Ways of Thinking

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.

Turkey on Thanksgiving. It's the most traditional, trusted meal of the year. What could convince me to entrust this sacred meal to a little-known direct marketer's website? Here's the story of Dr. Strangebird: How Cajun Grocer got me to stop worrying and trust the turducken.

Sometimes it seems like the whole thing is a big, distributed CRM vending machine. But it's not one thing. Social media is in fact many things, and they're not really that similar.

There's a disconnect between our readers who see marketing in the strategy, creative, etc., and our readers who see marketing in the numbers. If you're the former, let me say one thing: It's OK to hate data.

Marketers are embracing the big question today: How do you map and influence the complete customer journey? That's the whole trip, from creating interest in your category, to educating them on the space, becoming a brand they want to do business with, and finally to making a purchase.

The lifetime value of a Facebook fan is about $136 to top brands, according to this study on Facebook fan lifetime value from Syncapse and Hotspex. Another study, from Vitrue, comes up with a media impression value per Facebook fan of about $3.60. From either angle, having a framework to talk about the ROI of Facebook fan investment is priceless.

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