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Earlier this week, I saw a piece of data that, if accurate or even half accurate, is something that every Internet marketer should fear in the same way that a kid fears the dentist. “What?” you ask. Well, kids (and many adults for that matter) are scared to death of the dentist. Why is that? It’s because they think they know what the dentist is going to do but they fear what else the dentist could do without the least bit of warning. They could go to see the dentist for a simple cleaning but in that time the dentist could find trouble. Once that trouble is found, it is impossible to measure what will happen, but most kids who have any experience know that it can be extremely unpleasant. You know why. Needles and drills and that smell. Yeah, the smell.

Well, it’s a lot less dramatic but just as painful that in mobile marketing there is something that marketers should truly fear. That is something that is quite possibly unmeasurable. No matter how hard you try you may never get a real number attached to something that occurs all the time in the online world. It’s the sharing of a video, or any message for that matter, without leaving a trail to measure.

Still not clear? Well look at this chart that comes from a study that the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence produced called “Mobile Phone Video Diaries: Understanding Mobile Video Usage“. (The chart was synthesized by eMarketer)

Methods Used to Share Mobile Videos

In the breakdown of exactly how such a large percentage of videos are shared, there is the piece of data that says that 44% of those sharing videos are simply sharing that video experience with their own device. They are saying “Hey, dude! Watch this!” or if you are a little older you might say say “Hey honey, did you see this yet?” Either way, as a marketer this should send a chill down your spine.

Why? Well, you can’t measure this kind of reach. Oh sure, you can guess and you could float this in front of some executive at your company who “knows” that everything on the Internet is measurable with a “We believe that there are X% more people seeing this because they are not sharing through social media but they are showing others with their device.” That will be met with the same icy stare that those who are trying to measure the impact of TV get when they talk about eyeballs.

Face it Mr. or Ms. Marketer, you’ve got a problem on your hands. Your promise of content marketing helping your company’s promotional efforts and the ability to measure and track everything that happens in the online space has pretty major hole in its theory.

Oh, and the best part? Video is growing so fast and is becoming so important that those upper level executives may actually be interested in it to the level that makes a marketer’s “I think we can say with a reasonable degree of confidence…” statements hit the board room table like a lead balloon.

Sing along to the tune of the “Bad Boys, Bad Boys” theme music of the TV show Cops: “Marketers. Marketers whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you …. and your video sharing analytics!”

Yeah, it’s enough to make you break out in a cold sweat isn’t it?

Well, I have to go. I have a great video to share with you that has a solution but I just shared it with my buddy over lunch and I don’t feel like taking the time to put it anywhere else since I have been pulled in a hundred other directions since then. Sorry. Oh…and good luck!

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