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Passion – can you measure it?

Posted by widgetgirl on May 6, 2008

Today I spoke on a panel at the Sports Marketing 2.0 VIP Summit that took place at AT&T Park in San Francisco.  Before I write anything here – wow, what a venue! The ball park is right on the bay and the crystal clear sky produced an amazing view!  This one day conference brought together sports marketers from all of the country to discuss how to perform and measure Web 2.0 strategies as they apply to the world of sports marketing. We were the first panel of the day and our topic was online measurement.  My co-panelists included:

  • Young-Bean Song from Microsoft (Atlas division)
  • John Broady from Omniture
  • Laurie Koehler from Intel

The panel was moderated by Daniel Aronson from IBM and specifically focused on the online measurement tools that are available to the market today – and how they can specifically be applied to build a monetizable audience for sports sites and teams.

First question of the day – are sports sites more valuable than regular media sites?  The general consensus is “yes” sports sites and sports content in general (whether it be widgets, blogs or tweets) are more valuable than content on a general media site.  But the follow up questions as to why were pretty interesting.  The thing about sports sites (or shall we say sports fans) is that the visitors are extraordinarily loyal.  They have a strong affinity towards their brand are more likely to affiliate themselves with the brands of their sponsors.

So that lead to the next question – how can you measure passion?  That’s a good one!  Can you measure passion? My answer to that one is that yes, you can pull from your engagement metrics toolbox (there’s that word again) to build a profile of your fan that describes their passion in quantitative terms.  I would start with:

  1. How much time do your fans spend on your site? Metrics: Average session duration
  2. How often do your fans return to your site over a given time period? Metric: Session per visitor
  3. Do your fans post, comment or register on your site?  How often? Metric: You will probably have to work with your web analytics vendor to instrument the data collection on this piece, but it is completely possible to gather all three of these data points.
  4. Are the fans visiting your site new or repeat visitors? Metric: New Visitor %, Repeat Visitor %

So if we just start there, you could easily start to build a “passion” metric that resembles how your fans interact with your web site.  But for the Digital Marketing Manager of a major sports team or content site, the exercise goes so much farther than that.  Fans spend time on blog sites affiliated with your sport or team.  They spend time on social network profiles and groups that may reside off of any domain that you manage.

Next question – can you measure all aspects of Sports Marketing?  The answer really is “no”. There is more happening than any one marketer can get their hands around.  Sites can be measured, widgets can be measured, emails can be measured – a lot of mediums can be measured.  However, there is still a lot of aspects of the Web 2.0 space that cannot be measured.

The ending thought of the day that had a broad consensus across the panel was that you have to build your strategy to measure what you can.  Draw a stake in the ground and start measuring the baseline.  You need to play in the new mediums to learn about them – even if you can’t measure them. Keep scanning the market for how you can reach your customers.  Experiment to learn the space and then jump in with more resources when you can measure it and determine your ROI.


3 Responses to “Passion – can you measure it?”

  1. It’s a great question and one that’s near and dear to my heart. Finding a consistent measurement like this would be a great step forward from what compete.com calls “involvement.”

  2. jhen said

    I agree also to the first question of Daniel Aronson which is important today the sports sites or the media site..and most people this time love the sports site..

  3. […] Passion – can you measure it? […]

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