AR, memes and AI: New Metrics for New Media

In a world where there seems to be a new medium in which to communicate every other week, The IAB is always a reliable first mover in terms of setting measurement standards. For those using Augmented Reality (AR) in your owned or paid media campaigns, they’ve just introduce new standards for measuring AR:

Another area that is drawing attention is measuring the impact of organic memes, i.e. memes that you didn’t create and didn’t pay an agency to create, but just appear and go viral. I was recently challenged to put a value on the impact of a viral meme, and quickly found out that there are standards, but there is a growing body of research on their impact. And while you can certainly measure change in perceptions and beliefs before and after your audience is exposed to a meme, that doesn’t meet the needs of communications professionals whose bosses want an answer in the next five minutes.

If you are one of those communicators, your best tool is Google Trends. Run a competitive search on your brand and a few others and you’ll quickly see the extent to which (if at all) a meme has impacted the number of people searching for your brand. Unfortunately, Google Trends doesn’t tell you much more than that. And your standard media monitoring tool probably isn’t much better.

Social listening tools could certainly pick up mentions of the meme, assuming it is a term that is unique enough to not get lost in everything else the tool might be hoovering up. However, you will need to take a random sample of posts and get a human being with good judgement to figure out whether the impact is desirable or undesirable on your brand.

If it’s a monetary value your boss is after, you could measure the extent to which the meme drives traffic to your website, and if you’re using GA4 you could create an event that would tell you when someone came in from social media and did something on your website to indicate preference or consideration for the brand. Depending on what and how you’re selling, that could be translated into actual revenue.

Finally there’s measuring the value of AI – -which ranges from incalculable to worthless, depending on your point of view. One interesting measurement test was carried out by Greg Jarboe, founder of SEO PR, who used three different AI tools to create a press release. We then measured the impact that release generated on leads. Read the full story here.

The key test for AI is whether it helps you achieve your goals. So make sure you put your goals into the prompt. I recently asked Gemini (Google’s latest iteration of its AI system) to create a press release for a new product we are releasing this month. The first results were pretty underwhelming. I then added to the prompt “create a release that would be picked up by PRWeek” and the results were vastly improved.

Net net, no matter what the medium, you can develop metrics to measure its impact. But first you need to define what impact you hope to have.

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