Alright, so in my previous post, I tried to setup a basic framework for thinking about program measurement, much of which I argued should start with the organization of three big data piles, pulled from: 1) Your platform analytics; 2) Your brand monitoring metrics; and 3) Your competitive benchmarks. Now, assuming you can wrap your arms around these data sources, it begs two obvious questions: What types of spot measurements can you begin to calculate? And how the hell do you that?
I’ll give you three examples of the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ for corporate programs, but know that there’s more to it than what you see here, stuff I’ll just have to dig into with future posts.
Example #1: Discussion Volume
Let’s start with an easy one. It’s a simple measure of how often a topic (e.g., your brand, product, service, etc.) is mentioned in online chatter. To figure this out, you need brand monitoring metrics (and yes, for accuracy and sanity sake, you should consider a paid service). Discussion Volume is usually captured in the form of a percentage in relationship to total market discussion (e.g., all relevant discussions about your industry, product category, service type, etc.). So the formula you use might look something like this:
Example #2: Market Participation
A little harder. It’s a measure of how many brand conversations a company proactively participated in over a given period. To figure this out, you’ll need platform analytics to capture relevant data points like author comments, twitter replies, direct messages, post retorts, etc., and note: you’ll also need to know your Discussion Volume (as outlined above). This is important because the interrelation of spot measurements actually helps with larger program measurements, if that make sense. Again, something I’ll need to dig into with future posts. So the formula you use for Market Participation might look something like this:
Example #3: Market Authority
This one’s much harder to do (and define). But for now, to keep it simple, consider it a measure of how often a corporate platform (e.g., newsroom, company blog, twitter account, etc) is cited as a source for information by others. To figure this out, you’ll need platform analytics to track things like referral links and brand monitoring metrics to track things like retweets and mentions. Now, some people will stop right here, do some basic addition and call it a day. And, you know, that’s not terrible. What you’ll end up with is a sum of “instances of authority” over a period of time. But in fairness, that’s not really authority, that’s popularity. The only way to determine authority is to weigh the quality/importance of each citing source. Academia taught Google that, and they in turn taught everyone else. Now there are a lot of ways to do this, but the one I like involves developing a scorecard of sources important for your business and creating, essentially, a multiplier for each. Case in point, if you’re a consumer electronics company, one inbound link from Engadget to your blog could be considered 2-3 times more authoritative than, say, several retweets. So the formula you use for Market Authority might look something like this:
I just picked 3 examples of spot measurements here, but I’d argue there are actually several more must-have for all programs, and even a few larger (macro) measurements you can only unwrap once you’ve done the math on stuff like what I’m sharing above. It’s by no means a perfect science, I know that, and it’s for that reason that I and others at Voce are always looking for ways stretch and pull the data we collect to try and inform everything we do each day. Let us know what you think.