I was in a meeting on Friday and a client said to me something along the lines of …
We’re not confident nor aware of whether the result from spending $x thousand on online would create a better outcome for us than spending the same amount of $x thousand on media we’re currently using
So – effectively there’s no dispute/doubt from marketers that online can work … the real curiosity is that is a more effective use of investment than other media. Will $x in digital create better results than $x on TV? Or $x in press? Or $x on outdoor?
There’s no straight answer. In some circumstances digital would create a better result. In others, probably not.
I think if you look at this you can generate 3 key takeouts
1/ There is no question from anyone the role and benefits of search. However marketers generally focus on demand creation, not fulfillment so the doubt revolves around display advertising
2/ Measurement surely plays a role in creating this doubt. Our currency of UB’s and PI’s and clicks doesn’t speak the language of marketers. These are figures developed to help open doors and claim we had the same scale as other media … right now they’re not serving the interests of anyone. (good article here, thanks Wendy Hogan – http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/community/columns/other-columns/e3i388dc3328f74c5ee0b7801ccdf6e26b9)
3/ There are questions around the impact of current display units and whether they can move beyond an opportunity to see to a real impact with the user.
With that in mind, perhaps the approach should move from disputing the effectiveness of other media (arguing that no one watches TV, arguing that TV ads aren’t effective, press is dying, outdoor is ineffective) and starting to celebrate and evolve the benefits of digital. Maybe instead of saying everything else is broken, we can focus on fixing what needs to be fixed closer to home.