Jarter Jargon

The Elusive ROI

Posted on: November 7, 2012

Ever since the explosion of social media marketing, there has been a push to figure out how to track online experiences and how they convert to actual consumer action.

The prob­lem for most marketers is that they have a hard time see­ing what influ­ence the relation­ships they have nur­tured on social net­works have on cus­tomer behav­ior.  Where exactly does it make an impact? The “soft metrics” of social marketing—Likes, com­ments and retweets—don’t directly point to how social impacts pur­chase deci­sions along the customer journey. So instead of strate­giz­ing based on busi­ness data and results, mar­keters are rely­ing on their intuition that social media impacts their business.

We have seen a handful of platforms emerge to help social media metric strategy grow from adolescence into a mature digital marketing channel. Hootsuite and Radian 6 are some of the heavy hitters, but it still seems like true results of social media’s influence is hard to come by.

Apparently until now.

Early September, Adobe announced the release of Adobe Social which reportedly “can help you manage it all, from integrating social media into your overall digital marketing plan to getting critical insights and creating new content instantaneously. Most important, Adobe Social helps you turn your social efforts into measurable business results.”

Let’s be honest, no Exec is going to move some big money unless they get results. So how do you get those results? Adobe Social is a social media management platform combining listening, engagement, and analytics tools in one package. enables brands to determine whether or not social activity is having a true business impact. It features a publishing tool to easily publish to multiple networks.

Adobe Social also allows you to create social content and applications — which can currently be published to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ — using a drag-and-drop interface. The service comes with audience targeting capabilities, plus you can look at the data to see how effective the ads and content are, and adjust accordingly.

The other big selling point is the integration with other products in Adobe’s Digital Marketing Suite — as Adobe puts it, it’s breaking social advertising out of its silo. On the publishing side, marketers aren’t just creating and measuring social marketing campaigns, they can also use Adobe Test & Target to deliver personalized messages to visitors when they come to your website after clicking on a social ad. It also integrates with Adobe Discover, so marketers can divide their social audience into segments, and seeing which types of users (i.e., visitors who spend 1-5 minutes on the site versus visitors who spend more than 5 minutes) drive the most revenue. And it integrates Adobe Insight to show how social leads to in-store traffic.

The sheer scale of word-of-mouth that can be accomplished on social media can become a powerful boost or tragic descent for any company and is best managed if a company€™s social marketers are in lock-step,€ Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager, Digital Marketing Business, Adobe, said in a statement. €œAdobe Social brings to social marketing the control and accountability expected across other digital channels. The ultimate aim is to help social media as a marketing channel mature and prove its worth alongside other digital marketing investments.€

It will be interesting to see how Adobe Social plays out and what changes in online marketing will occur as a result.

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