On this week’s After Hours Marketing podcast, I invite my good friend Eric Swayne on to the show. Eric is the Senior Director of Fan Engagement at Funimation and I’ve known Eric for quite some time. Funimation is the largest anime importer and distributor in North America. Actually, the founder of Funimation, Gen Fukunaga, brought Dragon Ball Z to the US. So, Eric is involved with quite some impressive stuff and we do manage to squeeze in some Godzilla talk as well towards the end of the show.
I really enjoyed my conversation with Eric because we dived into how to measure sticky marketing metrics, which as many of you may know, can be a huge pain to calculate. For example, Funimation will be attending about 40 conventions this year and the impact that they make on these conventions are hard to measure compared to paid advertisement.
So, how does Eric gather metrics and know when he’s hitting his goals? Well, he explains that, if you think of it like a bullseye, Funimation has a lot of middle of the bullseye types of metrics to services like FunimationNow, a Netflix-like streaming service for anime. Outside of that, Eric has some other numbers that aren’t necessarily considered direct-conversions, but they do show that Eric and his team are on the right track.
This can sometimes show up as a click-through rate or cost per thousand (CPM) or based off how many emails were opened during a promotional blast or newsletter. All of these things help paint a better picture as to where Funimation’s audience is going. Eric also tries to measure ‘fan love’, which is an incredibly squishy subject, but he and his team constantly monitor how Funimation’s fans are falling in love with the company itself. At the end of the day, it is an evolving process and there isn’t the one right way to approaching some of these things.
It’s still very hard to measure and connect what people do from a social perspective around how they feel a certain way about a product or brand and merge that with conversion rates. What does Eric think it will take for us to get to the point where we can measure social analytics with product conversion/success? This is a topic Eric thinks about a lot. When we looks at social analytics, it’s sometimes easy to imagine some sort of causal relationship to the data that simply isn’t there.
The challenge is and what people should really take in is that you should look at social analytics as an indicator, but not a stepping stone. When you have this mindset, it’s easier to read between the lines and leverage the data to your benefit.