We recently introduced the concept of a Brand Value Index (BVI) — a composite index media companies can use to assess the relative value of their social entertainment sites powered by the Cisco Eos platform. (Read the blog entry here.)
As I noted, a singular number like the BVI can help provide context at a portfolio level, but it doesn’t provide a lot of prescriptive power on what I should do to improve or optimize a particular site experience. For that kind of insight, we need more data points and the ability to compare individual factors to comparative benchmarks.
We can achieve both of these by standardizing each of the 11 variables in the BVI on a common scale, and displaying them on a radar plot like the attached. (For those that are interested, this graph has also been normalized on a scale from 0-6, where the average across all sites is always a “3” and “0” is the absence of a particular factor).
Remember Site A and Site B from the previous post? The question I posed about was: would you invest your limited resources in Site A, an over performer in the portfolio, or Site B, an under performer? Without more context, you can’t make a good decision one way or the other.
To help you answer this question, let’s look at each site’s situation and BVI footprint for context:
- Site A is an Eos-powered site built around a mainstream, and established content brand. The site has a rich mix of premium content, and social features that allow fans to interact with and around the content brand. At the point of this analysis, the site had been live for more than a year.
- Site B is an Eos site built around a relatively new brand; one targeted at a smaller, niche audience. While this site had relatively similar social features embedded, there was significantly less professional content (than Site A) for fans to interact with. The site had been live for less than 6 months.
Where would you invest?
I’ve presented this scenario in more than a dozen meetings now, and been relatively surprised by the response. My assumption was that most people would invest more in Site A — a site that is outperforming the network average on almost every variable.
Instead, most people have focused on the opportunity that Site B represents. Here’s the logic most people use:
1) Site B is outperforming the network average on Repeat Visitors, and Registered Visitors (upper right-hand quadrant) — in fact, it’s doing better than Site A on both counts. This may mean that we’ve tapped into a diehard and potentially loyal fan base — one that I might be able to more easily monetize OR use as a foundation to extend the brand to additional audience.
2) Comments per Visit is outperforming Site A — a highly interactive site — which supports the notion that the Site B audience is highly engaged with the content.
3) One-time Visitors is low — this could be a factor of having a relatively new brand, or it being for a niche audience. I may want to run a test of putting more promotional dollars behind the brand to scale the audience. OR, since this is targeted at a niche market, maybe I focus on optimizing the site experience for the fans I’ve already engaged and forgot about reaching a wide audience.
4) Media plays, shopping rates, Time on Site, etc should only increase as we add more content and ecommerce options. (You can track your BVI profile month-over-month to track your results and hypothesis about consumer behavior.)
This is usually the point where people start wanting more details about the sites (objectives, financials, audience composition, etc) so they can build some solid recommendations on the directions for the sites. Universally, the people who have been through this discussion talk about the value this type of data and visualization could bring to their decision making — at both a portfolio and site level.
The Brand Value Index and visualization of the social engagement profiles are not revolutionary thinking; however, unless you have an integrated platform like Cisco Eos, it’s unlikely you can get a portfolio-wide perspective that brings together audience, behavior and interactions data. Without that broader perspective, you can only make decisions based on the individual data points or silos.
What about Site A?
What about Site A? What have people we’ve shared these scenarios with focused on? Well, they recognize it’s big, performing well and is therefore probably a cornerstone of this media company’s digital portfolio. The one variable everyone focuses on is Registered Users — it’s the only variable Site A underperforms on and it sticks out like a sore thumb. Everyone agrees that someone should look into site registrations to understand what’s going on there.
In reality, the owner of Site A recognized the lower registration rate and streamlined the site registration process. As a result, Site A is now outperforming the network average on registrations — as well as almost every other BVI factor.