Covario Adds Analytics to Help Customers Measure Social Media ‘Buzz’

San Diego’s Covario, the venture-backed analytics company that specializes in helping customers improve the results of their search-based marketing, has added to its Software-as-a-Service capabilities for tracking online search and display advertising.

The company says its latest innovation, the Covario Social Media Insight (SMI) solution, is an extension of its Web-based platform for Cross Media Optimization, or CMO. As if disambiguating acronyms like CMO isn’t hard enough as it is, Covario says it developed its CMO platform to help Chief Marketing Officers (a different kind of CMO) who want to improve their Current Mode of Operation (another form of CMO). Are you noticing a pattern here? It’s a confusing method of organization, to say the least.

As I’ve reported before, Covario has been expanding its software analytics tools to help customers improve their results in search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO). Covario targets many of the largest companies in the world and its customers include such companies as IBM, Microsoft, Sony Pictures, T-Mobile, Lenovo, and Yahoo.

Covario is expanding its offering of Web-based tools to help customers measure their online marketing success as new competitors are emerging, such as BrightEdge, a startup in San Mateo, CA, that specializes in SEO management—and which Wade recently profiled.

In announcing the added social media capability of its CMO dashboard, Covario cites data from Forrester Research that says online consumer-generated comments—or “impressions”—about products and services totaled more than 500 billion last year. That’s close enough to the 2 trillion ad impressions that were created over the same period to make social media rival other mass media, according to Forrester analysts. As a result, Covario customers are viewing consumer sentiment as it is expressed in social media as a key component of the effectiveness of an online marketing campaign, according to Tiffany Feltenberger, director of product management at Covario.

Feltenberger recently showed me how the added Social Media Insight feature works with what she calls the CMO “dashboard” that Covario has developed for its customers. A primary goal of the feature is to help measure the effectiveness of the marketing dollars spent by big companies—using consumer posts on social media websites as a barometer. In analyzing the effectiveness of a marketing campaign, Feltenberger says customers want a system that consolidates everything—online search and display advertising, social media, as well as the performance of traditional TV and print advertising. Such a system also must efficiently and intuitively communicate how well an advertising campaign performed, and enable users to rapidly create customer reports as requested.

In developing its Social Media Insight capability, Feltenberger says Covario has been working closely with several customers, including Autodesk and Sony Pictures, to refine the usefulness of its analysis.

For example, Feltenberger says Sony Pictures typically has an eight-week window in which the studio expects to make almost all of its money on a movie. “So they’re really interested in the social media lead-up to movies,” she says. If the social media commentary about an upcoming release becomes negative—for example, by making jokes about the dumb drama of Liam Neeson’s line “Release the Kraken!” in “Clash of the Titans”—Feltenberger says studio executives can ask themselves, “Do we want to continue putting marketing money into promoting a movie that isn’t doing well on social media sites? It’s all about opening day.”

And movies are really just one example of how this might be used. Covario says it is continuing to develop its CMO dashboard to include traditional broadcast TV advertising, print, and outdoor (billboard) media metrics.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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