The manager's ultimate objective is to gather psychographic insights or "why" certain content exchanges are correlated with corresponding consumer behaviour and to translate these into their long-term implications for brand management.

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey concluded that a majority of US companies are having trouble measuring their ROI (return on investment) on social media; add measuring consumer sentiments on-line, and the difficulty is compounded.

How did this come about and why are such attempts at this form of measurement problematic? Here's what we see: emotions are at the foundation of consumer decision-making and an in-depth understanding is seen as the pathway to consumer loyalty. In the past, brand managers often relied on sample surveys to elicit the needed data but now more are mining for insights from the content and context of social media exchanges, as the former take longer to administer, running the risk of being outdated when completed and more expensive as well.

The shift in methods is based on the immediacy, transparency and the emotion-laden context of social media. The manager's ultimate objective is to gather psychographic insights or "why" certain content exchanges are correlated with corresponding consumer behaviour and to translate these into their long-term implications for brand management. In the words of a marketing manager: "Data-driven insights are just as important for the "why" of a brand as they are for the "what" of marketing."

Rightly, they have sought to drill down into the IoT (Internet of Things) and its devices and internet platforms and extract deeper meaning than is often captured and conveyed by sample surveys or customer relationship tools... they wish to mine "feelings". This quest does not appear, on its surface, to be totally quixotic, but if we dive deeper into its concepts and methodologies, we often discover that the quest is challenged by several key business and research concerns, among them are:

1. Can human emotions such as those driven by passions be captured and measured?

2. What are the pitfalls of transforming qualitative remarks into quantitative data?

3. Do concepts such as "brand popularity" stand the test of "KPI Time"?

4. Does a concept such as "brand temperature" add value to a manager's toolbox?

5. How does the Internet of Things impact the gathering of such data?

So, let's get started.

     Measuring human emotions such as love or hate, desire or despair, are part of the holy grail that social media managers are searching for. This has become all the more urgent by the ascendency of the brand as the primary differentiator and driver of businesses operating in highly competitive markets.