Direct Response, Branding, or Both? (The End)

By Jim Meskauskas

The following is the conclusion of Jim's email exchange with Brian Monahan, President of Inrhythm Marketing, regarding the current state of media and its role in the modern advertising environment. (You may read the beginning at - please copy and paste the URL into your browser)

Brian Monahan:

Brand relationships matter. No argument here. Brand building is a proven method of sales generation. My beef is that we delude ourselves into a false course of action when it comes to making decisions on marcom investments.

"Surround Sound marketing", "propinquity", "effective frequency", "rich media experience" all sound good in theory and can even make sense on a spreadsheet. The faulty assumption is that we can make what we dream up on the spreadsheet happen in the real world where we are spending real time with real people.

The human experience of media consumption is increasingly unique. My media habits are so complex that I won't cooperate with some slick dude from NYC's attempts to hit me with an effective frequency of rich media executions in diverse media channels right at the point when I am ready to buy. I simply have too many media choices and too much access to media. The other issue pertains to the inputs required for predictive media planning. The old school media folks don't even believe in the numbers.



It is ludicrous that companies are placing multi-million dollar bets that their investments are the right ones.

I see no other reasonable methodology other than to set up a mechanism for determining advertising performance (this is not limited to impulse click and purchase -- the definition of success can be anything Mr.-try-to-put-Bri-in-a-DR-box) and then manipulating the investments based on the performance data. That approach eventually leads to the need to compress optimization cycles that leads to the system integration/labor disintermediation approach of Inrhythm Marketing.

We (media planners) are our own worst enemy. Business people have no respect for media planning. When was the last time you presented a media plan to a CEO (of a real company)? Why does the media plan get given 20 minutes of the Clients' attention and the creative gets 90 minutes? As long as Media Planners keep talking about achieving effective frequency to build awareness no one will take us seriously. Nobody believes that [crap]. All Clients want to know is that we are doing the same homework that everyone else is so we have covered their ass.

When Media People start talking the language of business -- measurable cause and effect to revenue -- that is when the Age of the Media Planner will be upon us.

Can I get an Amen? - BFM

Jim Meskauskas' response:


You are very very right to point out the changing patterns of media consumption. It is not like anything it has ever been. And, indeed, as a result, things like demographics, dayparts, effective re

Next story loading loading..