Altimeter Report: Social Marketing Analytics (With Web Analytics Demystified)

A Collaborative Effort Between Two Firms: Web Analytics Demystified and Altimeter Group
It’s just been over a month since we published the Social CRM Research paper (over 36k views on slideshare) and we’re continuing our cadence here at Altimeter Group of publishing widely available reports under the spirit of Open Research. This time, it’s different, we’ve aligned with who I feel are the smartest team of web analytics minds in the space, John Lovett (ex-Forrester analyst) and Eric Peterson (ex-Jupiter analyst) both of the Web Analytics Demystified firm. Stemming from Altimeter founder Charlene Li’s (ex-Forrester Analyst) framework, we co-developed this framework, and put our collective minds to work on measuring the rapidly changing social media marketing space. This self-funded research effort resulted in a thorough methodology as we interviewed over 40 ecosystem influencers.

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Industry Challenge: “I can’t measure social media ROI”
Marketers around the globe are ranging from toe dipping to jumping all the way into the social marketing space –yet most lack a measurement yardstick. While experiments can fly under the radar for a short term, without having a measurement strategy, you run the risk of not improving what you’re doing, justifying investments, and the appearance of being aloof to upper management. To be successful, all programs (even new media) must have a measurement strategy, and we’ve done just that.

Social Marketing Analytics Framework

Finally, A Measurement Framework Based on Business Objectives
If you’re familiar with the Altimeter frameworks of developing a social strategy based on business objectives, then you’re in good shape, as this research report is the natural extension of the business objectives we put forth:

  • Dialog: involves starting a conversation and offering your audience something to talk about while allowing that conversation to take on a life of its own
  • Advocacy: activation of evangelism, word of mouth, and the spread of information through social technologies
  • Supporting: customers may self support each other, or companies may directly assist them using social technologies.
  • Innovation: The business objective of innovation is an extraordinary byproduct of engaging in social marketing activity.

Our framework is a common denominator, yet if you’re already measuring converted leads, or actual sales from social media, great! Yet In this meaty report, which we hope you share with your marketing and analytics team, has actual KPI formulas which you should start to use as the start of your own cookbook.

Social Marketing Analytics

View more documents from Jeremiah Owyang.

A Nod To the Community Spirit
We’re putting a big stake out there, in order to further the industry to come together around a common set of KPIs and metrics, but we realize we don’t know all the answers. In the spirit of Open Research, we want this to be an open framework (we’ve even licensed this under Creative Commons) to customize it and make your own for non-commercial reasons with attribution. If you’ve ideas on how to improve it such as new KPIs, vendors, or approaches, we’re listening, and will incorporate and improve this community body of knowledge for all to benefit.


  1. In the framework do you see the proposed KPIs being applicable to all relevant social networks and being company managed agnostic?

    Am trying to see how the framework fits into our current social managed channels and just trying to piece the two togeather.

    This certainly helps in terms of creating the key link between company goals and specific social business objectives.

    Most helpful!:)

    • Juls thanks

      Yes, these KPIS should be independent of any social channel used. It’s also expected you can modify some of the elements depending on which channel. For example: ‘trackbacks’ don’t exist in Twitter or Facebook, as they do in blogs.

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