My three takeouts from ClickZ Live Toronto 2014

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Any opportunity to lift your head out of the daily grind and access new perspectives is always a welcomed opportunity.
Looking up at the CN Tower on a misty and rainy night.
Toronto is plugged in.

I had that opportunity when I attended the ClickZ Live Toronto 2014 conference. ClickZ Live is the evolution of the SES (Search Engine Strategies) conference and positions itself as an opportunity to ‘engage customers and increase ROI by distributing your online marketing efforts across paid, owned and earned media’.  Here’s a quick overview of the three concepts that resonated with me.

1. Social Media Attribution

A lot of brands discuss building a (media/revenue) attribution model but only a minority of organisations have been able to carry out a custom attribution model (based on a show of hands at ClickZ Live and general impressions from the Australian marketplace).

Nick Necsulescu Manager, Digital Reporting and Analytics from the TD Bank Group shared insights from the multi-channel attribution study they ran.

Canadians like hockey.  Online Marketers like attribution.  Canadian Online Marketers like to use hockey to explain attribution.
Canadians like hockey. Online Marketers like attribution. Canadian Online Marketers like to use hockey to explain attribution.

Here’s a few of the key points:

  • Social Media, Vanity URLs, External Display had a higher Application Completion Rate when being assisted by another Digital Channel as opposed to not being assisted at all.
  • When Social Media was part of the Conversion path, the Application Completion Rate soared to 33%.
  • CPA Analysis showed a lower CPA for Social Media than External Display.  This profiles the need for ‘organic’ based social marketers to learn the insights of social ads on the various networks.  In other words, reach is critical.
2.  Social Media ROI
Reader visits to the NY Times home page is declining, while traffic from social media is rising.
Reader visits to the NY Times home page is declining, while traffic from social media is rising.

Without an attribution program (custom or standard) it’s tough to accurately answer the ROI question.  Having just written that, profiling cost efficiencies in social appeared a popular response to the ROI question at ClickZ Live Toronto.  I also think it’s a good way to advance the social agenda in an environment where CMO’s are looking to get more for less.

Where can you show the effectiveness of social and therefore show the return on social? It’s important to develop a viable framework that provides context so senior managers can easily and quickly assess the social media generated marketing efficiencies.  Weekly reports that quantifies performance is essential.

One of my favourite presentations was from Nathan Safran, Director of Research Conductor.  Outside of people actually socialising with one another, Nathan talked about people using social to discover content.  Conversations are happening on social and corporations need to have a social presence that includes participating and/or starting conversations.

Nathan used the leaked NYT-Innovation-Report-2014 report to support his argument.  The report states that traffic to the New York Times homepage is decreasing and social media traffic to NYT.com specific stories is increasing (see the graphic above).  Nathan suggested social is evolving into an ecommerce platform that allows people to take action.

3.  Social and Content – one or two business units?
Here's what happens when Content and Social mix.
Here’s what happens when Content and Social mix.  Real Sports in Toronto – great wings.

I’m fascinated if the bulk of corporations will draw a line between social and content (separate) or if they will draw a line around social and content (combine).

In general, I’m a big fan of a centralised approach.  Keep content creation and content distribution together.

Allow the targeting capabilities of the social networks to positively influence and aspire relevant and engaging content.

Tapping into or capturing customer intent came up in many of the presentations.  It’s not one of those ‘oh,wow’ moments, but one of those re-affirming moments.  It’s a tough gig for social marketers on the hook to prove ROI as ‘intent’ is a lot easier to track to a conversion than ‘interest’ is. If you are not engaging with your consumer, they will forget your content.

Apologies for stating the obvious, but this is an important point as social begins to play a bigger role in the Customer Acquisition Cycle (remember that earlier point about building a framework?).  Social can play an important role – as we saw with the attribution results.

Keen to read your opinions and thoughts.  Leave a comment or respond to me directly:

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