Two weeks ago in this space I wrote a column called "Does Content Matter?" in which I expressed concern over the business model of assembling deeply discounted targeted audiences, regardless of content environment, across a long-tail array of Web locations. My concerns are twofold: (1) that such a media placement approach disregards the value that quality branded content brings to the advertiser -- the branding and environmental halo effects of that content, something we can conceptualize as vehicle engagement; and (2) that such branded content is in fact the content of much of the rest of the Web.
The worst-kept secret in online advertising is that click-through metrics only measure a fraction of the "transactional" value of an ad campaign. The assumption in measuring clicks is that a click equals interest, but we know that ads generate long lasting awareness and interest even if an ad never gets a single click.
In my last post, I described the challenge faced by a VP marketing who had successfully used an elaborate mix model for seven years to justify increased marketing spend, only to have his world turned completely upside down by a new CFO who asked "How does your model account for the substantial changes in consumer attitudes and behaviors in the current economic environment? My question was, how would you handle the situation? We got lots of comments and ideas on the Metrics Insider site, many of them actually good. Here's what actually happened....
My post last month on unique visitors caused quite the uproar in the Web analytics community. For those of you in that space, I am sure you followed the week-long drama that ensued, while hopefully you folks in the advertising community were spared. I will start this post by saying that my intention was not to ruffle feathers with the IAB regarding their recent publishing of Audience Measurement Guidelines. If my tone or verbiage suggested that, please forgive me.
Remember back in the Paleolithic era of the Internet, when people said things like "paradigm shift" and "information superhighway"? Back about that same time, it was the informed wisdom that "content is king." Has that changed?
We now know more than we can understand. We know more than we can assimilate. It seems that the more facts we amass, the less meaning we can derive, and the less actionable decisions we can make. If you want to get across the incredible value of Web intelligence, here's what you need to explain to your boss, depending on what type of boss you have.
In 2009, Web analytics managers have a multitude of different tools to select to deploy at their corporation. Sets of tools from industry leaders, such as Omniture, WebTrends, Unica, CoreMetrics , Google, and Yahoo, are among the most popular, while options from smaller players like ClickTracks and Woopra exist as well. In theory, you deploy a tool, customize it to fit your needs, and start analyzing the reports -- and it all goes swimmingly, right? Then why have many corporations already chewed through two, maybe even three tools over the last several years?
True story. A VP marketing at a global consumer financial services company has, for years, been "justifying" the ROI on marketing spend using a sophisticated marketing mix model. This model, developed painstakingly over a two-year period and refined continuously over the subsequent five, provided the foundation of his argument that marketing was providing $X in incremental profit for every dollar spent on marketing....
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