Too many brands, agencies and technology providers have become starry-eyed from the mounds of information generated from online advertising. Some suggest that the data clouds the vision of the campaign's goals.
A study scheduled for release Wednesday from Vizu suggests that 34% of respondents describe themselves as "drowning in data" when it comes to information generated from online advertising channels.
Many can't agree on the tools to accurately analyze the end results.
The chaos continues to fuel a variety of complications across the digital media supply chain that range from slowing the growth of online advertising to budgets moving from direct-response to brand advertising, given that companies can't accurately measure return on investment.
It doesn't appear that the entire digital media supply chain typically agrees on a common objective and goal, according to Dan Beltramo, CEO of Vizu. "Companies use different metrics and data systems to calculate even the same metric," he said. "All companies involved in a campaign must be clear on the objective and measurement system. If you and I agree that click-through rates are the most important objective, but don't use the same metrics, we spend more time trying to figure out the differences, rather than get on the same page."
In 2012, more brands will focus on persuasion and attitudes through branding campaigns, rather than direct-response advertising, partly because incremental gains continue to decline. A survey of more than 450 advertising executives found that more than 60% of marketers plan to increase their spending on brand-related online advertising in the coming year.
While 70.3% will use a combination of brand and direct-response advertising, 37.8% said they will focus solely on brand advertising. 51.6% of those engaging in both, said they will spend more of their budget on branding than direct response.
The study also finds that brand advertising continues to grow more quickly than direct-response. About 64% of marketers plan to increase their online brand advertising budgets in 2012, with 22% increasing the budget by more than 20%.
When it comes to online direct-response advertising, only 56% of marketers plan to increase budgets in 2012, with only 15% increase the spend by more than 20%. Of those participating in the survey, 60% said they will move allocated dollars away from direct response into brand advertising campaigns.
Marketers participating in the study said the goal will become improving clarity around ROI for brand advertising. A majority -- 56% -- cited the "ability to verify my brand advertising created the desired result" and increase awareness about products. 53% also cited the "ability to use the same metrics to evaluate brand advertising effectiveness online as are used offline," which points back to metrics used by Nielsen for TV advertising.