The Fluid Web is becoming a reality and we simply don't have the Digital Marketing metrics in place to measure it and define success. I first heard about the Fluid Web from Avinash Kaushik - Analytics Evangelist at Google - Author of Web Analytics - An Hour A Day - Blogger at Occam's Razor. The easiest way to understand the Fluid Web is to think about what a Widget is. Think about an application that is constantly accessible and updating itself either through the user engagement and/or a timed RSS feed - a fluid and persistent, on-demand flow of Web experience that is not beholden to pageviews.
The days of impressions, click-throughs, etc... start to fade.
I've been thinking a lot about this because if people like Avinash - who spend their days helping us try to improve our current metrics - are so excited by the opportunities of the Fluid Web, why are Marketers not creating discussions around how we're going to integrate these metrics into our current Digital Marketing statistics, and how those two sets of rules will fit into the larger Marketing metrics of an organization?
My understanding, through talking with Avinash (which you can hear over here: SPOS #78 - Six Pixels Of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast - Widgets, Analytics And The Fluid Web With Avinash Kaushik), is that Google Analytics does have a new logging model that enables Marketers to measure almost anything they wish within a Web application. It could be anything from time spent to who downloaded what, as long as you know, up-front, what you want to measure.
Imagine a Digital Marketing world like that.
A world where you have no "standards" for open-rates or click-throughs, but where we are creating the unique measurement tools for each unique campaign. My guess is you could always have the fall-back of your traditional pageviews, etc..., but the value of that might diminish as Marketers get smarter in better understanding how to measure the actions of a Fluid Web experience.
Something tells me that if Marketers pay more attention to what they should be measuring versus what everyone else is measuring (the old industry standard), we might be able to discover all of these new business models that the online social networks are promising us a lot faster. Maybe all of the gold will follow if we do, indeed, go beyond the banner and sponsorship online advertising models that we're presently seeing in online social networks.
From the Momentum Effect to the Fluid Web, I get more and more excited about the potential and opportunity in Digital Marketing as each day passes. I'm also constantly amazed at how the creative of Web initiatives has so many dimensions - including an analytics one.