One of the benefits media companies enjoy from using an integrated platform like Cisco Eos to deliver their social entertainment experiences is having a singular data view on how audiences are interacting with and around their branded content. This data can be extremely valuable in helping enhance or optimize the value of the content experiences for both the consumer and the business — or, it can be just another distraction.
As an ex-data wonk (and now a marketer trying to leverage a multitude of measurement systems), I know that more data is not always more useful. With the overwhelming amounts of data available from your online channels, the more rare asset is actionable insights that can be derived from all that raw data. Many times insights can come from simply putting individual data points (e.g. a 10% increase in traffic) into context — which helps me understand if a 10% increase is a good outcome relative to what I’m trying to achieve, or some external benchmarks. The ability to provide context around individual metrics gives marketers and website operators a robust platform for testing and evaluating the value each web experience is delivering to its audience.
Introducing the Cisco Eos Brand Value Index (BVI)
We’ve generated a significant amount of data across the 100 Eos-powered web sites, and we recently put on our data spelunking caps to dig into this data to find actionable best practices our customers could use today, as well as to define a framework for contextualizing the broader data landscape generated by Eos interactions.
What I’d like to do now is to introduce you to some early thinking on a contextual analytics framework in Cisco Eos that we’re calling the Brand Value Index (BVI).
Before you ask, a couple of points on the data:
1) We only have access to the anonymous, behavioral data generated when audiences interact with, and around the content on a Eos-powered web site or mobile application. In the Eos data structure, Personally Identifiable Information (PII) about users is held separately from the behavioral data and is owned by the Eos customer whose site generated that data.
2) A similar caveat for the transactional data (for example, ecommerce shopping cart data, advertising click thrus, etc) generated on Eos sites but fulfilled by another system.
3) The contextual framework introduced below is still in development (comments welcome!) and is complementary to the descriptive, embedded analytics currently available in the Eos administrative application.
What we Found and the Brand Value Index
To simplify our data mining efforts we took a subset of Eos data, focusing on 65 Eos sites that were live between Dec 2009 and July 2010. This data set represented about:
- 26+ million site visits
- 14.5+ million unique visitors
- 4+ million hours on site
- 23+ million media plays and 70+ M Page Views
To date we’ve found a number of interesting findings, but I’m going to focus on the broader theme of how media companies can use Eos data to enhance or optimize the “value” of their branded web site.
One insight from my past life in market research is that each customer defines “value” differently depending on their objectives, business and perspective. To some, “value” may be greater audience engagement, or promotional reach, while others will focus solely on the direct revenue a particular site generates.
As a result, our objective of creating a framework for providing actionable, contextual insight to customers needed to accommodate multiple business outcomes, as well as different levels of granularity for analysis. The Cisco Eos Brand Value Index therefore incorporates metrics from three dimensions:
1. Audience: overall traffic each site is generating in terms of one-time visits, repeat visits and site registrations
2. Content: the audience’s consumption of content on your sites as measured by metrics such as Page Views, Media Play, time on site
3. Context: the point of social entertainment sites, like those delivered by Eos, is to get people to engage with your brands and premium content via social features. These “social” interactions around your premium content are represented in the BVI by metrics such as commenting, sharing, rating, etc.
Rolling these individual factors into a single, composite Brand Value Index score gives managers a way to evaluate the relative performance of their individual sites, and overall portfolio — which gives them a vehicle for having a fact-based discussion about where to allocate their scarce resources — either to improve underperforming sites, or to extend over performing sites.
This is the first level of granularity accessible through the BVI. In addition to the single index, the individual metrics can be visualized on a radar or spider chart to allow you to quickly assess how a site is performing against your objectives, portfolio, against the average across Eos sites — and even over time as you tweak your sites. I’ll discuss in a future post how you can use this next level of BVI detail to evaluate and optimize the value of your sites and online brands.