Online ad network Federated Media wants to make it easier for advertisers to track the impact their community-driven campaigns have online with a new suite of tools. Called Conversational Marketing Toolbox, the offering will allow advertisers to determine benchmarks for their campaign's success, handpick which data to track and view that data on a single interface. FM will run beta versions of the toolbox this summer, with the full product available later this year.
"Digital media and marketing has come a long way in the last few years," said FM CEO John Battelle in a written statement. "The success of online advertising can no longer be defined only by direct response metrics... This toolbox was designed specifically for the needs of the brand marketer looking for the power to leverage the conversational media space in the most effective and efficient way possible."
FM will work with clients at the outset to determine which data points would best determine success for their campaign, said FM marketing director Kim Kochaver by telephone. "That's a big problem for marketers," she said. "There are so many metrics out there and they don't know which ones to look at."
The metrics available will range from simple click-through rates, page views and conversions, to social media indicators such as Facebook bookmarks and RSS subscriptions, to signs of "amplification," such as blog posts, wiki entries and Twitter mentions. Each of the chosen metrics will appear on a "dashboard" on the clients' desktop.
Kochaver said a number of large companies will partner with FM for the beta tests, but would only identify one among them: Dell.
While much has been made of "conversational marketing" in recent years, efforts to track and measure it has been elusive. Kochaver said the toolbox would help set a standard for how conversational marketing is measured within the industry.
In a separate announcement, FM today unveiled plans to launch a technology information site with Harry McCracken, the former editor in chief of PC World. The site, Technologizer, will include reviews, analysis and commentary aimed at the tech community. It will debut this summer.
Earlier this year, FM secured a $50 million round of funding. The company said at the time that it would use the infusion partially to offer its clients deeper and more expansive branding services.
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Douglas Quenqua is a journalist based in Brooklyn, NY who writes about culture and technology. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New York Observer, and Fortune.
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