Passionate Users and ROI Calculation

Today I finally had time to read yesterday’s post by Kathy Sierra, “Inspiring your user-evangelists.” This is a must read for anyone who really wants to create a base of passionate users, rather than just increasing the numbers on this month’s campaign. What good is a 200% increase in March’s numbers if it means that May’s numbers are so abysmal in comparison that you get fired? The adage that you’re only as good as your last campaign is true when your numbers are all over the place. Consistency in performance is what your employer/client wants. We love those large spikes, but only in that we want to find out what caused them so they don’t go down.

Down is bad… 😉

More after the jump.

Some marketers are so short-sided that they only see the numbers directly in front of them. I’ve been there. A client is breathing down your neck to see a justification of your hourly fee. The temptation is great to do a blast email or something that will have no lasting effect but will bolster traffic right before a campaign deadline. But what matters is not the early months of a campaign, but the lasting effect of the mantra you hope to help root in place. If your objective is to make your customers hear the fact that you are listening AND that you are doing some amazing work (be it in product creation, customer service, innovation, etc.), then don’t fret when the first 30 days don’t see skyrocketing metrics.

  • At the LinkedIN Blogger’s Group we’ve been talking WOM and blog ROI calculation. The long and short of it is that following a conversation is easy with CoComment, Google Reader‘s sharing option and other Web 2.0 apps, but discerning the mark left by those conversations is not easily ascertained immediately.

    Of course, the old ways still count:

  • Links in
  • Blog mentions
  • Downloads
  • Page views
  • Email subscriptions
  • RSS subscriptions
  • Comments/Feedback
  • Offline Mentions
  • etc.
  • But so much of that must be tempered by current changes in measurement. A link from Scoble or Rubel is certainly worth more than a link from, say, me. So, authority is important. A link from a person who blogs on your topic is more important to you than a link from someone who blogs on a completely different topic. So, relevance is important. Downloads can be measured by number, but measuring them by ‘who’ and ‘for what purpose’ is important as well, and may be impossible. Page views are vital as a metric, but if a site is predominantly made with AJAX, as is Digg, Flickr, etc. it will seem to be less weighty in the page view department. Subscriptions can also decrease your pageviews, but if your monetization is your message (and not dependent upon actual page visits) then they should weigh more than a pageview.

    It’s an inexact science, and one that Forrester is working hard to figure out so watch Charlene Li‘s work carefully.

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