If there was one clear story that came from TV this January, it was the story of interactive TV. That, for starters, was a clear major takeaway from CES. TV platform after new TV platform introduced opportunities -- from apps to newly interactive consoles -- for advertisers to share content and advertising directly via the TV set itself. Suddenly, the very divided worlds of TV viewer and TV advertiser have just become intimately connected. As media professionals have correctly observed, that new connection also makes TV newly measurable. It's a huge step forward for metrics. But even with all that …
Perhaps we can make 2012 the year when "Best Practices for Conducting Online Ad Effectiveness Research" become standard operating procedures. And, in a year of action, let's encourage the vendors to do the research on research that the esteemed Dr. Paul Lavrakas recommended in his 2010 "An Evaluation of Methods Used to Assess the Effectiveness of Advertising on the Internet." The list of issues and items to consider when adopting best practices is rather long, largely due to the inadequacies of the current research methods and the costs of doing better work. Let's address some of the most common misconceptions …
The zettabyte is here. Sun Microsystems became the first company to go to market with a zettabyte file system Nov. 20. You don't really need to know that, but what you do need to know: it's an ominous sign that "big data" has no horizon, and it's only getting bigger. It could be more intimidating than the national deficit, but big data means big opportunity for digital marketers, if you know how to make sense of it.
As we start the new year, we are entering the age of data-driven creative strategies. Including data as an input into the creative cycle will allow current trends, consumer sentiment, real-time behavior and attitudinal response to be interwoven into creative thinking, thus making a campaign more relevant, dynamic and effective.
Marketers and their agencies typically look at attribution management and the value it provides an organization in direct response terms. Focusing on accurately attributing metrics like conversions, revenue, CPA, ROI, and ROAS makes complete sense when a marketer has responsibility for producing some type of measurable conversion. But a growing number of professionals responsible for moving the needle on brand metrics -- like awareness, preference, consideration and purchase intent not linked to a "hard" conversion -- are also using attribution as a valuable analytics and optimization solution.
This year we've looked at more than 500,000 unique domains -- some of them hundreds of times, over and over. This is called taking inventory of the inventory. We've discovered some eye-openers about the state of the inventory as 2011 ends, and 2012 begins. Here are our more important and relevant findings.
In today's day and age, people online have very short attention spans. Everything is being shared very quickly -- and disappearing just as fast -- whether a funny CollegeHumor video, a piece of spicy news or even a Republican candidate's video. Online behavior is very similar to flock behavior -- people flock to topics and quickly forget about them. This flock mentality renders demographic targeting virtually useless. People are no longer as static as they used to be. No one can be just an "18-year-old who loves music and parties," because that's not dynamic enough to represent how online works.
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