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Standard measures
November 19, 2007, 7:05 am
Filed under: Digital Strategy

One of the fundamentals of connections planning is that all audiences are not the same. For maximum effectiveness messages and experiences should be tailored to cater to the needs and expectations of different types of people. 

The Roundtable

I’ve been asked to contribute to a Marketing Magazine roundtable discussion. The question is: “Should there be one standard measure for online audiences?”

But if all audiences are unique and granular can any interaction measurement be standardised? And would this build any actionable business intelligence for a brand?

The Knights

I have my own roundtable: Facebook, Twitter and this blog. And in the spirit of ‘it’s not what you know it’s who you know to ask’ I sent out an invitation to participate and a few of my favourite knights got back to me straight away:

Mike (via Facebook): Do you mean quantitative or qualitative? Surely you can’t have a standard with out knowing who you are measuring first? Also, not all traffic is created equal…..
http://publishing2.com/2007/01/25/not-all-traffic-is-created-equal/

Todd: Sure. There should also be a Unified Theory of Everything but they haven’t cracked it yet either. Web is complex, can’t over simplify it.

katiechatfield @Todd: better questions might be :What is important to measure? What does success look like? What’s your answer then?

Todd: Depends what the problem is. Do you ask a doctor to give you a single answer re your wellbeing? Success can mean many things depending on your market position

servantofchaos @katiechatfield you may want to achieve different things with different niches

Sara The Bargain Queen (via Facebook) :Absolutely not! 100,000 one-time readers is worth far less than 10,000 devoted regulars…

Ian (via Facebook):  Online tends to mean interactive so it’s magnitudes more difficult to measure than views/impressions/clicks. We’d have to create a set of engagement metrics – perhaps weighted to the context of the interaction & value of the individual participating

bh_Todd It’s in the interests of media / content owners to do so, but it might not mean too much for marketers.

The Holy Grail 

And that’s the sticking point of the question really- what is the value offering of online publishers? As Doug Anderson  from Neilsen  so neatly puts it:

In order for the marketplace between advertisers and sellers of media to function, both sides must agree on the key metrics that are used to measure and value audiences

So my answer is that we don’t need one standard measure, we need a matrix of measures that maps needs, goals and audiences to outcomes.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

The language being used here is very revealing: “audience”. Mass media channels (TV, newspapers) have audiences. Does Amazon have an audience? I thought it had shoppers. Does Facebook have an audience or members?

You may be able to describe an online audience with a few metrics (I think one is pushing it). But not all the interactions between an organisations and individuals online are best framed in media/audience terms. And different kinds of relationships w

ill require different collections of metrics. E.g. Both retailers & customer service groups migt start with numbers of visitors but then it changes. If you are retailing online then revenue per customer per visit is probably important. If you offer customer service online then % of issues resolved within 24 hours might be more important. And repeat business is good for the former but bad for the latter.

Comment by Matt Moore

hey thanks Matt, I´ve taken all this slightly reworded it and incorporated it as my own…
Please contact me for your royalties.

Comment by katiechatfield




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