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Archive for September 19th, 2008

Las Vegas or Park City?

Posted by widgetgirl on September 19, 2008

I am here at OMMA Global in New York to speak on a Metrics Panel moderated by Josh Chasin. MediaPost is the big MC here today and it just so happens that this is one of my publish dates.  Here is the article that ran today – after being at  a few sessions, I can tell you that this same conversation is resonating throughout the Marriott Marquis.

Las Vegas Or Park City?

I attended the Social Ad Summit this week in the heart of Tribeca (at the fabulous Tribeca Rooftop and great views of the city – highly recommend) where an excellent question was raised by Seth Goldstein – “Where will we be meeting in five years?  Will we be in Vegas or in Park City?”  I love both cities and they are both great venues – but one is catered to a larger audience and the second to a smaller. The point of the question got at the heart of the matter on defining how to measure social media.  Similar to the cost-per-click model that unlocked search and turned pay-per-click into a multi-billion dollar business that scaled, how can we do the same for social media? What will be the equivalent of our “SES” that we all must attend twice per year?

The analogy of where will we be meeting hits home because it points to how are we going to minimize the high-touch analysis model that encompasses social media today to something automated and data driven – and more importantly agreed upon across the industry. I have written in this column before about “listening” and “transparency” in the evaluation of social media.  Right now the assessment of social media campaigns is both a quantitative and qualitative analysis practice.  But in order to unlock the dollars in brand advertising and reel in those campaigns that will be $100K, $500K, and $1M spends in social media, the metrics must enable the advertising transactions to scale from low to high volume activity in a more automated fashion.  We all know that they don’t right now, so where do we go from here?

I don’t have the answer as to how we are going to get there, but I can tell you that the heat of the discussion is building. My prediction is that the unlocking of the treasure chest will happen in stages (it won’t be the explosion that we all secretly pray for).  We first have to get beyond the “engagement” discussion.  Every panel I sit on and almost every conference that I attend continues to discuss that word.  What does it mean? Is there a mathematical equation that defines it?  I think that we are going to see the engagement metric bifurcate into a relevant metric per each medium.  Video engagement is going to be calculated and weighed differently than social application engagement for example.  As these metrics begin to evolve and standardize with a CPx value associated with them, the models will start to scale so that self-serve advertising, ad networks and remnant solutions can plug and play.

The metrics will not change the need for listening in social media.  You will always have marketers and analysts needing to look at the user generated content associated with the campaigns, but the metrics will help automate the buying and selling of the space.

Are you engaged in this conversation?  Sick of hearing about it? Feeling the pain of how to justify your social media spend?  Or trying to sell social media?  Where should we take the discussion from here?  I would like to hear what you have to say either online via the comments in this article or in email.  Get social!

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