Convergence: Interactive Marketing Channels
Moderator: David Crow, Microsoft
Panelist: Ryan Anderson, Fuel Industries
Panelist: Todd Henwood, Publicis Modem
Panelist: Jon Lax, Teehan & Lax
Friday, March 28 – 1:15pm
One of the major things that came out of this session was a simple learning: in a rapidly-converging digital world, relying strictly on quantifiable data for measuring the success of an online marketing campaign is incredibly difficult.
When trying to gauge the value of interactive marketing, the panel tersely said that “ROI is BS,” and that when you speculate on quantifiable brand value created by a campaign, “you’re making shit up.” You can’t use cause and effect relationships in online activities.
Because we are in the early days of social media, it is almost impossible to give specific metrics based on historical data. Instead, the emphasis is on conversation: by creating good relationships, you are creating value that you really can’t measure. “Innovation only occurs when the marketing executive is willing to put their job on the line. They need to believe that it’s the right thing to do, rather than relying on data.”
One of the questions brought up by the audience during the session was the fact that several clients can easily see the value in television and print campaigns, but can’t quantify the value of online marketing. Why then should they invest in online marketing?
Lee Dale, President of Smack Inc, shared some thoughts on that question with me and allowed me to share them here on the blog:
Why advertise online when TV works just great? Well, there’s a great question. I wouldn’t have considered asking such a preposterous question in 2008, but hey, not one but two people threw that one out to the interactive panel moderated by David Crow, lounging stage left in tie and muted red vest.
So, how does Jon Lax respond to such inanity? Well, in kind of course: you have to have faith, an innate trust in what you’re doing online, because there’s no way I can offer ROI.
While I can’t even fathom people suggesting that they won’t spend on online media because they’re happy with the ROI on their TV spends, the fact that we had 15 minutes of preaching faith in online from Jon completely undermines the medium.
As a content and interactive producer, this is particularly frustrating, but not nearly as much as how infuriating it is for the tax payer me to hear a government marketing manager say: “Well, I’m not going to bother spending online because TV brings such value. I know because when we run a campaign we it gets a lot of press.”
What the f**k? You’re spending millions on TV to get press?!?!
Has no one here ever heard of an integrated campaign? There’s a reason that there are great PR and interactive agencies. Because, done right, and worked into a good mix of media buying, over time and across media, the value of your spend increases; you don’t blow wads of cash on TV in order to get press, or do an inclusive online campaign that doesn’t connect with your campaign across other media – you find the right balance, within budget, to get your message out to your target as effectively and efficiently as possible.
It’s no wonder it’s difficult selling 2008 integrated strategies and community strategies to companies when a whole segment of leaders in the industry and marketing managers don’t understand the basic tenets of advertising, established well prior to this strange beast we call the internet and as applicable today as ever – spend right, and you’ll find your ROI.
Well said Lee, well said.
Photos by Rannie Turingan.
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