist attempt to reject the summer's election results, was a global eye-opener for how a tool like Twitter -- so easily dismissed as frivolous -- could change the world. The result may have been underwhelming, with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad maintaining power -- but for those who saw the tweets from Iranians, often retweeted wildly, it will leave its mark. Contrast this with other movements, such as when Philippines voters used text messages to mobilize and oust President Joseph Estrada in 2001. The Philippines revolution followed a peer-to-peer model. In Iran, though, the tweets were largely public, and instant commentary on those tweets was publicized further, shattering the barriers between those who were taking part and the spectators hanging on every character.

Death: We now mourn in public. Michael Jackson inspired millions -- billions? -- to grieve openly. Myself, I stayed silent on Jackson but had to express public disbelief over Billy Mays' passing. As I write this, friends and strangers are opening up about Brittany Murphy. The self-expression becomes more problematic when it gets personal, as a Floridian mom learned when she tweeted about her son drowning. This led to the headline " Twitter played no role in drowning of military_mom's son Bryson." We don't yet know how to grieve publicly, and many such as military_mom will learn that others aren't ready for it. But in time, perhaps even by this time next year, stories like this won't be newsworthy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

(more) Headlines Week of December 12, 2009

US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2009 To 2014 for Interactive Marketing Professionals

by Shar VanBoskirk
This year, more marketers are shifting budget from traditional to interactive media rather than
supporting interactive efforts with new monies as they have in years past (see Figure 1).1 To explore the circumstances behind this trend, we surveyed 204 marketing executives from firms with more than 200 employees across multiple industries. We dug into their current and planned interactive marketing budgets and found that the following factors influence interactive planning:

· Poor economic conditions. The majority of marketers find that interactive tools are more
effective than traditional ones, especially in a recession. When faced with
budget cuts or the need for immediate sales, these marketers find that interactive tools are less
expensive, more measurable, and better for direct response than traditional media. For example,
Busch Entertainment — the theme parks arm of Anheuser-Busch Companies — is using
Facebook and iPhone applications to try to regenerate slumping theme park attendance.

· Increasingly interactive customer relationships. Empowered consumers today expect a
customized, interactive brand experience that goes way beyond a 30-second television spot or
two-dimensional print ad. Forty-two percent of online adults and 55% of online youth want to
engage with their favorite brands through social applications.3 HRB Digital’s H&R Block took
this to heart. It used Facebook, MySpace.com, Twitter, and YouTube to make tax preparation
accessible, even social, and to engage consumers with the brand throughout the year — not just
at tax time.

· More strategic marketing organizations. Although not yet universally involved in setting
business direction, marketing is gradually assuming more organizational leadership in part
because of its close connection to customers. More than 40% of marketers say that “marketing
is the strategic leader in their organization.” As part of this shift, CMOs will begin to buy their
own technology, prioritizing interactive solutions like campaign management, Web analytics,
and email marketing.

· Moribund print inventory. Consumer readership of newspapers and magazines has dropped 17% and 6%, respectively, since 2004 while offline publishers have struggled to translate their impression-based ad sales model into viable online business. The result? Publishing giants Hearst Communications and Condé Nast are closing magazines like CosmoGirl and Men’s Vogue while Gannett and The New York Times Company are restructuring and selling off physical assets. This leaves more advertisers disdaining print for interactive options: The Publishers Information Bureau reports that advertising revenue is down 20% for Q1 2009 compared with the same time period in 2008.

· Proof that interactive marketing works. At last, even laggard industries feel that they have enough experience and data to prove interactive marketing’s worth. Online display spending by telecom companies in Q1 2009 grew 50% over Q1 2008.8 Pleased with double-digit growth in applications, Cornell University’s business school, The Johnson School, is increasing its investment in interactive to between 60% and 70% of its overall marketing budget. Randy Allen, the associate dean for corporate relations explains why: “If we do [new media] strategically, we can target more effectively and do it more cost-effectively as well.”

As with past forecasts, this year we adjusted our scope and approach to best align with marketers’ increasing interactive maturity. We also adjusted our modeling process a bit — this year working with an internal team of dedicated forecasting experts — in order to standardize Forrester’s forecast methodology and ensure consistent outputs and forecast updates.10 As you consider this forecast against former ones, note that this one:

· Shows delayed adoption of emerging media. In 2007, we projected that adoption of online video would begin immediately with mobile marketing following by the end of 2009. Because of the recession, however, firms have been too resource-constrained to trial untested media. With the exception of creating social media assets — which 86% of marketers expect to do before the end of the year — adoption of emerging media is currently flat. Our new forecast projects that video and mobile spend will initiate in mid-2010 and early 2011, respectively, as marketers emerge from the recession.

· Shifts contextual ads out of search. Contextual ads — typically text ads bought on a keyword or category basis — historically have been rolled into the search budget because of their cost- per-click model. But as search programs increase in complexity and contextual ads start to
include more visual elements — like images or video — they are shifting more wholly to the
display budget.

· Rolls online video into display. In our last forecast, because of its newness and limited
availability, we sized online video spend based primarily on reported earnings from the few
publishers selling it. The present forecast still sizes online video as pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-
roll ads but does so based upon the number of available video impressions and as part of the
overall display advertising category. We do not include video production costs or costs to
maintain on-site video assets as these are not typically part of the interactive media budget.
· Includes only email marketing delivery. This year, we forecast growth in delivery of retention, acquisition, and transactional emails. To be as accurate as possible, we limited our email sizing to just the delivery and services included in the CPM paid to email service providers. In years past we also estimated spend on professional services like data integration, analytics, or creative. However, as email becomes more integrated with other channels, it is increasingly difficult to tell which part of the professional services spend is dedicated to email.

· Sizes only integrated social media campaigns and created social assets. This time, our social media forecast includes only money that changes hands for: 1) campaigns that are uniquely enabled by social media — like the McDonald’s Big Mac Chant-Off, which encouraged users to record and post their own versions of the Big Mac chant using tools created by MySpace.
com; and 2) the creation of social media assets that a marketer will own, like a proprietary blog,
community site, or downloadable widget. We include online ads on social networks in our
display ad category and do not size internal social media staffing costs.

· Breaks out mobile. Limited available mobile marketing data in 2007 led us to wrap mobile
into a larger “emerging media” bucket for our 2007 forecast. For this forecast, however, better
data is on hand. We looked at a variety of inputs — mobile handset sales, usage rates, available
inventory, and pricing — and projected expected mobile marketing adoption rates based on
current trends and adoption of analogous media in order to create a unique mobile marketing


Marketers are getting better at balancing channel investments with consumer media time.
Newspaper, magazine, and television share is down while Internet spend stands at 12% of overall
advertising — a percentage that will continue to grow as marketers shuffle dollars away from low- performing traditional media into more relevant interactive channels (see Figure 3). Our forecast examines the pace of the shift toward interactive marketing as a more substantial part
of the marketing mix. We expect search marketing, online display advertising, email marketing,
social media, and mobile marketing collectively to grow to nearly $55 billion by 2014 (see Figure 4).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Week 5: Glossary

This week's Glossary on CRM & Engagement:

–A philosophy: A current business philosophy on creating value on relationships, not solely by advertising and public relations
–An email strategy: An email program that furthers customer awareness
–A software vendor: A software package
Open Rate: The percentage of email recipients who open an email

CAN SPAM: Federal legislation that doesn’t allow the use of false or misleading header information. Doesn’t use deceptive subject lines. Tells recipients where business is located. Tells recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from company. Honors opt-out requests promptly. Monitors what others are doing on your behalf.

Brand Engagement: Engagement is where SEO, social media, usability, CRM and brand communications all come together. Engagement with a brand becomes an open conversation with that brand’s consumers

•Unsubscribe Rate: The percentage of email recipients that request they be removed from mailing list.

Bounce rate: The percentage of email addresses on an email list that are returned as invalid

Opt-in List: A list of consumers that have chosen to receive your company’s information and news

Headlines Week of December 12, 2009

(Learning about engagement and CRM at week 5 of Digital Marketing Bootcamp Plus)
  • Cyber Monday' Sales Appear Strong: In a display of strength by the e-commerce sector, online shopping sites reported a surge in sales and traffic on Monday, bucking the mixed-bag results experienced by traditional retailers so far this holiday season. By 6:30 p.m. Eastern time on so-called Cyber Monday, Web shoppers had spent, in total, 11% more than they did a year ago at that time, according to Coremetrics Inc., a Web analytics company that tracks shopper behavior on the sites of more than 500 U.S. brands.
  • BrightRoll: Video ad revenues are soaring, despite downturn: Ad revenues for online video are growing, because more ads are getting placed even though ad prices are falling. At least according to video ad network BrightRoll, which says it is seeing rapid revenue growth, citing third quarter financial numbers.
  • MOG Launches All Access, Sets New Standard For Online Music: MOG’s much anticipated All Access music service launches today for anyone to come and give it a try. I’ve been using the service for the last few weeks and, despite my initial skepticism over the fact that users must pay for the service, I’ve been impressed. MOG makes millions of songs available users on demand over the Internet. The user experience and social aspects of the service put it far ahead of any online music service available today, and it’s well worth the $5/month.
  • 100 Ways To Measure Social Media (via Media Post): At most of the events I've been to lately, measurement continues to be a hot topic. The first question that comes up is, "What can I measure?" That's where this cheat sheet can come in handy: a list of 100 thought-starters.If there's anyone out there left who says you can't measure social media, here are a hundred answers. Some entries here can be interpreted several ways. Depending on how you define them, some of these metrics may seem redundant, while others may seem so broad that they can be broken out further. Many of these can be combined with each other to create new metrics that can then be tracked over time. It's a start, though, so dive in and consider which ones may apply to programs you're working on.

1. Volume of consumer-created buzz for a brand based on number of posts

2. Amount of buzz based on number of impressions

3. Shift in buzz over time

4. Buzz by time of day / daypart

5. Seasonality of buzz

6. Competitive buzz

7. Buzz by category / topic

8. Buzz by social channel (forums, social networks, blogs, Twitter, etc)

9. Buzz by stage in purchase funnel (e.g., researching vs. completing transaction vs. post-purchase)

10. Asset popularity (e.g., if several videos are available to embed, which is used more)

11. Mainstream media mentions

12. Fans


14. Friends

15. Growth rate of fans, followers, and friends

16. Rate of virality / pass-along

17. Change in virality rates over time

18. Second-degree reach (connections to fans, followers, and friends exposed - by people or impressions)

19. Embeds / Installs


21. Uploads

22. User-initiated views (e.g., for videos)

23. Ratio of embeds or favoriting to views

24. Likes / favorites


26. Ratings

27. Social bookmarks

28. Subscriptions (RSS, podcasts, video series)

29. Pageviews (for blogs, microsites, etc)

30. Effective CPM based on spend per impressions received

31. Change in search engine rankings for the site linked to through social media

32. Change in search engine share of voice for all social sites promoting the brand

33. Increase in searches due to social activity

34. Percentage of buzz containing links

35. Links ranked by influence of publishers

36. Percentage of buzz containing multimedia (images, video, audio)

37. Share of voice on social sites when running earned and paid media in same environment

38. Influence of consumers reached

39. Influence of publishers reached (e.g., blogs)

40. Influence of brands participating in social channels

41. Demographics of target audience engaged with social channels

42. Demographics of audience reached through social media

43. Social media habits/interests of target audience

44. Geography of participating consumers

45. Sentiment by volume of posts

46. Sentiment by volume of impressions

47. Shift in sentiment before, during, and after social marketing programs

48. Languages spoken by participating consumers

49. Time spent with distributed content

50. Time spent on site through social media referrals

51. Method of content discovery (search, pass-along, discovery engines, etc)

52. Clicks

53. Percentage of traffic generated from earned media

54. View-throughs

55. Number of interactions

56. Interaction/engagement rate

57. Frequency of social interactions per consumer

58. Percentage of videos viewed

59. Polls taken / votes received

60. Brand association

61. Purchase consideration

62. Number of user-generated submissions received

63. Exposures of virtual gifts

64. Number of virtual gifts given

65. Relative popularity of content

66. Tags added

67. Attributes of tags (e.g., how well they match the brand's perception of itself)

68. Registrations from third-party social logins (e.g., Facebook Connect, Twitter OAuth)

69. Registrations by channel (e.g., Web, desktop application, mobile application, SMS, etc)

70. Contest entries

71. Number of chat room participants

72. Wiki contributors

73. Impact of offline marketing/events on social marketing programs or buzz

74. User-generated content created that can be used by the marketer in other channels

75. Customers assisted

76. Savings per customer assisted through direct social media interactions compared to other channels (e.g., call centers, in-store)

77. Savings generated by enabling customers to connect with each other

78. Impact on first contact resolution (FCR) (hat tip to Forrester Research for that one)

79. Customer satisfaction

80. Volume of customer feedback generated

81. Research & development time saved based on feedback from social media

82. Suggestions implemented from social feedback

83. Costs saved from not spending on traditional research

84. Impact on online sales

85. Impact on offline sales

86. Discount redemption rate

87. Impact on other offline behavior (e.g., TV tune-in)

88. Leads generated

89. Products sampled

90. Visits to store locator pages

91. Conversion change due to user ratings, reviews

92. Rate of customer/visitor retention

93. Impact on customer lifetime value

94. Customer acquisition / retention costs through social media

95. Change in market share

96. Earned media's impact on results from paid media

97. Responses to socially posted events

98. Attendance generated at in-person events

99. Employees reached (for internal programs)

100. Job applications received

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Linking Winston-Salem Inaugural Mixer

Got this event listing from a classmate and thought it was worth passing along. Although it conflicts with the final class night, so unfortunately we can’t go, but might be worth joining the linkedin group and facebook fan and going to future events!

When: Wednesday December 09, 2009, 05:30-7PM
Event Type: Networking/Meetup
Location: Finnigan's Wake
620 N Trade St
Winston Salem, NC 27101 US
Website: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Linking-Winston-Salem/175628635677?ref=ts
Intended For: Business owners, president, vice president, CEO, CIO, Marketing, IT, Manager, COO, board of directors
Organization: Linking Winston-Salem

Bringing professionals in the Winston-Salem area together to grow professionally and personally while giving back to the city. As a result of the ever growing need for professionals to connect with each other, Linking Winston-Salem provides this opportunity.

Borrowing from the successful examples of similar groups in the state, Linking Winston-Salem hopes to replicate the popularity and success. The idea is to bring together a community of professionals so that they can share ideas in a mutually beneficial environment. The goal is to compliment other means of professional networking. The group will plan “mixers” once a quarter – usually after business hours and then once a month with a “lunch and learn”. While providing the stage for professionals to meet and grow, it’s also an opportunity to give back to the local restaurants and merchants.

Linking Winston-Salem will host the inaugural mixer on Wednesday, December 9th 2009 from 5:30 – 7:00 PM at Finnigan’s Wake located at 620 North Trade Street in downtown Winston-Salem. The event is open to anyone with an interest in growing professionally as well as supporting our local businesses.

We hope you will attend and invite your colleagues! Make sure you bring plenty of business cards!