WOMMA, IAB and WFA are three coalition bodies that have, in the recent past, produced guidelines for defining and measuring social media marketing. The most up-to-date WOM metrics guidebook was released by WOMMA in November this year. A similar set of guidelines were released by IAB in May 2009 but I think WOMMA covers many more things than what IAB does. Maybe they cater to different audiences and have different goals. I specially like the WOMMA Terminology framework. It provides a great way of looking at the big picture and helps you in connecting the dots. As per the terminology framework - Every 'word of mouth' marketing tactic (WOM Episode) can be defined by two attributes: object and qualities. And every tactic has one of these 5 actions associated with it :  who, how, what, where, result. You put all of that together in a nice table and you can see the complete WOM (of which social media is  a part; in fact social media can be loosely called online WOM) system in one shot. Isn't that great? Additionally, the metrics guidebook builds on this framework and adds the much debated ROI part to it.

WOMMA - Word of Mouth Marketing Association
IAB - Interactive Advertising Bureau
WFA - World Federation of Advertisers

Lost in translation

According to a study by the Microsoft Advertising Institute, 94% of touch points in today’s “last click model” are thrown away and not given any credit for a sale. Several of these touchpoints include interaction in social networks and social media channels. This is perhaps one of the main reasons why Social Media hasn't recieved its due credit among ROI hungry business tycoons. Well the ROI is indeed there, it just gets lost in translation!!

Lost in translation is the marketing concept dating from 1898 known as the “purchase funnel”, in which consumers follow a path of Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action (AIDA). Certain channels, like out-of-home and television, build awareness and interest while others—such as direct mail or point-of-sale—excel at turning prospects into customers. The same concepts exist online with broad reach portals and ad networks building awareness, online video and rich media excelling at branding, and search serving as the greatest deal-closing invention since the Yellow Pages.

Is Razorfish FEED09 really insightful??

Razorfish came up with its FEED09 report recently. I reported the bottom line from the report in my previous post. Here's some analysis:

If you take a step back and look at the findings, are they really insightful? I mean, isn't it common sense that people look forward to deals. Look at the popularity of deals2buy.com or better take a walk in any of the shopping malls - you'll always find people flocking shops with the biggest deals. You don't need focused groups or cutting edge market research to figure that out. What's really insightful is that 65% people have reported that digital marketing influenced their purchase decision. That's a big number and should be a warning for people who are yet to embrace the power of digital marketing.

Here's an interesting take on FEED09 by Mike Moran of Biznology Blog

Why? Why would otherwise intelligent people find this simple idea repulsive? Well, I would posit that it is too simple. You see, there is so much theory and lofty philosophizing about social media's execution and impact, that when you get to the core idea of giving people a deal it sounds so...pedestrian. How dare people pare down the wonder and mystery of social media and online interaction to the idea that people want a deal. It can't be, can it? Yup, it can and it is.

FEED09 - The 2009 Razorfish Digital Brand Experience Report

Chek out The Bottom Line on FEED09 website. FEED is a high profile digital brand experience report published by Razorfish every year. Some interesting findings of the report are:

  • 65% of consumers report that a digital brand experience has changed their opinion (either positively or negatively) about a brand or the products and services a brand offers.
  • 97%—a near-unanimous majority—report that a digital brand experience has influenced whether or not they then went on to purchase a product or service from a brand.
  • 64% of consumers have made a first purchase from a brand because of a digital experience such as a web site, microsite, mobile coupon, or email. No other medium has so impacted—or altered—the traditional marketing funnel this way.
If those numbers are anything to go by, man...digital marketing will rule the world!!

Indian VC Investment Dilemma

This is for the enterprising Indian guys and girls - It's exceptionally difficult to get seed or angel funding for your startups. Check out this post from Sampad Swain in which he talks about the Indian VC investment dilemma. I got a similar first hand experience when I met many VCs at TiE-ISB networking event in Hyderbad recently.