I’m in the middle of training for this year’s Boilermaker Road Race. It’s the largest 15K in the nation and happens right here in Utica, NY. The thing is though, I’m not a huge fan of running for fun (at least the training end of it). But two things have happened recently that have changed my tune.
The first is that I’ve been running in my Vibram Five Fingers. Hard to explain, but they’ve really made running just more fun when you can experience all the tactile nuances of the terrain you’re on. Plus you work muscles you didn’t even know you had in your legs (if you want more info check out Birthday Shoes– best site for Five Fingers info)
The 2nd is that I’ve been using Nike+, which is essentially a pedometer and wristband that gives you real-time data of your run. Time, Pace, Calories Burned, and Distance are all tracked in real time. After the run you upload the data (from the wristband) to the Nike+ website and Voila! I can see how I improve from week to week and what parts of my run are better than others. I can challenge other people, map routes, and set goals. It’s a kick-ass system that really does make me want to run more.
Why? It’s the data, stupid.
Like bacon, data makes just about anything better. Having access to all of these metrics (and the online community) makes the experience much deeper. I can actually see my progress (or failure) over time and can work to figure out what the weak points are in my workouts and train through them.
Facebook has also made itself a killer place to be for brands not just because there are millions of users, but because of its integration of data & information into its ecosystem of advertising and fan pages. It’s super easy to run and manage ad campaigns, target niche audiences and assess the performance almost in real time.
Even more important are the insights features for Fan pages which provides data that shows you what content resonated as well as data regarding interactions. Placing the interaction data right up front and allowing brands to run ‘Like’ Campaigns to gain new fans / followers is a constant reminder that interactions and conversations really are the currency of this environment. And providing us with all of that data makes Facebook a value play right now for ad dollars, even if you’re using it strictly as a testing ground for ads and content.
So, are you measuring your online campaigns? If so, what tools are you using? How are you incorporating data into your life or your customers’ lives to make interactions more fun and valuable? Fire Away in the comments.
PS – if you want to train along with me on Nike+, leave a comment and I’ll get you my info. I’m also always looking for other Five Finger Runners to talk / train with.