Back in the mid-'80s, when the first great wave of agency consolidations swept up names like BBD&O, Doyle, Dane Bernbach, Young & Rubicam and J Walter Thompson and massed them into entities with names like WPP, Omnicom and Megacorp (OK, I made that last one up), the obvious question before the court was, "What's in this for the client?" The big watchword at the time was "clout," as in "media buying clout." These newly giant agencies could, presumably, buy media for you more cheaply than before, and this was good. Clout is really just a flavor of "efficiency," which is …
Fact: Failure rates in marketing are astronomically high. Only a small fraction of new marketing initiatives succeed in achieving their intended objectives. If marketing were a baseball player, it would NEVER have made the major leagues. If marketing were a horse, you'd need 10:1 odds at least (and even then you'd be best served to box your bet across win, place, and show). If marketing were a bridge, you'd certainly not want to drive across it on a windy day. Why? Why is it so damn hard to make marketing work consistently and reliably?
Nielsen tells us that some 60% of television viewers watch the tube and surf the Internet simultaneously at least once a month. To some observers, this suggests nothing more than a restless consumer brain and a divided attention span. But sophisticated marketers recognize that multitasking is enabling -- even requiring -- a powerful variation on direct response television (DRTV) called "brand response" advertising. There isn't widespread industry understanding of the utility of brand response, and the reason is simple: not all brand agencies comprehend direct response, and not all direct shops comprehend branding.
Never hesitant to jump on the New Year prognostication bandwagon, I'm giving you a few predictions for some significant new elements and important evolutions in social media metrics in 2011: