Archive for the ‘mobile’ Tag

The Return of Hyperlocal

How do you reach a 1 mile radius of customers?  Nothing has bedeviled marketers and small business owners more than this.   You could plaster flyers on telephone poles, put up real estate style signs on the corner or accost the public with handbills.  I’m here to tell you that these strategies are time consuming, require a lot of energy and rarely work.  It’s sort of like screaming out of car windows in traffic to find your soulmate.

In a piece from Businessweek, pundits savaged the business prospects of AOL’s Patch – a potential source of customer aggregation for small business marketers. I tend to agree that the strategy is wrong – you can’t templatize local news and community creation.  Having said that, I believe the ideal models combine technology and offline methods to supercharge word of mouth creation.  You need the impact of a street team combined with the scale of mobile platforms.

Over the coming months, we are going to delve into case studies, theories and experiments around what works and what doesn’t.  Given that I work with small businesses including my own, Fitwell Training Solutions, I’ll share real-life cases to add practicum to the theory.  I hope you’re looking forward to diving into the future of our country – the businesses that surround you within a 1 mile radius.

Does comScore Measure Up?

comScore has been making moves to expand their portfolio beyond web audience measurement.  They purchased M:Metrics in 2008 to enter mobile measurement and most recently acquired ARS in February 2010 to expand into measuring advertising effectiveness .  In addition, comScore deepened their bench strength by hiring Joan FitzGerald to head up cross-platform measurement.  The charter of the group is to track consumer interaction across the “three screens” – computers, mobile phones and TVs.  comScore certainly has been assembling the pieces to execute a cross-platform measurement portfolio.

In order to be considered media currency, I contend that the source needs to be the primary source (or one of a very small handful) used to determine audience and/or firm value (See Arbitron in the radio market and Nielsen in the TV market).  I’ve taken a look at comScore mentions in online news publications over the past few days to indicate what the market says about comScore as a source of media measurement across platforms. We will focus on 5 key areas – Web Audience Measurement, Search, Mobile, Social Media and TV/Video to assess comScore’s status as media currency.

Web Audience Measurement – A Techcrunch article suggested that Facebook has eclipsed Google as the most visited property on the web but Hitwise was credited as the source.  comScore data was then used to refute the claim since comScore uses reach to measure audience share rather than share of visits.  comScore is one of the key sources media buyers and planners use to assess reach.   Therefore, comScore is one of the key players in audience measurement.

Web Audience Measurement Currency: Yes

Search – comScore recently released reports showing 46% growth in the 2009 global search market as well as February 2010 Search Engine Rankings.  comScore’s search engine market share reports are widely used and generally accepted by Wall Street.  While there are other sources of search engine market share data, Wall Street’s reliance on comScore’s qSearch and comScore’s  effect on stock price of search engines meets the currency criteria.

Search Currency: Yes

Mobile – Reports on handset market share use data from many different providers including comScore.  comScore’s methodology is slightly different that Strategy Analytics for example and leads to different conclusions. comScore measures ownership whereas Strategy Analytics measures shipments.  Shipment data is also forecasted by IDC and iSuppli as well.  We won’t go in to the specific of the reports here but there is some confusion about the appropriate way to measure mobile market share.  Given the numerous sources for data that are used to determine firm value for key players in the ecosystem I wouldn’t consider comScore a primary source here

Mobile Currency: Not Yet

Social Media – comScore measures the audience size of social networking sites but does not measure campaign effectiveness of the channel directly.

Social Media Currency: Not Yet

TV/Video – comScore is widely quoted as a source for online video rankings data.  As TV becomes more tightly integrated with online video, there is an opportunity for comScore to challenge Nielsen for TV measurement dominance.  However, that seems to be a long way off and Nielsen is not going to cede that territory without a fight.

TV/Video Currency:  Not Yet

Hybrid Measurement Controversy:   comScore recently released a hybrid measurement product to combine web publisher internal web analytics data with audience measurement panel data.  The goal here is to bridge the nearly threefold difference in unique visitor counts when comparing internal numbers from Omniture or Google Analytics to panel numbers from comScore.  In order to use the comScore solution to close the traffic gap, publishers have to pay $5-10K to have their traffic “hybridized.”  Jason Calcanis compared comScore’s approach to hybrid-measurement to Payola.  Others consider it to be found traffic since internal numbers combined with internal panel numbers generally produce higher overall web audience numbers. This Wall Street Journal article on counting web traffic is great background for understanding the key elements of the issue.

Summary: Key Player in Web Audience Measurement and Search.  Up and Coming in Mobile, Social Media and TV