I’ve worked with a good deal of marketers who don’t think marketing has any metric other than revenue or possibly they may not even think that is a metric for them. Dave McClure has an interesting overview on marketing and metrics.
The launch of the latest interim board for Social Media Club has been an interesting thing. The traction has been pretty good and the numbers, while they may or may tie out in the press release to exactly 42 – they are directionally correct. So here is the “Social Media Dashboard” for the market launch:
- 59 new members signed up since the press release
- $2,000 in member revenue
- 35+ comments of people wanting to be the 42nd interim board member, plus 7 private messages
- Some folks think 41/42 are too many people for a board
- A significant retort on Nuking the Fridge
- Revitalized chapters and new requests to form chapters
With the email distribution of the “dashboard”, some of the board members have started their lessons learned phase and improvement iteration already. I suspect each member in their own way is executing something in the context of the “do goood” governance model – posting, actioning feedback and identifying a path forward. This is starting to look like a business and just like a business this dashboard information is a limited and latent view of the ongoing evolution of the conversation around the new board.
The conversation is all over the place – pros and cons. I thought I would spend some time to provide a little context to the metrics and information above for those of you who haven’t decided to get involved YET or may never get involved.
The release and follow up content is establishing an initial inertia which previously didn’t exist for the social club. More content the better -right? There is no such thing as bad publicity, so I encourage @AmandaChapel to crank up the “hyperbol-ic” satire machine and go. Afterall, it is all upside. Even the group’s lemonade solution of the press release miscount, “the search for member 42”, has been reasonably fruitful and hopefully folks that want to be on the board push it well beyond the 35+ comments of interest.
In general, volunteer groups need more members and the social media club go some in the past week. So it appears the formation of the interim group is building the membership and awareness consistent with it’s corporate speak goes.
While the momentum math is a little fuzzy, if you consider all the tweets and board member posts is considerably larger than represented above and it appears to be how you size the impact of an event in social media, increasing the share of voice. Without a large interim group, the reach would have been less and board size provides for increased skills coverage and redundancy for task execution. The whole concept about the board is do the work, whatever that is. That’s where the board is going – task groups, execution plans and exits. To that end, I think the use of the term interim is the correct adjective for the noun, the board.
Upon a little reflection though, these headline numbers, while interesting, may not be actionable at this point. This mirrors some of Kelly Feller’s key messages on the importance of metrics, deliverables and transparency in business around social media. As a business guy, who blogs both as an individual and as a member of a corporation, I couldn’t agreement more. Even with Eloqua, Google Analytics and WordPress stats – tough stuff to establish an increases revenue R factor.
<aside> I think overtime social media will move post the transaction and ultimately may not be a demand generation engine at all. Wouldn’t it be helpful is there was a standard based model/approach for social media metrics which could be generally accepted by businesses? </aside>
Metrics matter and is the biggest gap social media marketers have. Don’t get me wrong, metrics are available, but the one’s I’ve been watching for almost 2 years suggest that community is about customers, not prospects – at least in the B2B space which is where I exist.
If all you have is a hammer – everything is a nail.
Jumping the Shark?
So I clearly remember the jumping the shark episode from Happy Days and even recall thinking it was dumb when I saw it as a kid, the same with the Indy flying fridge, but I struggle to find a parallel to the board and based on these high level metrics this appears to be to be the general theme. That being said, putting Nukked the Fridge in the title does make for a killer headline. I think we have all seen enough copyblogger clones like “the 10 irrefutable laws of _________”, so I’m super groovey with the post on that level.
Delivering an ROI
The conversation is social media’s share of voice, old school PR – yuck.
The whole social media ecosystem centers on the key construct of conversation. A conversational approach is essentially the key differentiator from a market approach for new media folk and consumers in the channel. Just to let you know, it isn’t that easy to define or to develop a business justification document against conversation as a deliverable. I know – old school business – yuck.
Even the market metaphor is innately noisy. With increased adoption, diversity of voice and new use cases some of these things will work themselves out. The most interesting factor in impact is typically time oh but if only you could cube the future. Overtime the market participants we become more diverse in their focus, capabilities and the message will morph which will aid in developing more traditional business approaches on how to achieve a tangible benefit.
Satmetrix has some interesting research, as noted in the release excerpt:
Applying this framework to the computer hardware industry, Nowinski and his team discovered that each Promoter was worth approximately $2,634. Promoters spend $203 more than the industry average of $1,615 and account for roughly one-half of a new customer acquired through positive word-of-mouth. In comparison, each Detractor can cost a business 0.84 percent of a new customer through negative word-of-mouth. The lost business associated with their negative referrals subtracts nearly the entire value of their purchase behavior, leaving a total customer worth for Detractors of just over $100, accounting for $2,500 less than Promoters.
Church of the Customer furthers:
The study examined customers in the computer hardware industry and found, using the Net Promoter methodology, that “promoters” would spend about $1,818 of their own money and refer an additional $816 of revenue from friends and associates.
“While Detractors spend lags the average customer by only $158, their negative word-of-mouth behavior represents a significant hidden cost and net drain on future revenue,” said Nowinski.
Interesting stuff, wonder what the general CPG impact is?
I continue to read that Bob book and it again has an analogy which rings true for marketing professionals, the 5 Stages of Surprises. I’ve of course re-labeled it like a good [tag]marketer[/tag]. No such thing as a new idea – just new packaging. The trick is remembering it at the right time.
The 5 stages of Market Initiative Surprises typically apply to both the good surprise and the bad surprise. If you get a crazy good response rate and [tag]ROI[/tag] or the opposite, no ROI, either way the phases are applicable – I think. So what are the phases? Confusion, Anger, Denial, Rejection and Oh Well.
These stages only apply to successes, if you in fact acknowledge you are not the alpha and the omega of all things known to marketing. If you are the alpha marketer, then maybe not, but as an average Joe who is typically surprised by the wildly successful and the not successful intiative – I think it works. I’m in the “Marketing is a science with a good deal of art infused camp”. So let’s understand the phases:
Confusion: You launch something out to the market and start getting confusing responses. A confusing response could be a series of inbound inquiries which are off topic, a high volume of response or just no responses.
Anger: So anger comes on both sides. You get angry on a successful initiative because it becomes a “why haven’t I thought of this before?” situation. As for a not so good initiative, you become angry because you just don’t understand the limited uptake – I mean it was a GOOD idea after all with a compelling message.
Denial: Denial only works on a successful campaign if you understand that every idea can’t be wonderful or a hit. It’s easy to understand the denial on a negative campaign or outreach initiative. Admittedly – this is a short phase in the good initiative.
Rejection: There has to be something wrong with the metrics in either scenario. So you wait it out a little.
Oh Well: This is the final stage and it basically is the “Hey this thing worked” or “This thing didn’t work”. For the final stage to add value, this is where you have to acknowledge the outcome in earnest and learn from the activity. Either way, this is also the rationalization phase and where you create the story of the initiative, since you now know where it is landing and what you need to do.
The timeline for each phase depends on the the level of trust in your processes, organizational resources and systems. The denial and rejection phases get bloated if you have limited trust in the infrastructure (people, processes and technology). It is possible that this look at the 5 phases of surprises may not be correct, I’m just going to wait the metrics out on this post and see if I get surprised.