BrainTrust Query: Six 2013 New Year’s Resolutions for Marketing and Insights

Discussion
Dec 26, 2012

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt of an article from the Joel Rubinson on Marketing Research blog.

This is the year to take action rather than talking about it. This is the year marketing teams need to move from empty narrative like "the ROI of social media is that you will be in business in five years" (Socialnomics) to data, like "the ROI of social media is ROI … estimated from marketing mix modeling and experiments properly designed."

This is the year we turn to evidence as our light at the end of the tunnel.

Here is my suggested list of practical and high priority initiatives:

1) Integrate digital data with survey-based insights.

Why not harvest the ongoing digital data streams and turn them into metrics alongside brand tracking measures? If you are using surveys alone, you are not positioned to succeed in a digital age — pure and simple.

2) Convert one research method from backward looking, slow, and costly to real time, and at half the price.

Instead of using pop-up surveys to measure digital ad effectiveness, why not tag an ad so it serves a cookie that can be matched to downstream conversion? Why not systematically manipulate creative and ad serving elements for the first week so you can conduct a naturally occurring conjoint style study and then optimize?

3) Learn visual marketing.

Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook itself are making marketing increasingly visual with a reliance on photos. Marketers need to learn how to master visual marketing and convert picture sharing into insights data streams.

4) Make mobile your competitive advantage.

This is the year to commit to testing mobile marketing, inventing new vehicles (apps, mobile ad products), and the integration of mobile into shopping. And perhaps most of all, learning how to measure mobile marketing effectiveness.

5) Blur physical and virtual by creating interactivity.

In South Korea, Tesco’s commuters can use their smartphones to shop for groceries in a virtual store projected onto the back wall of the train station and place their grocery order to be delivered to their home while they are waiting for their train. Increasingly, people are using their tablets and smartphones while they watch TV, so it is likely that you will be able to interact with a TV commercial via your second screen and perhaps even add the product to your shopping list on the device you take with you into the store.

6) Where’s the beef?

Facebook has been around for too long for us to not know what the value of a Facebook fan is. Physical retailers are scared of showrooming but not measuring it properly. We pre-grieve for the death of TV advertising yet fail to properly compare the time people spend watching TV vs. being in social media. Yet TV still drives search, social media activity and other digital actions, so digital actually amplifies TV advertising effectiveness. Pick a couple of meaty and important areas, and dig in with learning goals.

Will the marketing community be much closer to realizing an ROI metric around social media in 2013? Where should the focus be? What tactic would you add to those mentioned in the article?

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13 Comments on "BrainTrust Query: Six 2013 New Year’s Resolutions for Marketing and Insights"


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Anne Howe
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

I will add to Joel’s good list, but not in a tactical way. Marketers: in 2013, try to remember that the shopper doesn’t absorb, feel, react or respond in the silo’s you’re trying to organize around, and measure. The shopper is living in an integrated, blended and seamless world of mobile, digital, and most importantly, face-to-face interactions with other humans. Dialogues, human connections, conversations, relationships and engagements—measure the effects of those in total versus trying to decide which tactic works best.

Camille P. Schuster, Ph.D.
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

Creating metrics just to have metrics or measurable numbers is not necessarily a step forward. Understanding who your valuable consumers are, which touchpoints work best with which consumers, what messages work with which consumers, and the path to purchase for valuable consumers is critical for success.

Finding metrics to provide that information would enable more informed decisions. Calculating the number of fans does not answer any of those questions. Determining which consumers become fans and then which of those fans actually purchase products would be more helpful. ROI metrics need to be related to media your consumers use.

Gene Detroyer
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

Again we see this need for ROI around social media, but a continual ignoring of similar disciplines for traditional media. The use of new communication techniques flies right in the face of what traditional broadcast marketing has been all about. Marketers will continue to try to force their message on their imagined customers.

There must be a change in mindset of the marketers. Today’s tools are different. Today’s demographics are different. They must stop using ROI as a reason to go back to methods that don’t demand an ROI measurement.

Roger Saunders
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

Anne Howe’s perspective is spot on. We live in an Integrated Media and Marketing environment. The consumer is receiving and influenced by well over 30 different media forms—including the in-store versions at the moment of decision.

The consumer is telling marketers, via surveys and actions, how, when, and why they can be reached and impact of various media on their purchasing behavior. In a consumer-centric world, marketers have to commit to listening first, in order to enhance better decision-making.

Ryan Mathews
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

No, I don’t think they will because I think most traditional marketers still haven’t—and won’t in the near term—embraced the seismic change social media represents. Their focus should shift from creating artificial taxonomies to developing intuitive, fact-based models of customer behavior.

Shep Hyken
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

Social media is growing. Certain types of customers embrace it more than others. Certain companies embrace it more than others. For most companies, the key is: Be where the customer is.

Two areas to focus on:

1. Video. Determine how can you push content and use video to enhance your customers experience.

2. Traditional social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are more than just channels to monitor for complaints and other customer feedback. Use these channels to interact and have conversations with your customers. Build a community—and communicate with that community. Try and make it personal!

Tony Orlando
Guest
9 years 4 months ago
The information here has some merit, but in reality, I must look at simple nut & bolts solutions for 2013. Small business supermarkets are very concerned about how they deal with the mandates from Obamacare, which will add a huge burden to their bottom lines. Add in the new mandates for hiring practices just passed, and increases in minimum wages, the ROI metrics don’t stack up to my priorities for the new year. Certainly mobile phone technology, and new ways of advertising are important, but I don’t have a team of gurus, and lawyers to deal with all the details of the new age. Simple math tells me to pay attention to running an efficient operation from inventory controls, to some reasonable labor expense, in order to survive the onslaught on 5 new dollar stores opening up next year. I read all of this stuff here, and much of it is great material, but the old fashioned way of running the day to day operations becomes critical in the new year more than ever before.… Read more »
Ralph Jacobson
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

I think Joel has captured some really great tactics, that I rarely see in print. Good work, Joel.

The one aspect that I would drive further, is the visual/ graphical impact to consumers, versus the textual impact. Text is going away. We no longer have the attention span to read brand marketing messages. Notwithstanding the inevitable evolutionary missteps of the more graphical social channels like those mentioned in the article, I believe the longer-term survivors of these channels will be the marketing vehicles of choice of the brands.

Bill Hanifin
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

Smart marketers will stop waiting around for the market to produce a metric and decide on what they wish to measure for themselves. It is less important to publish a paper telling the world what a FB like is worth and more emphasis should be placed on practical execution for the business.

I have framed the value of a Like, based on using acquisition costs as a proxy and the range of outcomes is so broad that it is clear to me that the methodology is important, but that each business will need to establish its individual metric of success.

Just because it’s a challenging process should not deter marketers from keeping their collective shoulder at the wheel.

James Tenser
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

Joel’s list is loaded with implications for new marketers and it offers a road map for which vehicles have yet to be developed.

In general I share his skepticism about survey data in favor of direct measurements of consumer actions. When it comes to understanding media, behavior rules.

For me, counting page views, clicks, likes and app downloads is ultimately not very interesting unless those actions can be positively linked to the point of sale (in-store or virtual). Acts of advocacy—posts, fans, reviews, shares—move a little bit closer to the mark, but the causal connections must be proven, not assumed.

The evaluation of social media cries out for scorecard development across the board. Reliable ROI metrics may not be possible without the grunt work this implies. The reason all this seems vague and confusing today is because we haven’t yet invested the collective effort required.

The sage Marshall McLuhan said it well: “We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then they shape us.”

M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
9 years 4 months ago
Goldilocks would be so confused! How do you market to someone who buys the biggest flat-screen available, and yet also watches internet content, email, movies, TV programming, and sporting events on in-car monitors, on computers, and even on teeny little tablets and smartphones? They want it big, and medium, and small. Every video delivery system seems to be “just right.” In 2013 retailers will continue racing to catch the comet’s tail of social media marketing. No one, absolutely no one, is ahead of this phenomenon or even keeping up with it. Thus, measuring its effect on business—ROI—will remain an elusive apparition for most next year. My recommendation is to divide in order to conquer. Start with Facebook, perhaps, and absolutely wring it out with testing. Then add Twitter to your quiver and wring it out, too. Etcetera. The idea is that when you’re engaging all of the social media simultaneously, it’s difficult to know which are performing best. Plus, it seems that new social media are being added at a regular pace. Every social medium… Read more »
Kai Clarke
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

No. Social media is truly not ready for prime time when it comes down to the real “spend” of marketing. No one in the marketing community is going to stop their spend on the proven forms of marketing, including price management, in favor of social media. This is how marketers are planning their 2013 spend.

Chandan Agarwala
Guest
Chandan Agarwala
9 years 4 months ago

Social media on mobile devices is likely to blend the virtual world with real world for customer experience management. Initially, the applications are likely to focus on running promotional campaigns. As retailers may find difficult to manage the scale of requests from the online channel.

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