Chapter 9. Step Five: Measure Involvement with New Tools, Techniques (To Keep the Cutting Edge Sharp)

Throughout this book, I've argued that marketers must aggregate communities to reach and influence groups of people who share similar interests, concerns, or behaviors (or all three). But is it worth the time and expense? Research suggests that the answer is yes.

The Aberdeen Group recently compared the social media practices of 250 companies in various industries (heavy in high tech and publishing/media) and divided the firms into "best-in-class" (50 companies), "industry average" (125 companies), and "laggards" (75 companies). In several key areas, the best-in-class companies dramatically outperformed industry average.

For example, 94 percent of the best-in-class companies reported year-over-year improvement in customer satisfaction; the industry average was 49 percent while only 15 percent of the laggards reported improvement.

Also, 84 percent of the best-in-class companies reported year-over-year improvement in the number of actionable insights derived from social media monitoring and analysis. The industry average was 42 percent; the laggards, 11 percent.

While 84 percent of the best-in-class companies said they improved year-over-year performance in the ability to identify and reduce risk, only 37 percent of the industry average companies said they had done so—and only 4 percent of the laggards.

Finally, 86 percent of the best-in-class companies said they reduced the time between ...

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