Monthly Archives: June 2010

The 5 Horseman Of The Brand Data-Pocalypse

I have often been asked about how to measure media or calculate the success of a program, project,  campaign or initiative.  Those questions have become even more prevalent over the past few years as the outlets for content has fragmented.

I have watched the confusion build in friends and colleagues faces as they talk about the rivers of data they see around their content or brand coming from multiple vendors with no connection.  It is as if every day they are Noah and need to figure out what animals to put on the ark because the water keep rising!

I does not need to be so confusing.

I have a video editor & director friend who has a phrase that he uses when putting a film or TV piece together – “Sometimes you just have to drown your kittens”.  It sounds horrible and harsh, but the fact is that sometimes even the most compelling video or breathtaking pictures must be cut if they do not fit the theme of the story.

The same goes with data.  If certain metrics do not fit a story that gives you insight into the specific  business, project, customers, process or product  you are focusing on in a meaningful way, it is likely not worth it.

The fact is, that generating data is the easy part.  The hard part is determining which data will give you the most valuable insight.  That requires asking and answering 4 key questions about the given task at hand, then asking #5 to pick the data elements that are most closely tied to #s 1-4.

1. What
does your brand stand for?

2. What
is your content strategy to support your brand promise?

3. What
do you know and what do you want to know about your customers?

4. What
are the tools that you are using and how do they support your brand?

…and after you have clear answers for each of these for the give initiative, then…


5. What
are the data points that you have available and how should you apply


Quantify When You Qualify


realities of our world today include fragmented media choices, a
consumer base that demands relevance and that is both difficult to
discover and satisfy. That means it is critical to establish, and
nurture, lasting bonds with the consumers that are based on a
transparent relationship between your brand
or brands
and their behaviors.

are few excuses to make today about the lack ability to track
behavior and to, therefore, assign accountability metrics for
improvement. That includes the normally qualitative world of
branding, which are nothing more than the aggregated actions of
people related to a company’s content, product, service or message.

of that can be counted.

trick is in knowing what to count, what to compare it to and what
that means. I leave that for another post as it is not trivial, nor
do I mean it to sound so. That is, however, more a question of truly
knowing the goals of your business because the metrics merely help
tell a story for you to evaluate those goals and your broader

is essential today for us to seek:

  • To
    quantify in a standardized way
    the normally qualitative areas of brand relationships, brand
    strength and brand value in real-time, in context


  • To
    provide a simple way to manage those relationships across media
    platforms based on that standard measurement.

Going Beyond Time & Money For Real Brand Value

Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley recently released and presented her Internet Trends study at the CM Summit in New York City.

Amidst discussions of mobile, online advertising, e-commerce and international trends, the item that caught my eye related to the value of digital advertising compared to the time spent on online and to CPMs of other media.

I have heard this argument quite a bit as an indication of the undervaluation of digital ads versus other media and I do not necessarily disagree, but I think it is incomplete.  In looking at the chart below from Meeker’s strong presentation, both Internet and Radio have less Ad Spend than Time Spent, which by the basic definition would mean they are both undervalued.

That is certainly a debate that is common, but I think it misses the point because a brand will derive value not simply from the ad on a well-trafficked medium, but from the power of the relationship it can drive.  These days, that brand relationship value is the combination of media, not each one in isolation.

I, therefore, do not happen to adhere to the idea that Time Spent and Ad Spend (along with CPMs) necessarily need to be equal for each medium because it is the combination of time spent across media that is the critical data to understand.

All media are there to drive brand relationships and the value placed on the time should reflect that capability.  Impressions, clicks, comments, views both online and offline are all pieces of that brand relationship so focusing on on one medium as under or overvalued based solely on 2 data points I believe paints an incomplete picture.
Time Spent vs Ad Spend (Morgan Stanley)
CPM Comparisons Across Media

What The World Cup Can Teach Us About Brand Relationships

preparing to speak
at the MFM
2 weeks ago, I put together the following cheat sheet
in how to approach the questions of measuring brand relationships, in
general, and social media in particular.  Social media is merely
one tactic in monitoring and managing your brand relationship, but it
was a catalyst for the discussion and this framework.

media and the broader brand relationship management are still very
new areas and there are new situations every day. With that in mind,
it is essential that we all use tools that can adapt with the market
and help drive our businesses forward regardless of what comes around
the bend.

reality is that companies like mine and others can measure A LOT
across media in all
forms; but the challenge is transforming that into actionable
information to benchmark and plan against Key Performance
and to force
objective accountability.

that in mind, I believe in 3 critical tools that anyone
can employ in their businesses to evaluate what the brand
relationship approach should be and, therefore, what the best
measurements should be. It is critical to understand that floods of
data are not information and information is best understood when it
answers the right questions.

approach below is designed to ensure you are asking the right

of S-O-D

yet; think of the best event going , the World Cup! An event that
relies 100% on grass and the Sod that is painstakingly and carefully
laid before the event.

putting high quality SOD (aka grass) on the field nobody can play.
Worse yet, if the SOD is laid poorly, the game suffers because the
players cannot perform no matter how great they are.

the grass is repaired and groomed before EVERY GAME. It is not just
laid down once because every time it is used, there is something to
address based on the game. The same goes for our strategies.

solution is to critically think through the design of your approach
and the supporting analytics so that it can grow with every action
you take:

  • Strategic
    Framework – Build up
    your Brand Relationship & Social Media strategies

  • Objective
    Framework – Define the goals of the activities

  • Data
    Framework – Putting metrics into Standard Data Categories

SOD Picture (Paul)