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How Do You Measure the Effectiveness of New Media? – As Best as You Can

Media Measuring Tape

Written for Pacific Bridge Marketing; Washington D.C.

New media” or “emerging media” consists of any newer or newly emerging media formats that can be used in marketing.  These include social networks such as Facebook and Twitter; social media sites such as Pinterest and YouTube; websites; apps; widgets; podcasts; RSS feeds; banner ads; blogs; in-game advertisements, Bluetooth marketing and much more. These formats are notorious for being difficult to measure and evaluate.

New media is called such because it’s simply newer than traditional marketing formats such as TV, radio, and print advertising.  It’s the newness and evolving nature of these media that makes measuring their effectiveness harder (think of Facebook’s ever changing advertising rules, privacy policies and user interface).

Todd Watson, eRelationship Manager for IBM said in an interview with Google that there is such a “land rush” of new and emerging media that if we really want to figure out how to measure these new media well enough, we would have to wait until the land rush stops and for standardized measurement metrics to be developed.   He and we both know that the land rush will not be stopping anytime soon.  He goes on to say that because these new media aren’t standardized and because new media formats are developed constantly, we need to use whatever we can to measure their effectiveness.

I feel the best way to standardize the measurement of new media is to use both web metrics and online consumer surveys simultaneously.  Using web metrics can quantify the success of a new media format by counting click through rates (number of people arriving on your webpage, RSS feed, YouTube channel etc.), conversion rates (number of online purchases), bounce rates (how many leave soon after they get there) etc. Yet clicks and traffic don’t tell you everything you want to know.

Using consumer surveys on top of web metrics can help qualify the reasons behind the click through rate, conversion rate and bounce rate.  A survey can discover why the consumer clicked or why they made a purchase or why they spent so much time on the site.  It’s good to know that a company’s app is attracting more click throughs and conversions than the company’s website but knowing why is important.  Knowing why would lead to an improved website experience for the consumer and an improved brand experience overall which can lead to numerous things – purchase, repurchase, word-of-mouth etc.

These two measurement tactics can standardize the measurement of a new media formats  effectiveness because 1) web metrics are already standardized – a click is a click whether it’s on a website or a podcast and 2) once survey questions are formulated properly, they can be asked at different times during the life of the company’s use of a new media format and still be applicable – a question about how confusing a website is when it’s first launched will still be applicable if asked 1, 5 or 10 years later.

These two measurement tactics will not only standardize the measurement of new media formats but also provide actionable measurements to benefit the company.  Is there any other reason a company would go through the trouble to measure effectiveness of their marketing program than to take action based on the results?  Attempting to standardize measurements will provide more consistent results over time and help to prove that any action taken as a result was merited.

How do you measure the effectiveness of your new media marketing? We’d love to hear from you.

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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in New Media


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