Monday Morning Musings

1. I found this interesting post last week by Peter Kim about a framework to measure social media.  It is a step in the right direction but it still makes we wonder about when we will see industry standard metrics emerge for social media (ie cost per action, cost per click, etc). 2. I’ve seen a couple of recent articles about Twitter jumping the shark.  I can’t quantify it but it feels like oversharing is down within my cohort. 3. Are we starting to see signs of the social media bubble bursting on the west coast? 4. Don’t forget about Myspace.  With all the buzz surrounding Facebook these days it is easy to forget who has more search...

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Five Meaningless Marketing Metrics

I have a CEO friend who uses the expression the “anxious parade of activity” to describe the way marketing people often present results to him.  I’m sure you have seen this before.  “First we did this tradeshow, then the agency made this pretty brochure, then we ran this ad in Magazine x….”  The entire thread is usually devoid of any connection to the impact these programs have on tangible business results. As 2009 budget season approaches, conversations inevitably shift to “what did we get for all the money we spent on marketing this year”.  These discussions can be much easier with the right marketing metrics in place.  I often find that the trouble with metrics is separating the meaningful from the meaningless.  OK, meaningless is probably too strong a word. For the sake of this post, let’s use the terms “activity-based” and “result-oriented”. I have created this list of five meaningless marketing metrics to illustrate the differences between the activity-based and result-oriented measures. Page views: Web traffic is a leading indicator but it is conversion that really matters.  Google Analytics makes it pretty simple to add conversion tracking to any website or blog so there is no excuse for not tracking web results. Leads: These are also a directional indicator. The challenge is that until you move them along the purchasing cycle this number doesn’t tell you much. Impressions: They are the fuel for our marketing machine but don’t give you any idea of how you are performing. Events attended: This also misses the point.  Did you have specific goals for the event like getting firm commitments from prospects to trial your product? Did your rainmaker sales guy close any big deals?  I was recently accused of being “anti-tradeshow”.  Over the last 10 years, I’ve seen a steep decline in the productivity of events. I reality, I am skeptical of programs that are difficult to measure or have weak ROI. Email open rate: I certainly want people to read my emails but it is more important to get them to take action.  Clickthroughs are a better measure and conversions are the best. This is certainly not an exhaustive list.  As always, I would welcome any...

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Monday Morning Musings

Here are a couple of things that are on my mind this brisk Monday morning. 1. It is interesting to see Kel Kelly asking about partners and spouses who Twitter together.  Personally, I spare my friends and family members from my microdrivel unless they are already a Twitterati or connected via Facebook or Linkedin. 2. I agree with Lynne Harrold that email open rates don’t matter. 3. Looking for blog post inspiration? Copyblogger suggests some ideas of how to overcome writers block. 4. Has anyone tried Yodle, an online service that assists small businesses by purchasing and syndicating niche...

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Davis Square Chugger Alert

My British friends have an expression for those people hanging around, blocking sidewalks and taking other disruptive measures to get you to give to their cause of the day.  They call them charity muggers or “chuggers“. Given the plethora of chuggers who have descended on Davis Square in Somerville, Limeduck and I have decided to create a map to help you get to lunch without being accosted. Today’s lunchtime chugger sightings: 6 Democratic National Committee: 2 (in front of CVS) Human Rights Campaign: 4 (2 in front of the Holland street T entrance, 2 at the College avenue entrance) It would be nice to have at least one lunch without the guilt trip from some overly enthusiastic 20-something blocking my path.  I don’t know about you but I can say I gave at the office. Please forward any chugger sightings if you see them. Stay tangy...

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Art, Science and the Expert Opinion

Everyday I’m reminded that Marketing is both art and science.  It is the art part that always challenges me.  There is no formula to derive that magical viral marketing video or blockbuster TV ad.  It usually requires someone with a wildly creative mind and a track record for delivering results.  Beyond that I have found limited ways to vet these expert marketing advisors who bring these things to life.  In other fields like finance or law people spend years getting special professional qualifications (ie a CPA or Bar Certification).  As a marketer, however, virtually anyone can become an “ad man”, social media guru or brand expert (see @amandachapel). To mitigate this risk, I rely on portfolio, references and intuition when selecting an expert marketing advisor.   try to understand the person and his or her frameworks. – How will he gather data? – How well does she listen? – How will he make real-time adjustments to the facts on the ground? – How well can she explain how she will derive this “expert opinion”? In many cases I know I will end up with an expensive opinion but it should be based on a combination of local knowledge and acquired expertise.  It’s not magic and you should steer clear of anyone who can’t clearly articulate his or her process because they probably don’t have one. Caveat emptor and stay...

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Stuck at the Airport? Social Media to the Rescue

Having spent the better part of Sunday traveling and looking for ways to kill time that dreadful “two hours before an international flight”, I came across this interesting article on Mashable. Many are obvious but all are great time killers.

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