Friday, January 16, 2009

Measurement Camp ups the pace

Yesterday was the first of this years Measurement Camp monthly meetings, hosted this time by Econsultancy (Thanks Michelle and Aliya!). The 40 or so participants cover a vast cross-section of marketing specialisms, from PR, advertising, online and offline, direct and social media content producers. The breadth of interest and experience has to be unique, all to ponder the single issue of media measurement.

Some of the out-take I got was the overwhelming feeling that people needed to apply measurement to a massive selection of media outputs. Not only across the large number of social media platforms, but with the aim of generating a customised selection of results specific to their circumstances.

The instruments available make it possible to present many many different results sets. Clients don't want to be faced with 100 different metrics, and that is where Measurement Camp comes into its own. The format of the meetings are to take a real or imaginary media campaign and over a period of 2 hours present the best ways we can think of to measure it. The photo above shows our group presenting our finding to the rest.

Getting back to the out-takes; its clear that there will never be a single all-encompassing measure...a metric to to measure all social media; forget it. Through meaningful discussions and education on behalf of the agency, researchers and clients the hope is there should develop a confidence to pick on a couple of the metrics most appropriate. It will also help if examples of best-practice can be promoted as part of this education.

My final thought is on secrecy. There can be no use in agencies adopting a 'smoke and mirrors' approach to methodology. If it is not clear and transparent there can be no justification. I strongly believe that any efforts to cloak methodology will hinder the widespread adoption effective media measurement harming the evaluation agencies, confusing the clients as well as the media agencies.