By all accounts, The Art of Marketing Conference held in Toronto on March 7th was a smashing success – as speakers provided the audience with cutting edge thoughts and insights on key marketing issues. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend, however thanks the willingness of a number of audience members to share what they were learning through Twitter, I did get a flavor of what was being discussed.
Here are the top 50 takeaways I was able to glean from the Twitter stream!
Avinash Kaushik – Brand Measurement: Metrics & Analytics
Gary Vaynerchuk – Social Media & Word of Mouth Marketing
Jeffrey Hayzlett – Brand Strategy & Growth
Dr. Sheena Iyengaar – Consumer Behaviour & the Psychology of Choice
Guy Kawasaki – Creativity & Innovation
As alluded to in my earlier post on Social Media Week, one of the hot-button topics that ensconced a number of presentations and discussions throughout the week was measurement and metrics. It seems that there is a fair bit of uncertainty, and correspondingly a lot of debate, on how to correlate social media activities with bottom line business results – and provide informed, proper analysis to senior management.
It’s no secret that there is a lot of gray area when it comes to measurement. Historically, for traditional marketing, marketers have focused on metrics such as brand awareness, brand perception and brand loyalty. While important, the accuracy and value of some of these metrics may not be as high as some perceive – particularly in the digital age, when start-ups can rise from relative obscurity rather quickly.
Engaged consumers now, more than ever, hold the true key to brand success. A company can benefit by building genuine relationships, leveraging social media, with key, well-connected consumers – brand advocates. As a result, traditional measures are evolving, and a variety of new tools and metrics – measuring, amongst other things, influence and sentiment – have been introduced.
Digital and social media are very measurable, perhaps more so than traditional media. But how meaningful are the measures for senior business managers who might still be entrenched in old paradigms? What can marketing and communications professionals do to effectively communicate the results of social media activities?
Here are a few key points that come to mind:
Having some sort of gauge for success is critical, enabling refinement of efforts based on key learning. Equally as critical, it’s important for company peers and cohorts to learn and understand the business value of social media activities.
There have been numerous intriguing discussions and debates, covering a wide range of topics related to social media. How will the group buying phenomenon evolve? How are mobile and social changing retail? What are some great case studies of companies that are effectively engaging with customers? What trends should we watch out for in 2011?
There is, however, one overarching topic that has permeated throughout the week – social media ROI. How can a company’s social media efforts be measured in an effective and reliable manner, demonstrating the true value of allocating time, money and other applicable resources?
I intend to share my thoughts on social media ROI, as well as other other topics discussed at Social Media Week, in the weeks to come. And now, off to my next event …