Emerging media cutbacks: Could more measurement keep investment up?

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According to today's Wall Street Journal, marketers are cutting back their budgets on emerging media, including social networking. Money that in the past they would have put towards social media, mobile, video and virtual worlds is suddenly too precious to play with, and they're deciding to stick with the tried and true.

But what if these emerging media technologies were more measurable? Or if the measurement tools were well-understood? I wonder if that would really change the ballgame and whether marketers would consider emerging media more of a trustworthy opportunity. There have been several efforts to create social media measurement tools -- the latest was unveiled by Federated Media today, offering a beta-launched suite of tools to marketers that will help marketers measure campaigns across social media, including Twitter, blogs and Facebook. Clients including Intel, Best Buy and American Express are reportedly on board.

The same is true for viral video -- we have a feature story coming up in a couple of weeks that will explore whether the viral nature of video can be measured in a way that will be useful to marketers.

It seems that until these emerging media are proven to be more than just branding efforts, they will seem more dispensable than traditional TV, online or direct marketing tactics.

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