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Beyond the Numbers: Interview with Jeff Melton

Jessica Jacobs

Jeff MeltonIn this week’s Beyond the Numbers, we spoke to Jeff Melton, Chief Analytics & Media Officer at MRY1. Want to get even more insights from Jeff? Connect with him on Twitter.

You can find the complete interview archive here.

How does your organization define social media marketing, and how does it fit into the larger digital marketing picture?

When consumers share a brand’s key equities, messages, or attributes, Social Media provides a valuable layer of amplification and credibility to an integrated marketing mix. Social Media can therefore increase marketing investment efficiency by adding highly credible frequency to a larger reach and frequency mix.

How have you seen social media greatly impact your business?

Many of our clients’ target audience(s) spend a great portion of their time on Social Media channels which represents a great opportunity to reach those audiences. By taking advantage of Social Media’s ability to efficiently target these audiences, we are able to better achieve our clients’ business goals and objectives.

When is social media data most critical to your efforts: During the planning process; while you’re executing a campaign, so you can change course or allocate more resources; or afterwards, to measure your success?

Social Media data informs every step of the process at MRY. The skew depends on our clients’ needs at the time.

What’s more valuable, competitive intelligence on brands within your industry, or being able to look at the efforts from brands in other verticals?

Both are equally important in order to learn from brands and organizations that we respect as leaders in the space.

Social media channels are increasingly moving to where paid content is promoted more than organic content. How do you feel about this, and how has it affected your social strategy?

We fully embrace Paid Media strategies as they are helping our clients to better achieve their business goals. We see proof of this in our clients’ attribution and mix model findings. Paid Media is a critical piece to success in Social Media and shouldn’t be treated as a nice-to-have but rather a mandatory for a presence on specific channels.

What do you see as the single most disruptive force coming to the world of social media marketing?

We see three forces in particular that are disruptive to social media marketing: social activity influencing people at the point of sale, the rise of wearables presenting new possibilities for targeting and understanding behavior, and the increasing importance paid media to amplify owned and earned media.

What are the social media metrics you don’t have access to today but would like to be able to leverage in the future?

More accurate Reach and Frequency metrics across Owned and especially Earned Media would be valuable to track next to Reach and Frequency of Paid Media. While we have come a long way with OCR (Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings) and vCE (comScore’s validated Campaign Essentials), we still have a long way to go in validating Reach efficiency across all impressions.

1Updated 10/29/2014: Jeff is currently the SVP, Global Technology and Platforms at MSLGROUP