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Measuring Beyond the Click – Part I

Posted on: March 27th, 2012 - 1 Comment

There’s an old business management adage…”if it can’t be measured it can’t be managed.” This has applied to lean manufacturing, agile software development, six sigma operational excellence programs, and of course marketing. For decades.

The question has moved from “what to measure?” to “can it be measured?” to “why are we measuring it?” to “how should we measure it?” And what really is measurement? The ‘counting’ of things? The ‘interpretation’ of things? The ‘impact’ of things?

Like many of my colleagues and peers, I’ve long believed that measurement has been an amorphous-if-not-entirely-elusive idea. The question isn’t whether or not marketing programs or campaigns can be measured. Sure they can. If there is data, actions or activities to ‘count’, measurement can happen. If there is tone to ‘interpret,’ it can be measured. But, what happens when your brand is one that has a material impact on its users that requires more than ‘counting’ or ‘interpreting?’

For those of us in the health and wellness space, we fundamentally have something different to measure, don’t we? We need to measure either what we hope will be a behavioral change in the consumers we aim to reach, influence and engage, or…we need to measure the impact our brands have on those consumers in some other way. How do we do this in an increasingly social networking oriented market place? Well, the way EmpowHER has chosen to help brands answer that question is through our proprietary, patent-pending Site Sentiment System. That’s a mouthful.

What is it? And why did we create it? As the third most visited women’s health destination on the Web, and the largest social network for peer health among women, we were regularly hearing from our users through posts in our community or private messages and email to team members, that people were getting healthier, and that we were changing their lives. In some cases, we were being told we were even saving lives of our direct users or their loved ones because of something they read or watched on the site, or because of an interaction they had with a medical expert or even another woman on our site. Powerful stuff. We immediately set out to use technology to capture these sentiments at the point of impact (on our content, or in our community), and then display the sentiment. Our Site Sentiment System is now branded the HER Health Meter.

Stay tuned for Part II…

Thom Brodeur
President & COO
Twitter: @thombempowher

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