Posts Tagged ‘measurement’

Welcome to the Fifth Estate Available for Pre-Order

Posted on: March 15th, 2011 by Geoff Livingston 9 Comments

Geoff Livingston & The Fifth Estate

Welcome to the Fifth Estate is now available for pre-order with a release date of May 11! Special thanks to Mashable Editor In Chief Adam Ostrow for writing the forward to Welcome to the Fifth Estate. This introduction offers the experienced journalist’s view of an ever changing media landscape that has moved from blogs to group texting on mobile phones.

You must be thinking, yet another social media book… And from a guy who wrote one of the first social media books, Now Is Gone? Really? Well, after reading Now Is Gone again as well as the plethora of social media books that have been released since, a correction was needed with a stronger foundation in media theory and marketing fundamentals.

This book won’t pretend to be something it is not. Simply put, Welcome to the Fifth Estate guides executives and communicators towards generating a winning and sustainable social media strategy. In that sense, it is a social media book.

What distinguishes Welcome to the Fifth Estate?

  • Strategy: There will be no themed memes about engaging, conversations, instant response or personal branding. Instead, this book aims to advise you on how to get ready for, build and sustain a great online communications strategy. There is a whole chapter on specific social media strategies and a second on tactical implementation.
  • Experience: Seven awards later and dozens of social media initiatives for the likes of the American Red Cross, General Dynamics, Google, the National 4-H Council, Network Solutions, and the United Way provides this book a depth of pragmatic experience-based conclusions that no other social media book offers.
  • Measurement: Part of building a great strategy includes knowing how to measure it. Kami Watson Huyse provides a guest chapter on how to build a measurement program.
  • Pitfalls and Sustainability: Two chapters deal with topics you normally don’t see in social media books. Chapter Two deals with the weaknesses and dangers social media presents for your organization. Chapter Seven provides concrete ways to stay relevant once your effort becomes a success.
  • Commercial and Nonprofit Case Studies: Each of the seven chapters features two in-depth case studies, one commercial, one nonprofit. Every case study has a tangible outcome associated with it a la the prior point on measurement.

If your job involves communicating online, then this book will help you. It is designed specifically to become an off-the-shelf tool that supports your real efforts with guidance that has worked for many other organizations. In that sense, Welcome to the Fifth Estate should become more useful than your average business book. That is a guarantee.

Please pre-order your copy of Welcome to the Fifth Estate today!

Why ROI Will Never Die

Posted on: March 3rd, 2011 by Geoff Livingston 19 Comments

Twi flip

This post celebrates the release of two books, Katie Delahaye Paine‘s Measure What Matters and Olivier Blanchard‘s Social Media ROI. Zoetica is giving away five free copies of each book today to the first 10 people who answer the question “Why will ROI never die?” on our recently revamped web site (thank you RAD Campaign for the excellent design).

Of all the social media memes, the ROI conversation is built to last. It actually preceded social media through generation after generation of marketing, and is the issue clients care about most. Because many marketers cannot commit to outcomes preceding a marketing or communications campaign, this question will continue into the next century, too.

There are some who have an extremely literal (and somewhat narrow) view of ROI, the text book definition of quantifiable sales numbers mapped to output. While accurate, many executives do not understand the difference between a desired outcome and literal ROI. They just want to know, “Will we get what we need if we engage in this marketing activity?” To them that is ROI. Guess what? They’re the ones hiring, and this question is absolutely valid.

This timeless truth dates back to John Wanamaker’s legendary quote, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” Department Store Mogul Wanamaker graced the earth from 1838 to 1922, and is considered by some to be the father of modern advertising.

This issue is resolvable today. At least online it can be thanks to customized URLs. Literal ROI may be a little more challenging, particularly for high-end consultative sales, but for other types of outcomes there is no excuse. Whether it’s foot traffic, increased conversations, a better reputation, these things are all measurable online using approaches such as the Three As of measurement. Further, tracking systems like Eloqua are changing the game for consultative sales, tracking initial web visits all the way though to the sales identification process, and then leads.

Regardless, you can build in measurement to gauge the success of a program from the outset. A good strategy has clear goals that it is trying to achieve, which gives a strategist something to measure against. Not having measurable outcomes — sales or other desired results — is the mark of a shoddy strategist.

As to the ROI purists, organizations invest in marketing communications for more than immediate, direct financial outcomes. Smart companies and nonprofits know that branding and marketing creates opportunities, many of which are measured as leads. But even communications vehicles that produce attention, while guilty of creating hype bubbles, can be measured.

Marketers have to deliver real outcomes, end of story. Clients do not hire or stay with firms that can’t produce ROI or outcomes. Clients hire marketing consultants that perform and help them avoid pitfalls. Similarly, marketing staffers need to produce internally. Companies and nonprofits retain employees that deliver results, and the rest find themselves looking for employment before too long. That’s business.

That doesn’t mean you should promise the undeliverable. Instead, offer a different path. More importantly, hone the practice of strategy, including measuring outcomes from the start. It is an essential skill set! There will always be marketers and communicators who cannot deliver on this. In fact, most cannot. That’s why the ROI meme will never die. Poor marketing will always create the need for it.

Win Your Free Copy of Measure What Matters or Social Media ROI

Book Giveaway

Don’t forget, Zoetica is giving away five copies each of Katie Delahaye Paine‘s Measure What Matters and Olivier Blanchard‘s Social Media ROI. If you want to win a copy, simply answer the question, “Why will ROI never die?” Please leave your answer in the comments section on the Zoetica contest page (responses that do not address the question seriously will not win).

A Better Social Web Exists

Posted on: February 18th, 2011 by Geoff Livingston 13 Comments

Silhouette of Fire in Khaki Blue

A better social web exists. It exists within each of us.

Today, this social web isn’t popular, instead it has fascinating small pools and eddies of action and meaningful dialogue. But this can be The Social Web, a place better than a popularity driven attention sphere focused on the best looking unicorn (Bieber or Kardashian, take your pick).

Our virtual worlds can become a place of vigorous discourse. Rather than dismissing social media‘s incredibly empowering capability in the hands of the Fifth Estate, the better social web seeks to increase online literacy for Everyone using these tools. The Middle East is just an example of what driven people can do with intelligent networking tools. So much more can be accomplished if we apply ourselves.

Rather than arguing over ideas and dismissing what we don’t like as uncivil (and thus engage in civility debates), politeness and manners will take precedence. Discourse can include disagreement without discoloring it with a personal sense of “respectful” civility. Posturing and maintaining top rankings via attention metrics will mean less in the Real Social Web.

The Real Social Web is a meritocracy where great acts drive the ebb and flow of the tides. This social web of the future works for society instead of trying to fleece it. Accomplishing acts that matter will take precedence: Social change occurs, companies working hand in hand with nonprofits to achieve great acts, and companies serving their customers with better products in services, embracing them as part of an extended social enterprise.

Popcorn dreams? Maybe. But changemakers seize on ideas and make them happen. Dreams can be achieved.

What do we have to do to get there? We can’t turn a blind eye to it. As communicators we are as responsible for the current PR 2.0 driven popularity mess as Silicon Valley is. We have to look at ourselves, and see how we have created this and why? It is incumbent on us to mindfully evolve within to create this new social web of the future.

We must speak up, one by one. And we need to stop rewarding the old PR systems and the people who have lead us into the popularity trap. It’s time to start asking why these people are popular, and what they did “Before Social Media.” What qualifies them to lead the communications industry besides personal attention?

Together we can collectively build a better online community. This means educating ourselves and our customers on what real business outcomes are. It means focusing on the basics, instead of the hyperbole of the latest shiny object (Android Honeycomb app, anyone?). It means much stronger practices of metric based communications across the industry. Instead of focusing on the Klouts of the world we need to develop more myImpacts.

It means talking to our children and reinvesting our values back into great deeds and hard work instead of quick fixes and popularity. Digital literacy and understanding how information is served must become a critical function of our education system. Sustainable happiness will be the outcome as opposed to short term vicarious pleasure (yum, Pop Chips).

The Real Social Web of the future is a place where anyone can use these tools to achieve great things. Imagine writing literature of the digital future, making a child laugh, creating a virtual place where scientists from around the world work to conquer AIDs, building the best company in a sector, or achieving a more peaceful, democratic country.

Yeah, it’s a dream. But inside this heart a better social web exists. Some people live this dream already. It’s worth fighting for.