Students of social media marketing must have a solid understanding of integrated marketing communications because a social media campaign is typically part of a larger effort to inform, persuade or remind. Marketers must also provide evidence that a particular strategy in digital media is more efficient in terms of cost. These days as digital media become more desirable as part of a communications strategy, they also become more expensive. The new reality requires marketers to examine the bang for the buck they get from digital over other options. It is possible that television, cable, radio or outdoor can deliver more impressions with stronger response than an organic social media campaign on Facebook that few people actually see.
That is why professors who teach social media should include traditional media measurement as part of the curriculum. The definitions for traditional media terms such as reach, frequency and impressions are important for students. Digital terms such as cost per click and conversion rate show how social media are purchased by companies seeking to reach targets.
One important method for equating media is cost per thousand (CPM). CPM (M represents 1,000) tells marketers the cost to obtain 1,000 impressions or views of a particular message. It is calculated as:
The formula is only part of the picture. Students must also know how much it costs on a CPM basis to advertise in various forms of media. For example, compare the traditional media costs to the digital media costs in the two slides below. A smart marketer would consider traditional as part of a good media mix. As you can see the cable CPM is looking pretty good relative to the internet video CPM.
Students of social media marketing think that social is the answer to everything. Though social media may be a good strategy, a smart marketer will evaluate all the potential tools in the box to maximize media efficiency.
A study by Kwak, Puzakova and Rocereto in the Journal of Marketing found that when brands use a human-like figure to represent their brand in advertising people may respond more favorably toward price increases – but only under certain circumstances. Many brands use icons to promote messages about their product such as Ronald McDonald, the Pillsbury Dough Boy and the Jolly Green Giant. But what is the advantage of spending millions of dollars to associate your brand with a figure? Like with most research the answer is that it depends….
The researchers tested two types of consumers, those who were focused on their own needs and those focused on the needs of others. When people were self-focused they tended to see price increases as more unfair with humanized brands. However, when people were directed toward the needs of others they found both price increases and decreased to be more fair when brands were humanized.
It just goes to show you that the situation and context really matter when examining consumer behavior. A strategy that works under a certain set of circumstances may not work when consumers have other thoughts and feelings in mind. The lesson for brands is to be sure to test strategies to see what works and what does not and monitor success against a set of measurable objectives.
This summer I decided to become Google Analytics certified. Today I passed the exam! I have to say it was a lot of work with significant studying involved. I watched all the videos and took copious notes, which came in handy during the test. There are 70 questions on the test to be done in 90 minutes. I actually had time to spare and could have looked up more of the answers to be more precise. The practice tests helped a lot.
Why I am Google Analytics Certified
There are a number of reasons:
1. It is important to understand what drives a social strategy and what actions customers or website visitors take as a result of interacting with social media. If social does not deliver your desired goals, how much time do you want to spend on it?
2. I am planning to ask my students to become GA certified as part of my course Social Media and Mobile Marketing Strategies in the MediaStorm Masters Program at Pace University. As a result I felt it important to become certified myself. The good news here is that you can become certified and create a dummy account for practice. You do not have to be associated with a business or have a populated Google Analytics account.
3. As a consultant on digital marketing I have to be able to explain to clients why they should execute certain strategies and solid data make it clear what drives response.
4. I just plain feel good that I am deemed competent in something by Google. Yes, I have advanced degrees, but practical knowledge is very important if you teach digital marketing.
Go ahead and congratulate me. I have not had to study for a test in years!