Philip Sheldrake

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Tag: analytics

Are you a professional or a user?

I've never been fond of the word 'user'? It lacks the caring qualities of a much more appropriate word, customer, and even evokes images of substance abuse.

On making this point, I'm asked what I'd call people benefitting from a service or application without handing over their hard-earned. Well, customers of course. In such situations they're simply paying with a different currency, such as their personal data and/or attention, which the supplier of the service does its utmost to monetize.

But in one instance, I like that evocation of substance abuse. Of addiction. Of misuse.

Do allow me to explain and let's see if I've just been critical of you or a colleague. Please go easy on me if I have, my intentions are honourable.

I had the privilege of speaking with 150 Masters students at Imperial College London yesterday, taking their Technology in Marketing module. All marketing activity in 2012 is underpinned or impacted by technology, and thousands of tech vendors tempt us with thousands of marketing and PR applications, tools and services. And we buy them. Lots of them. The question is, are you a professional or a user?

What's the difference?

Read more

Social Media Analytics

Are you savvy when it comes to social analytics? If you're a PR practitioner, the answer to this question must be YES.

Marshall Sponder visited London last week as part of his tour promoting his new book, Social Media Analytics – Effective Tools for Building, Interpreting, and Using Metrics (ISBN 978-0-07-176829-0). Having read a draft manuscript of the book, a quote of mine appears on the front cover: "Ignoring this book is akin to ignoring your market."

Social Media Analytics, Marshall SponderThere is no better independent authority on the tools and techniques than Marshall. Whilst some pundits simply maintain lists of social analytics vendors with some basic feature comparison tables, Marshall has actually used many of them for real. Moreover, he has a peculiar ability to prod the vendors and the engineers that build these services, to get under the hood and separate the actual capabilities from the marketing claims.

Marshall is not, however, a public relations practitioner or management consultant. This book does not provide a strategic framework for the integration of social analytics into your organisation. It does not address important issues such as privacy (of customers, employees and the wider public) or ethics. It doesn't attempt to define a detailed taxonomy of the analytics services out there, or make this a comprehensive market review. Read more

How data is transforming digital marketing

Digital marketing has come a long way in the past decade, as we’ve moved beyond putting existing materials online and learned how to really harness the native advantages of digital technologies.

The pace of change continues unabated, and among its most important drivers is data – and the meaning of that data.

Every one of us is going to be producing more data describing our use of digital products and services. This is what I like to call digital detritus. Detritus – discarded organic matter which is decomposed by microorganisms and reappropriated by animal and plant life – is interestingly analogous to our regard for, and treatment of, the data that we’re all shedding.

Big data

When it comes to the increase in data, we’re working on a logarithmic scale: we’re talking about hundreds and thousands of times more. Data in such quantities may well prove to have important new mathematical properties that are attractive to marketers, customer service and product development teams. Moreover, we don’t actually do much with the digital detritus today – it mostly resides in inaccessible log files, although the technology for collating it is becoming increasingly achievable and affordable.

What does this mean in everyday terms? Read more

Ethics in PR Measurement

Shonali BurkeI took part in the #measurepr Twitter chat today on ethics in measurement. These chats are organised by Shonali Burke and her blog post "Influence: From BS to Best Practice" set the scene nicely.

At the most fundamental level, we were asking whether some of the techniques being deployed for PR measurement are compatible with the aspiration of public relations professionals to be transparent and authentic, and, more precisely, whether they are compatible with codes of conduct as published by the likes of the CIPR, PRSA and CPRS.

In one of my tweets I suggested a more straight forward test, what one might describe as a layman's test for those of us uneducated in the matters of ethics:

RT @kseniacoffman: Q2: Where do you go for best practices? <-- Ask your mum, siblings, neighbours what's acceptable to them!? #measurepr

At Shonali's invitation, I contributed the three questions posed today... Read more

Making sense of social analytics

This is my article as it was published in New Media Age yesterday:

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations Social Media Panel launched a Measurement Group last month to help practitioners navigate what is a rapidly developing and increasingly confusing area, writes Philip Sheldrake.

As I commented in the Social Web Analytics eBook in 2008:

If you could go back to the mid-1990s and offer a marketer a little box that would sit on their desk, let them listen in on thousands of customer conversations and participate in those discussions regardless of geography or time zone, it would appear so far-fetched that they’d probably call security.

And yet here we are, with somewhere upward of 200 services vying to be our eyes and ears on the social web. Social analytics is a growth market reminiscent of web analytics ten years ago, with all the potential and confusion that comparison implies. The market is just beginning to demand that some order, consistency and semblance of maturity is brought to bear, and the three big asks are: Read more

Influence – The bullshit, best practice and promise

Here is the presentation I just delivered to Monitoring Social Media Bootcamp.

It seems to have gone down well from the Tweetstream (some Tweets cut and paste below). Thanks so much to the panellists, particularly as you had approximately zero seconds to prepare!

UPDATE 2nd April 2010: I'm delighted that my presentation on slideshare.net has, according to emails I received from slideshare, been their most discussed document on Twitter and Facebook, globally! That means the presentation was promoted to their homepage too. How cool is that?

Read more

The increasingly crowded market of Social Web Analytics

In Brian Solis' latest post, Unveiling the New Influencers, he reviews the reasons for listening to the marketplace for clues about how your organisation is doing, how it is perceived, and how the same stakeholders might regard your competition.

If you like his post, then you may like my free ebook on the topic, The Social Web Analytics eBook 2008. Of course I recognise we've reached the first anniversary of the ebook this week (and over 35,000 downloads to date!), and it was time for me to post an update on the list of vendors I'm tracking. And wow is this market exploding.

(Brian lists some of these services in the section of his post titled "Listening + Conversation Management Systems".)

If you are looking to procure such a service, then my ebook will tell you what you might want to look out for, and the list of potential partners below is pretty comprehensive. If you would like my help sourcing the right tool at the right price, then do just get in touch. Being based in London, I cover Western Europe, so for those of you in the US the man you need is Nathan Gilliatt. Read more

What's the difference between the social web and social media?

social

I've been asked at least a dozen times why The Social Web Analytics eBook 2008 refers to the "Social Web" and not "Social Media". In fact, the terms appear to have attracted similar usage according to a quick Google search count today:

  • "social web analytics" - Google estimates 18,600 results
  • "social media analytics" - Google estimates 20,100 results

Interestingly, however, the term "social media" attracts more than twice the search count estimate as "social web":

  • "social web" - Google estimates 8,250,000 results
  • "social media" - Google estimates 19,700,000 results

So what's going on? What is social media?

Social media is a subset of the social web. Read more

Can you see it? Making influence visible.

There's a revolution coming in public relations... visualisation.

[Courtesy Christopher Baker]

Picture the scene

You hold an event to gather key stakeholders together, say a couple of dozen, and you want to maximise the  positive networking such an event should catalyse. You're also aware of a few potential personality clashes.  But how many one-to-one relationships are you actually trying to manage here?

It turns out, your relationship with each of them included, that there's 300 relationships in that room!  Wow,  and compared to the big 'World Wide Web', or the even bigger 'World' come to that, this is a relatively  insignificant number of people.

Let's go a step further. Say that there's just five critical issues facing your industry, each of which has  just three positions, say "for", "against" and "no position", then each stakeholder can have one of 243  combinations of points of view.

To complete this picture, imagine now communicating the dynamic of this group in a report back to your boss say. How do you represent 300 relationships and 243 combinations of positions? Moreover, how do you portray the network evolving year-to-year, month-to-month, hour-by-hour?

Welcome to the world of data visualisation. Read more