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Measure What Matters: Online Tools For Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships by William T. Paarlberg, Katie Delahaye Paine

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Chapter 1. You Can Now Measure Everything, but You Won't Survive Without the Metrics that Matter to Your Business

"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite."

Bertrand Russell

Until recently, the attitude toward measurement in business has been: "It's too expensive and too complicated and really only applicable for major corporations." In the past decade, however, a confluence of circumstances has pushed measurement and metrics onto the priority lists of businesspeople everywhere.

First there was the Internet explosion. The Internet, and specifically social media, has been adopted by businesses worldwide in record-breaking time. It took 89 years for the telephone to reach the level of household penetration that Facebook reached in just five.

As consumers increasingly research and purchase goods online, their behaviors, thoughts, and opinions have become easier to track and measure. At the same time, the proliferation of listening, analysis, and reporting tools has made such metrics affordable and accessible to every organization, from nonprofits to go-fast Internet start-ups.

Then there is the current global recession. In these hard times most every business is taking a hard look at what strategies, programs, and communications are working and not working. Today, if you're in business and want to survive, you will need to continuously measure and improve your processes and programs. Whether or not you are measuring, your competition ...

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