Marketing Orgasms With Avinash Kaushik (It's Not What You Think)

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Episode #286 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

It’s a New Year… so what does that mean? Well, if you ask Avinash Kaushik (the Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google and author of the best-selling business books, Web Analytics – An Hour A Day and Web Analytics 2.0), us Digital Marketers are going to be doing more… a whole lot more in the coming year(s). As big and fast as Social Media has changed the way that brands engage with consumers, things are going to evolve all that much more as location, mobile and more converge in this massive evolution. There’s no doubt that both Avinash and I are bullish on these new opportunities, so you’re going hear a lot of excitement and agreement on this episode, but it’s also filled with our passion and desire to see our industry change and evolve at a much quicker pace. Please allow me to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very healthy and Happy New Year. Enjoy the conversation…

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast #286.


  1. This is first time i have visited this blog and after that i have visited to you facebook page and got surprise that so many people already knew about Avinash Kaushik i would love read his book i hope i will collect one copy from my near by bookstore.

  2. I just listened to this podcast and I have to say I was more than a little disappointed.
    Avinash talked about how social media marketing should always use Conversation, Amplification, Applause and Economic Value metrics then gave an example of how he uses these to measure economic revenue of social activities for his blog which is essentially an ecommerce site. Yes the sales actually happen on Amazon or another site, but it doesn’t matter because he gets that data back.
    You then allude that all brands should be able to get to this level of detail and that if they aren’t the marketers they have are lazy.
    Avinash then follows up with several examples of brands that sell through retail channels that have no hope of getting back sales data or being able to directly tie the sales back to marketing efforts.
    E.g. Do you really think that the strawberry grower is getting sell through information at a store level back from the retail chain? Even if they did, would they be able to tie those sales back to the number of people that went to their mobile site via the link on the carton? Are they able to understand how they increased customer loyalty and likelihood to increase the purchase of their brand vs. another brand within the store (if there is even a choice).
    It may be possible to get to this information using a combination of web analytics, online surveys, a CRM, and large scale surveys or large panels, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the cost of acquiring and maintaining the infrastructure needed to get that information is well out of reach of the strawberry grower.
    Unless you are selling directly to the customer in some fashion, or have a wealth of end customer information (at a 1:1 level) then understanding the economic value of your marketing is a very difficult task and sometimes the effort/cost of knowing outweighs the benefits. Saying otherwise is misleading and I was very surprised to hear Avinash say this as he is someone that I have a lot of respect for.

  3. *crosses fingers hoping he is wrong and that there is a simple way to prove marketings economic value for companies that sell primarily through channels*
    Oh, and I forgot to mention that it can also be done via expensive marketing mix modelling, but that is again very expensive and often can only be used for very large long term campaigns, not individual initiatives.

  4. Simon: Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate that very much and I’m happy to try and clarify.
    The overwhelming emphasis of my framework of measuring social media (here: is on measuring what matters (conversation, amplification and applause) as it incents the right behavior by marketers.
    The last part, economic value, is simply there to ensure we can show *some* value of our social efforts. Value delivered online or offline. By B2B or B2C or Mitch2Avinash. You don’t show *some* value and you’re dead (yet another “social media guru”).
    You are right that measure complete value of social efforts is hard, or perhaps even impossible for now (even with your suggestion of costly CRM ERP systems). But measuring *some* value is not difficult at all. It is easy to imagine that for Canadian Tire or the Globe and Mail and only a little harder to imagine for or Rolling Stone (hello Mitch!) or
    If you were looking for specific examples and specific strategies of how to measure Economic Value for different types of businesses please see this: If you do measure that then segmenting for Social is trivial.
    It is possible to go from measuring *some* value of social to “more than some but less than complete.” As you point out it does take sophisticated marketing mix models or controlled experiments (please search my blog for more on either). They are expensive, but that is no excuse for a major brand in the world to do it. For small and medium sized marketers we can simply thrive on *some* economic value and evolve with the medium.
    I hope this helps.
    I do want to emphasize, again, that a vast majority of value, for the perceivable future, will come from the first three metrics and it is long term benefit. Economic value is simply a way to get permission from our executives for us to experiment and participate enthusiastically in this medium.

  5. Hi Avinash,
    Thanks for your reply, I agree completely about measuring what matters in order to provide the right incentives to marketers.
    However, I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree about being able to easily measure economic value unless you have a direct relationship with the customer.
    In the examples you provided where the company sells through a channel (L’Oreal and GMC) you advocate using the same metrics that non-digital marketers use. The argument assumes that a digital impression is roughly equivalent to a non-digital impression when arguments can easily be made on either side that one is better than another.
    This idea is also not new. It is a method has also been used by PR for a long time, they call it advertising value equivalency (AVE) and has recently been re-invented in social media measurement as owned/earned media value. For many people in PR, AVE is something that is looked down upon and they are striving to do better (K.D. Paine will talk about this in much more detail than I can –
    Advertising value equivalency does not show economic value. Even if you could prove that TV Impressions = Digital Impressions in terms of value, it does not prove that TV Impressions = $. For most major companies it is just generally accepted that they must do marketing, and the one that they are familiar with is the more traditional kind. This may get you past a conversation with your CMO, but you really should be aiming for the CFO. Prove to him that if you increase the digital marketing budget by $X and you’ll get $X+Y in return and you no longer have questions about your budget.
    Incidentally, for the company I work for I have a solution to measure economic value (revenue) that is generated by my companies digital marketing efforts (website, paid media etc), but haven’t been able to successfully port it over to our social efforts as the goal for a lot of it isn’t to drive traffic to the website. Figuring it out took a significant amount of time/effort/investment and it is very specific to the way that we do business. I believe that each business will need to figure it out for how they do business. It definitely won’t be easy, but it is possible.

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