CMO of Widget Co - Okay, let's get the meeting started to discuss promoting the New Widget 100. First, let's go around the table and see how everyone is making progress. Traditional Gal, you go first....
Trad Gal - We have billion dollars to spend on TV commercials starting Tuesday night on Nascar, and hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on print started with Monday's Mall Street Journal.
Online Guy - Why are we advertising in print again?
Trad Gal - Well, through research from our traditional agency, we know that a significant portion of the people that we think may buy the New Widget 100 also read the Mall Street Journal. Besides, Really Big CEO reads it everyday and he wants to see our ads.
CMO - Why, online guy? You have any issues with that?
Online Guy - Well, yes. The last time we ran print ads we saw no impact on any INTERNET metrics or any sales metrics. Seems like a waste to me.
CMO - Well, we've always run it there. And besides, you know how our executives like the newspaper. Enough of this, because we are running short on time. Trad Gal, how are you going to measure the billions we are spending?
Trad Gal - We are going to spend about $150K to do three waves of pre-, post-, postal and any other kind of brand studies we can think of in about 200 markets so we can measure the impact and the the unaided brand awareness. Plus, I already met with finance over cocktails last night, and they agreed to setup the finance tracking so that we can take credit for any changes in our numbers. Finally, hoping Online Guy can give me credit for any impacts he sees.
Online Guy - Err, I'll have to look at the data week over week, look at click rates, conversion rates, promotion code tracking, visits to the Web sites, and...
CMO - Can you do it by tomorrow? You know how important this is to me.
Online Guy - It will take some time. You know I have a lot of data to go through, plus my own...
CMO - Great. How are are doing in PR....Events.....Branches.....[same scenario repeats itself until we get to online]. Okay Online Guy what's your plan and make it quick.... we only have 5 minutes left until our PR agency takes us out to lunch.
Online Guy - Well I have a few hundred thousand to spend on paid search, Yahoo, and...
Trad Gal - Paid search? What about all of that click fraud I've been reading about?
CMO - Trad Gal we don't have time for this right now. Online Guy, Trad Girl is right, can you cut back on your overall budget by about 25% and still hit your same objectives.
Online Guy - Wait a minute I haven't even gone through the rest of my plan and no, I can't....
CMO - Great, great. Look I have to run to lunch. Sorry to cut you off, but you are out of time. Just make sure you can track everything that we need, especially the TV advertising. We wouldn't want to waste any money on online advertising.
Sound familiar? Of course this meeting was made up and never occurred when I was working in corporate America.
What it does illustrate is one of my new pet peeves with advertising today. Why is online advertising held to such a higher standard when it comes to metrics?
How do people know their TV or print campaigns are working? Unless there is a trackable call to action, there is no definitive way to tell. Sure you can run a quantitative study in three waves over about 6 months to see how you are doing with TV, but by then your plan has changed. And, since everything is measurable on the internet, shouldn't executives and marketers want to dive into the details that are available with online?
Look, there is no more guesswork if someone saw your TV ad online. Stream the same ad online and you know how many times it was viewed, how long they watched it for, and (if you put the tracking in place) if they clicked on an ad and went and bought something.
Sure click fraud is an annoyance, but it can only be measured because it is part of an online advertising campaign where IP addresses are tracked, cookies placed, and every metric you can think of is tracked. It is time for online marketers to stop standing on the sidelines and letting other marketers get away with not having data. Stop moaning about click fraud and cookies being blown away because you are not helping yourself.
Embrace the greatest tool you have which is more data than you can possibly analyze in a three second power point slide. We have communities, blogs, social marketing, click rates, CPCs, CPAs, search retargeting, etc all enabled with customer identifiers (non-PII or not). Please, don't throw the data baby out with the click-fraud bath water.
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