Numbers, numbers and more numbers

Numbers One of the threads that I found most interesting over at MarketingProfs book club (stored in the know-how exchange) was when CK (the club’s hostess with the mostest) asked what are the biggest hurdles to getting clients/CMOs/companies to embrace citizen (read social) marketing?  We’re mulling over the book Citizen Marketers by Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell.  It’s an excellent read, by the way.

Anyway, in the thread, one of the reasons we all point to is that we have not yet found a way to demonstrate how social media spills down to the bottom line.  It’s hard to measure and validate, we agreed.

I find that a fascinating juxtaposition to the amazing array of ways we can track, count, quantify, justify, enumerate and calculate how our blog’s doing.  And of course, in a post by BizInformer, I just found another.

This site, seomoz.org, allows you to plug in your URL and then gives you a ranking of your visibility on the web.  What I think is a little different and cool about it is that it shows you all the elements it used to create your ranking and explains a little about how each work.

So in short, we can measure many things.  But we haven’t figured out how to measure what matters.  I think the real question is this:  maybe we just need to stop trying to measure something that is, by its nature, unmeasurable.

I can’t really measure the value of a client’s faith in me, or a customer who will drive an extra 10 minutes to go to their store of choice, or the power of someone giving a specific book to 50 of their clients with a note that says, "You’ve got to read this.  It will change how you think."

But I sure know I want a whole lot of it.

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8 comments on “Numbers, numbers and more numbers

  1. Drew, trying to measure the value of a website is something like measuring our smarts with an IQ test. Both fail to show the real value. 🙂 Great insights!

  2. Robyn,

    Hmm, I hadn’t thought of that analogy but it’s a great one.

    I get that businesses want to know what works and ROI is important.

    But it is certainly not the end all.

    Drew

  3. Steve Sisler says:

    Drew, what a great tool. I have been sitting here plugging in different web sites, especially those of the competition. Lots of data to track. I see another spreadsheet in the near future. The next challenge will be to gain an understanding of what the data is telling me, such as what are they doing differently from us. You got to love it!

    Thanks for the tip!

  4. Drew – one thing I like about reading blogs is getting different perspectives. Great thoughts on this post – there are many things we’ll never be able to measure.

    -Pat

  5. Steve,

    The challenge for all of us is sifting through all of this information and discovering the layer of insight underneath.

    I’ll be curious to see what you conclude from your experiments!

    Drew

  6. Pat,

    So where do you stand on the measureability/no measurability issue?

    Does the fact that we can’t measure it lessen the value?

    How do we, as marketers, help clients grasp the intangible values, if you believe there are some?

    Drew

  7. Adriana says:

    The answers given by users to the stimulous provided by us will be the measurable results of our effort on our web site!

  8. Adriana,

    Without a doubt — creating a reaction and conversation is a very valuable measurement.

    The challenge of course is — can we convert that to ROI for our accounting departments and budget controllers.

    Drew

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