ROI of Social Media: Can’t live with it, can’t live without it (2/4)

ROI of Social Media: Can’t live with it, can’t live without it (2/4)

In my last blog post on ‘ROI of Social Media – can’t live with it, can’t live without it’ I spoke about how many marketers hold social media to higher ROI standard.  If you’re not measuring traditional media, why do we need to measure the ROI of social media before we’ll invest in it?

In this post I’ll talk about the fact that in order to measure the incremental impact of social media we need to measure across the entire marketing mix.  (If you would like more information on all these topics, please check out our book here, or follow the topic on twitter at #ROISM.)

1)    Measuring across the marketing media mix – As you probably noticed from my first post I speak about ‘marketing ROI’ when the article claims to be about social media ROI.

As a marketing measurement expert (and I think I can call myself that, even though I am always learning new tricks), I have been measuring the effectiveness of social media right from the start.  We have measured a number of social media activities around the globe going back a number of years and all of them have been exceptionally strong – much stronger than traditional media activities.

When embarking on marketing measurement and now social media marketing measurement, we have to go back to basics.  We can’t measure the effect of social media as a stand-alone media (of course, unless this is the only thing you and your competitors are using.)  Social media has a unique impact on consumer behavior but we need to realize that it also affects the impact of traditional media and traditional media impacts the effect of social media.

In order to ‘get it right’ we need to have a measurement framework that is specific to social media, but also takes into account the entire marketing environment.  We need to look across all 4 Ps (Product, price, place and promotion).  To this end, my coauthors and I developed the Media Engagement Framework (page 84 in the book – a blatant plug).  It looks at how to gather the right information and data to properly measure the impact of all the actors in social media.  It talks about individuals, that may or may not become consumers, but nevertheless engage with your brand, influencers and how we would like to work towards winning and improving their endorsement of our brands, and of course consumers, that we want to move down the purchase funnel from brand awareness, to purchase, loyalty and advocacy.  If we follow this measurement framework, we can now be assured that we are measuring the right things so we can use those measurements to make better strategic and tactical marketing decisions in the future.

The Point:  Social media must be measured and it must be measured in context of all marketing activities and we must measure the right things in order to make better strategic and tactical marketing decisions.

Author’s Bio:  Over the last 20 years Guy R. Powell, based in Atlanta and Singapore has been helping thousands of marketers across the globe prove and improve their marketing performance through training, analytics and organizational transformation.  His experience cuts across just about every industry, every media channel – including social – and every region – from Asia to North America.  You can reach him on Linked in or here.  His other books include Marketing Calculator:  Measuring and managing your return on marketing investment and Return on Marketing Investment:  Demand more from your sales and marketing investments.