SteveRubel[1] Steve Rubel recorded this podcast with us in January 2010 and of course, social media has NOT stood still since we recorded it.  Some of the items in our discussion have come to pass and others are still ahead of us.  In the last episode, Steve tells us that before too long, every bit of media we consume may well be digital and that social media will play a major role in all that interaction.

ROI_SMGraphics_thumb1_thumb[1] We start out this episode with Steve telling us just how he feels about the use of the term “virality”.  At the time EVERYthing seemed to be intent on ‘going viral’ and it was a holy grail of digital marketers to get the content to ‘go viral’.  According to Steve it’s a potential outcome of a successful initiative, but he is more interested in substantive measures and measurements that show that the brand moves more deeply into the consideration set of the consumer; Steve suggests that virality is more a function of reach or awareness.

Steve explores the concept of driving trust and reputation to a brand and shares the concept that measurements and insights are situational.  Yes, standards and best practice studies are important, but the ROI is situational relative to the client and really should tie into the drivers that already exist for the clients business.  In the era where we can measure anything, ROI is situational and particular to the client.

EdlemanDigital_thumb[1] The aspect that pushes for delivering more valuable metrics and ROI are being driven by clients and agency.  Clients want to understand what’s working and agencies are adopting tools and tactics that deliver the goods.

Steve explains the ‘Crisis of Attention’ plaguing marketers when asked what can hinder reach in social media.  The crisis of attention is saying that human attention is finite and people will make choices and what people will select to place in their sphere is often dependant on things like –

  • life stage
  • interests
  • personal situation

These are all factors of reach or what Steve refers to as “Surface area”.  For 2010 and beyond, marketer will need  the areas to focus are based around time –

  • when
  • how long
  • what time of day

…and qualitatively, what the mindset the consumer is in when they receive the message. 

Mobile is an area that Edelman is driving clients to, supported by the studies released by Morgan Stanly and Gartner statement that most web content in the very near future is going to be consumed primarily on mobile devices.  For several months he’s been able to leave his laptop at home and work almost exclusively on a smart phone and he has some really powerful insight on what’s important when it comes to mobile – in a few words, less serendipity and more focus on the brevity of the message, an aspect that will help social grow even more.

For measurement tools, Steve makes a shout out to Radian6, Sysomos and Trendrr but predicts that before long it is likely that Google will move to make similar information more available for possibly even a lower price. 

As we wrap up, Steve suggests a consumers backlash in 2011 that will drive an enhanced need for managing their personal data that marketers have access to.

Play / Download Steve Rubel / Edelman Digital Episode 2 Podcast Here

He is available at, on Twitter as @SteveRubel and as a life streamer at

This is the final episode of the two part podcast with Steve Rubel.  Guy Powell, Jerry Dimos and I want to thank him; we appreciate her perspective and taking the time to share it with us in our podcast interview!

Usually, we’ve been posting links here to the entire episode and the transcript of the podcast.  Starting next week we are opening a community site relating to the book (today it is at and the exploration of ROI in Social Media – you’ll find the content being posted there in the near future.  We’re very interested in your perspective on the topic and, if you have a great interview who can add to the conversation, please let us know – we’re looking to interview them and put it up here!

Thank you again to you our listeners – hope you enjoyed the effort and work we put into it!

The Podcast and Credit For Where Credit is Due – This podcast / transcript was developed from a live recorded interview on January 18, 2010 between Steve Rubel, SVP for Edelman Digital and Director of Insights for Edelman, Guy Powell and Steven Groves. 

The podcast interview was downloaded and processes in Audacity, which is available from, and with ‘4toFloor.wav’ music loop from member ‘Rooks’ and posted at

The transcripts are sponsored by Social Marketing Conversations and the introduction Voice Talent is Ms. Cynthia Propst.