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Is the FORMULAmore importantthan the DATA youcollect?As we progress forward building, tweaking and learning how to Rank over 30million people in the US. It struck me that the formula is such a small part of theover all process.The tipping point in determining whether or not the data is more important than theformula has three big elements:1. What is the context of the data you have crawled2. Can you tie the data crawled to the person you are trying to ascribe a value to3. Can you determine the importance of one persons social contributions relativeto another based on numbers one and twoI know this all seems a little bit confusing and at first it is but let me walk youthrough it.
As a marketer I am either going after my customer direct or indirect throughinfluencers and thought leaders usually one in the same. In this example I’m goingto focus on the influencers or indirect channels.More often than not we know our end customer, what they look like and wherethey are located. What is missing is the trust and equity required to drive them totake the desired action this is where the key influencers come in.It’s tricky to calculate who actually has impact on a specific vertical market.Determining if an individual or firm has relevance in the twitter-sphere or blogger-sphere is straightforward. Whether or not that same individual dominates andinfluences a specific market is another matter.Ok enough on that topic, lets get back to the formula versus the data. You cancreate the world’s most complicated formula but without the data it’s virtuallyimpossible to generate a meaningful result without the requisite fuel (data).Understanding the data you have crawled, it relationship to the key influencer andhow important each piece of data is lays the foundation for building a Social Rank.What is missing for me when I look at the competitive landscape is depth. Taking afew “key markers” and using those to INFER the impact and relevance they haveon an entire market is very ballsy. Would you bet your career on such a non-scientific process?In my experience that is exactly what most marketing departments do. They usetheir thumb waive it in the air (a single person who does a few hundred searches)for a quick litmus test and plow forward. It seems if we could identify the surfacearea of the market that would be a great first step.
Once we know who is in our market the next big step is to figure out where theinfluencer is generating their power. In our experience there are 14 possiblechannels a person can derive their power from not three (Twitter, Facebook,Blogs).Now that we start tracking where they generate their power the challenge is tofigure out what they are saying and how important their content and comments arerelative to the rest of the market.Last, is to compare each of the influencers in the market to each other and developa Social Rank for each. This is where the formula comes in at the end of theprocess not the beginning.So don’t be confused or mislead with the magic formula siren song from many inthe marketplace. Ask your vendors how they collect, organize and analyze the data.Let me know what you think about the formula vs data driven approach.Look forward to seeing you on-line.Take care,Jim@jimweldonjrPosted in: Influencer Formula