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Nielsen CEO Touts Earned and Social Media Measurement

If earned media and social word-of-mouth are indeed the holy grail of the marketing mix, then marketers need to buckle down and measure their efforts. In a recent speech on earned media, Nielsen CEO David Calhoun expressed the need for brands to focus on earned media metrics when it comes to their social media reach from Twitter and Facebook.

Says Calhoun, "Programmers [must] use data that connects viewership to purchase behavior to demonstrate advertising effectiveness. That could be a risk for poorly performing networks, but increasingly the business model is forcing [them] down that path."

In other words, those with reach but little connection to brand lift (ie. content mills) will be left behind in the dust. Meanwhile those brands that manage to garner authentic endorsements via social media and expert reviews will see real rewards as consumers flock to their products. The problem of course is, how can you look at a program like this holistically?


On Monday morning, my own company (inPowered) launched a self-managed platform where marketers can amplify the earned media that experts are creating about them. Part of our methodology includes offering metrics on how many people have been influenced through earned media, paid placement of that media and amplification via social media.


The grey line on the above chart shows the lift that paid media offers above earned media. Meanwhile "people influenced" tells us how many people have read an article, "influencers" tell us how many have shared an article and "stories" is the number of organic articles created about a brand over a particular period of time. We will continue to tweak these metrics for campaign optimization but I'd love to hear more from you. 

In today's trend towards convergent media, what metrics are you currently using to track the lift across your paid, owned and earned media / social channels? Do you use a unified dashboard to do it? Why or why not?

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