"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." -- Albert Einstein
Our job is not to measure our count but rather find meaning in what counts.
We are in an era of data experimentation which changes our job and how we do our job but the core of translating it into insights remains the same.
Digital is just one slice of the pie but it is a VERY BIG slice. The messaging needs to be connected.
Digital is just another brand building tool. Does that make it the crust as opposed to a slice?
The goal as a researcher is to have synergy from all your sources to offer brands insights and a story to tell.
How do we know what's working? How do we know it is aligned? How do we know which course is correct?
Social is still experimental. Campaigns that have a social component under performed traditional campaigns in a study. However, it was more due to measurement rigor and process rather than effectiveness.
Trying to put everything in the research and analyzing the data is going to be unsustainable. Today we need to pin point what's important. The implication us that we need to categorize.
Content quality (time spent). Delivery Quality (Reach). Brand Impact.
All of the stakeholders have different metrics so how to align? Process. Set up KPIs. Computers speak to each other, create a hub and merge the data. Enables very sophisticated and aligned metrics that are effective to all of the stakeholders.
Sometimes you can infer but in most cases you have to ask.
The idea is to categorize, align through technology - aggregate through tech, and lastly get behind the why to connect the dots that matter.
It is critical to line up the process at the beginning to seek the impact desired and reign in expectations.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Formerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL, and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book Group, Valerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation Blog, The Market Research Event Blog, The World Future Trends Tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and also blogs at Literanista.net. She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or @Literanista.