Monday, 27 October 2008
For the past 2 months in my new job, I've been struggling to prove the value of social media to skeptical clients. I've been trying to use measurement techniques to prove that social media can have a positive impact on brands. You may have spotted my schoolboy error already, but it wasn't until I read this post that it dawned on me, in a Homer 'doh!' like way that:
You can't prove the impact of a campaign just by measuring stuff
Ok, I can take the measurements of past campaigns and predict, with a reasonable degree of inaccuracy, how many posts, uploads, comments, etc a social media campaign will produce. I can even employ the intelligence of people like Radian6, Sentiment Metrics and Andiamo to work out sentiment, engagement levels and favourability. Which is nice.
However, that means SFA to a hard-bitten FMCG marketing director [as I found out recently]. They just want to know 'how will it impact my bottom line?'. Or, as I got told recently: "prove to me it will help me sell more product and I'll look at seriously".
Which is a reasonable enough question. And one I'm going to try and answer in the next two months.
My dream is to develop some kind of modelling software that predicts the following:
I know there is much more to it than this simple four step process, but being able to prove the link between Outcomes [no. of posts, comments etc] to Impacts [enquiries, sales leads], would be a major starting point.
So my mission, and I have chosen to accept it, is to persuade the extremely smart guys in our data dept [and very handsome, stylish, witty and urbane, if you are reading, data dudes] to spend some time and effort collating sales data from clients and building predictive models that link these two steps.
Unless, of course, somebody far smarter and dedicated that I am, has already done this? Please?