Friday, May 01, 2009

(Failing to) Bridge the divide


There are some gaps which will never be bridged – I am pretty sure there will never be a bridge from Russia to Alaska across the often sub-zero Bering Straight. There is also the divide between the ways that traditional and online media are measured. From talking to people in the industry at events like Measurement Camp it seems to be an issue on which a serious discussion and research need to be focussed.
At this point it seems illogical to cut to what I think might be the conclusion to this post ...that these media types are essentially so different that no metric can transcend and we might as well just get used to it and carry on life. If that’s your position then to be aware of the issue is probably enough. But I strongly believe that PR and marketing needs cross-media metrics, able to transcend the multitude of media channels. How can budgets be effectively divided, resources allocated and jobs given out if there is no comparative value associated with each type of media?
In the world of traditional media measurement audience data often underpins the gauging of impact. This is all nicely audited and is accepted as a dependable yardstick. But when you flip into the digital world those sort of figures don’t exist – in relative terms it’s the twilight-zone.
There are many more familiar with online metrics and I acknowledge its an area I should know more about but my view is new media is just so varied that any sort of sample audit can’t accurately encapsulate the real picture.
In the world of social media measurement there are loads of question marks and none bigger than cross media metrics - can you find an answer?
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