Thursday, July 17, 2008

Social Target LLC Tracks Social Media Measurement Vendors (So I Don't Have To)

So far this blog has mostly been about the general issues of marketing measurement, rather than measurements for specific media. This is largely because there is already so much detailed information available from specialists in each field that I’m unlikely to add anything useful. On the other hand, medium-specific measurements are inputs to the broader performance measurements that I’ve been writing about. So I can’t ignore them altogether.

Measurement methods for traditional media, including broadcast, print advertising and direct response, are fairly well established. This is not to say they are simple or easy, but most of the interesting activity is taking place elsewhere. Not surprisingly, much of that “elsewhere” is on the Internet.

I see three main areas of continuing innovation in marketing measurement: public relations, Web site analytics, and social media analysis. Public relations obviously predates the Internet, but it makes the list because so much of the data gathering now occurs online, and so much content analysis is now automated because online content makes this possible. Web site analytics is certainly the most mature of these sectors, but despite the huge base of experience, I think it’s fair to say that practices are still evolving rapidly. Social media is the newest sector, especially as a discipline that’s distinct from other Web activities. It too has a large base of techniques and services in place—more than a casual observer might realize—but is certainly not yet stable. (You might add mobile marketing as a fourth area, but it is just getting established--although there is probably more going on that I've heard of.)

I may yet dig into these areas in depth. For today, though, let me point you to a company I found during my preliminary research (a.k.a., Googling). This is Social Target LLC, apparently a small independent consultancy run by one Nathan Gilliatt . I’ve only poked around briefly in the site and associated blog The Net-Savvy Executive, but it impresses me as a good source of information on social media analysis. The firm also publishes a Guide to Social Media Analysis, which profiles 31 or so vendors. I wasn’t overly impressed with the sample entry that I downloaded—it was just two pages and (obviously) didn’t get into many details. But it looks like a reasonable starting point for anyone getting oriented in the field.

1 comment:

Nathan Gilliatt said...


Thanks for the mention! I'm close to completing the second edition of the Guide to Social Media Analysis, which will more than double the coverage of the first edition (63 companies at last count). Those two-page profiles add up fast.

There's no way to provide enough detail to make a purchasing decision in a market survey. My goals are (1) to give an overview of the global market and available services, (2) to introduce readers to relevant vendors they didn't know about, and (3) to help readers decide which companies they want to talk to directly.

There's a lot of movement in social media analysis. I'll start blogging my observations again once I finish the update to the Guide.

Nathan Gilliatt
Social Target LLC