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Февраль 2011

Is campaign measurement being overlooked?

In the past few years the number of communications channels available to clients has gone off the scale but for many of these new options, measurement is still a work in progress. When you see the way some brands are rushing to get involved with new media channels you can't help wondering if, in the excitement of getting involved, they've really considered how they're going to measure effectiveness.  

How do you show that a positive Tweet or the number of Retweets contributes to sales? Of course, it makes you feel good and positive 'word of mouth' is a powerful thing but is that it? Does anyone know how Ralph Lauren measured the effectiveness of the projection on their New Bond Street flagship store? Brilliantly done but was it a good investment compared to the more traditional alternatives?

Ford in the US have on the face of it been able to show the effectiveness of their Facebook launch for Explorer and the ground breaking Fiesta Movement in terms of hard sales, but in doing so they seem to be in the minority.

Even if your campaign goes viral in a big way it doesn't necessarily mean it's a guaranteed success. Take the VW US Star Wars commercial 'The Force'  for the Passat that ran during this year's Superbowl. The film was uploaded to YouTube  a few days before the Superbowl and went viral very fast. By the Sunday of the big event it had already been viewed a staggering 10million times. And Facebook and Twitter mentions were on fire. That's a hell of a kick start to a campaign. But when the content was analysed it didn't look quite as good; lots of reference to Star Wars and Darth Vader, plenty of VW in passing, a few mentions of the car but very few mentions the model, the Passat. So was it a success or not?

The interesting thing is that social media has provided useful insight into the way the commercial is working that previously could have only been obtained through expensive and cumbersome methodology. And it delivered it very quickly. It'll be fascinating to see if there's a re-edit of the film to address some of these issues.

More than ever the role of an agency lies in guiding clients through this rapidly changing landscape to develop the most effective communications strategy. Or in other words: the same as we've always done, only much more so.

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