Susan Etlinger and Andrew Jones from Altimeter Group published a thoughtful research piece on how brands measure the revenue impact of social media. I’ve embedded the full report below.

Obviously this topic is near and dear to our hearts at Argyle – plus I did a call with Susan as a part of her research process – so I thought that I would share a few thoughts.

The report’s “Six Ways of Measuring Revenue Impact of Social Media” is pretty much spot on:

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It was refreshing to see that “Anecdote” made its way onto the list. Even though it is decidedly low tech and not much fun to talk about as an industry analyst or technology vendor, anecdotal measurement is the right place to start and the ideal practice until a more integrated/automated approach becomes apparent and/or necessary.

The marketing immaturity reflected in the report aligns with our day-to-day experience at Argyle. Most social marketers have their hands full solving urgent problems around workflow, automation, and management. Revenue attribution is important, but it isn’t always the top priority when there are other pressing productivity problems.

That said – it is encouraging the data in the report underlines the ongoing quest of revenue attribution. 56% of the social professionals surveyed stated that “inability to tie social media to business outcomes” is a challenge. 70% scored themselves a 3 or less (on a scale of 1 to 5) when asked about their effectiveness at mapping social media to revenue generation. We obviously believe that these are important problems worth solving.

A 5-star effort from Susan, Andrew, and team – well worth the read.

Eric

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