One of my first talks with Maile Buker was while we both paddled kayaks. She is an avid outdoors-person, and I wanted to introduce her to the joys of the Piscataqua River basin. So I envisioned a leisurely trip in which we would glide up and down the river, consume a beverage or two, and wave hello to a few great blue herons.
Her agenda was a little different. Sure, she had fun exploring the river, but what she really wanted to learn about was how to best measure her social media campaigns. Seriously. She’s the only other person I know who would want to pursue the subtleties of social media measurement while wearing a life jacket.
It was a fabulous, fascinating conversation.
She knows ten times more about retail marketing and communications than anyone I’ve ever met. When we talked she was wrestling with calculating the efficiency of social media for a marketing campaign for Eastern Mountain Sports. She could rattle off the numbers, understood the goals, and knew how to achieve them. All she was missing was knowledge about how to calculate the value of social media. Fortunately, I could supply a few answers.
Over the years since then Maile moved from sporting goods to food; she is now Director of Marketing and Brand Management for Hannaford Supermarkets. But we have continued our conversations, sometimes on the water, sometimes over dinner. At every encounter I learn something new, and we’re still talking about proving value for communications.
She retains her enthusiasm for data, her endless search for insight and improvement, and her commitment to accountability. For all those reasons, she is the epitome of the Communications Maven of the Future. And, best of all, she’ll be a speaker at next month’s Summit on the Future of Measurement. So congrats to Maile Buker, our Measurement Maven of the Month, and the future.
This article is part of our special Future of Measurement issue.