Ultimately the goal is for this process to be relatively instantaneous, Morton says, so "the second an online review or feedback pops up Medallia is already processing information captured by Best Western on what happened during the customer's stay."
For its part, PCH plans to use attribution not just to evaluate advertising ROI, but to identify influencers in the PCH social media universe as well as the audience members who are most active.
Also because of the company's large mobile following, PCH plans to keep the heat on Facebook to improve the quality of its mobile applications. "A third of our audience is mobile and that number is growing rapidly," Holland says. "Facebook apps are not completely compatible with mobile devices, but we are dependent on their developers to fix that."
Best Western's Morton, meanwhile, is studying ways to integrate social media analytics into the company's property management system. His hope is that someday if a customer tweets that he wishes he had a first-floor room, that information will be recorded as a preference in his customer profile.
Wickham, Holland, Morton and Marcum all are optimistic about the future of social marketing and are sure it will pay off for their brands. "There is a lot of work left to be done, but it's not an area of frustration -- it's one of excitement and anticipation," Marcum says.
Sandra Gittlen is a freelance technology writer in the Boston area. Contact her at email@example.com.
Read more about business intelligence/analytics in Computerworld's Business Intelligence/Analytics Topic Center.