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Making Sense of the Digital Marketing Muck

Everybody’s doing it. Social media that is.  Well at least it seems like everyone is. More likely though, those doing social media do not fully understand how digital marketing relates or even ties back to the business. Should I tweet more, go for “likes” or chase Charlie Sheen? As digital marketing efforts alter traditional ad spending allocation models, the uncertainty is likely to grow – as long as decisions are made based on hunches and best guesses.

Oh wherefore art thou dear social media and digital marketing metrics?

As it turns out, they’re everywhere and every one has a list of them. You have basic action counts – from friends and followers to tweets and landing page clicks – to more nebulous engagement stats (time spent). The problem is not a lack of metrics, but rather which metrics matter most.

The good folks at the Emerging Media Research Council here in Raleigh have been working on ways to help marketers figure it all out. I had the chance to visit with Aarti Sura, the VP of Research, just last week (see EMRC video below).

What quickly became apparent is all that social media  muck starts to makes sense when you have clear digital marketing objectives.  Is your brand outperforming its rivals? Are people engaged with your brand? Is engagement creating leads?

The EMRC takes a scoreboard approach to key metrics – snapshots of critical measures to help you get deeper understanding of your digital marketing performance. A picture’s worth a thousand words right? A couple of good infographics can take you farther than you’ve ever been. Maybe even salvage a few relationships.

The bottom line: metrics matter, but by definition, they are unique to your individual business. Do you have well-defined objectives? Are your metrics aligned accordingly?

To learn more about digital marketing reporting and analysis, you can visit the EMRC.

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