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A Measurement Double Standard

Everyone is talking about how we measure the ROI of word of mouth and social media. It’s an important topic, and I helped lead the early efforts in the field when I was at WOMMA.

Here’s what’s bugging me.

Talk to some traditional marketers about blogs or word of mouth — and they demand formal proof that these things work. They reject new ideas for lack of established measures.

Then watch the same guys blow $10 million on TV ads, with little more justification than an iffy blip in brand awareness or recall.

There’s definitely a double standard here.

Reality check:

1. New media is as measurable as traditional advertising.  Hiding behind measurement is about protecting turf, not about effectiveness.

2. 1,000 real customers in real conversations on a message board are far more valuable than 1,000,000 viewers getting a glimpse of an ad.  It’s not about impressions – it’s about relationship quality.

3. Amazing work is being done in the field of word of mouth measurement.

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