Wednesday, April 04, 2012

#MARKETS: "Traditional Marketing Metrics Miss Impact of Social Media"

A new study finds that the business impact of social media is not being accurately captured with traditional marketing metrics.

Using first-click attribution results significantly increases the business impact value of social media sites.

A new study maintains that marketing organizations are using the wrong metrics to measure the impact of social media, and when you correct this, social media is shown to be much more effective than is generally thought today.

Social media began as a way for users to weigh-in on the usefulness of products by allowing them to leave reviews on a company's website. As a result, the real benefits and pitfalls of using products in-the-field were revealed, giving consumers a much more accurate evaluation of the choices before making a purchase. This approach expanded to various non-commercial sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Blogger, YouTube, and Yelp, where users weigh-in on all aspects of their purchasing decisions.

Traditional marketing organizations, however still weigh the impact of social media from the viewpoint of the product review which is located at the site nearest the "Buy Now" click that asks for a credit-card number--called "click last"--instead of the site where a user was introduced to the product in the first place--called "click first."

Now a new service from Adobe Systems Inc. is claiming that the traditional "click last" metric is shortchanging the impact of social media on buying decision. If instead the "click first" metric is used to evaluate where the user first learned about the product, the impact of social media on the eventual buying decision is increase by as much as 94 percent.

Adobe's second annual Digital Index report goes into great detail evaluating why marketing organizations should switch from traditional "click last" to "click first" evaluation of the impact of social media, giving e-commerce and retail executive a more accurate method of deciding where to spend their time and money in promoting their products.

Adobe evaluated over 1.7 billion web-page visits to accurately measure the difference between click-first and click-last attribution models, comparing the click-first effect of major media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Blogger, YouTube, and Yelp to the click-last effect of visits to more than 225 company websites.

According to the Adobe study, marketing efforts are best expended by engaging potential customers at the earliest stages of the buying process. Anecdotal evidence has already indicated that "click first" methods leverage the buying decision most effectively--even politicians have recognized this as they begin to post YouTube videos of their viewpoints instead of just putting up their pitches on their own web sites and waiting for voters to find them with search engines. Similarly, marketers for companies offering products or services should be engaging their potential buyers as early as possible by posting on the social media sites themselves. Ω