A Collaborative Effort Between Two Firms: Web Analytics Demystified and Altimeter Group
It’s just been over a month since we published the Social CRM Research paper (over 36k views on slideshare) and we’re continuing our cadence here at Altimeter Group of publishing widely available reports under the spirit of Open Research. This time, it’s different, we’ve aligned with who I feel are the smartest team of web analytics minds in the space, John Lovett (ex-Forrester analyst) and Eric Peterson (ex-Jupiter analyst) both of the Web Analytics Demystified firm. Stemming from Altimeter founder Charlene Li’s (ex-Forrester Analyst) framework, we co-developed this framework, and put our collective minds to work on measuring the rapidly changing social media marketing space. This self-funded research effort resulted in a thorough methodology as we interviewed over 40 ecosystem influencers.
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Industry Challenge: “I can’t measure social media ROI”
Marketers around the globe are ranging from toe dipping to jumping all the way into the social marketing space –yet most lack a measurement yardstick. While experiments can fly under the radar for a short term, without having a measurement strategy, you run the risk of not improving what you’re doing, justifying investments, and the appearance of being aloof to upper management. To be successful, all programs (even new media) must have a measurement strategy, and we’ve done just that.
Finally, A Measurement Framework Based on Business Objectives
If you’re familiar with the Altimeter frameworks of developing a social strategy based on business objectives, then you’re in good shape, as this research report is the natural extension of the business objectives we put forth:
- Dialog: involves starting a conversation and offering your audience something to talk about while allowing that conversation to take on a life of its own
- Advocacy: activation of evangelism, word of mouth, and the spread of information through social technologies
- Supporting: customers may self support each other, or companies may directly assist them using social technologies.
- Innovation: The business objective of innovation is an extraordinary byproduct of engaging in social marketing activity.
Our framework is a common denominator, so if you’re already measuring converted leads, or actual sales from social media, you’re already a leg up! In this meaty report, we hope you’ll share with your marketing and analytics team, and use the actual KPI formulas to create your own cookbook.
A Nod To the Community Spirit
We’re putting a big stake out there, in order to further the industry to come together around a common set of KPIs and metrics, but we realize we don’t know all the answers. In the spirit of Open Research, we want this to be an open framework (we’ve even licensed this under Creative Commons) to customize it and make your own for non-commercial reasons with attribution. If you’ve ideas on how to improve it such as new KPIs, vendors, or approaches, we’re listening, and will incorporate and improve this community body of knowledge for all to benefit.
I’ll link to others that extend the conversation (even critical reviews), feel free to embed the slideshare on your own site.
- John Lovett, my co-author, on the Web Analytics Demystified Blog. Note, they used their branded report template, but the content is the same.
- The Altimeter Blog (cross posting)
- Christine Tran is the lead researcher on this report, she writes a smart blog
- Lithium’s Phil Soffer, VP of Product Marketing, has shared it from the Lithium Blog
- Dennis Howlett of ZDNET suggests this could be the dark side.
- Shel Holtz gives a review, and suggests we couple our paper with KD’s checklist (PDF). She was one of the respected ecosystem contributors.
- Laura from Scoutlabs posts it to their official blog
- Ikedahayato, a Japanese blog, makes the report go global, thank you
- The Passion for Research Blog says “This report cuts through that confusion and delivers some great insights”
- Dave Fleet writes it’s a good start, and provides good KPIs but wants to see the conversation extend.
- Alterian’s Connie Benson adds to the conversation and highlights some of SM2’s capabilities.
- Geoff shares it from his French blog, more international spread.
- Connie Bensen cascades the research report to her career blog.
- CJLambert is cynical and doesn’t think a universal ruler can be applied to social media measurement. We look forward to her detailed review later.
- Ken Yeung does a wrap up post, highlighting the report, thanks
- Francine, a Silicon valley/Phoenix entrepreneur and friend is frustrated that the research report doesn’t write for small businesses, do see my response in the comments.
- Debbie Hemley publishes the report, over at Weber Media
- Marshall Spondor from Web Metrics Guru shares the report, has some funny comments about analysts, as well as Open Research, thanks Marshall. Excellent, he’s starting to try it out, see test 1.
- Pathway Communications embeds the report
- Social Media Biz embeds the report, I enjoyed the thoughtful content on their site
- More global spread, it’s now on German blogs.
- Seesmic founder and LeWeb producer Loic had comments, I engaged in dialog on Twitter, see the conversation
- Research Live highlights the report
- Marketing Profs has allowed me to guest post on Daily Fix, sharing it to a fantastic community of marketers
- Liberate Media posts the report, thanks Lloyd
- Christopher Berry does a review of the report, and tests out some of the formulas
- David Berkowitz shares the report, and points out it’s not a complete list of vendors.