I was at the OMMA Measurement and Metrics conference this week and heard a number of riveting presentations about the metrics being used by major corporations and research firms to measure the success of online marketing. And, let me say up front, there’s an impressive amount of measurement and analysis going on there. But invariably when I asked these people if any of their metrics take into account the conversations taking place in social media or the earned media coverage their companies get in traditional media, the answer was "No."
Which makes me wonder HOW DO THEY GET AWAY WITH THAT! If someone in PR ever presented data without accounting for the impact of direct mail, or display ads, or SEO, we’d be laughed out of the board room faster than you can say "regression analysis." So what’s up with their research departments?
Do the folks at SeaWorld or Domino's think that online chatter doesn’t matter? Not likely. I can name a number of companies who know for a fact that it matters, because they measure it: Dell, Southwest, Jet Blue, SAP, Wells Fargo, and Sodexho, and that's just a few. Note what they all have in common: They’re all doing well in a down economy.
So enough is enough, guys. Anyone within earshot of this post? Next time some web analytics wonk tries to attribute all the marketing or communications success to that banner ad, challenge him or her. Call them on their numbers and point out the inherent flaws in their research. Make them truly measure social media’s impact. And remind them that they have been named The Measurement Menace of the Month. --KDP