Marketers short changing themselves

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  • August 6, 2009

Online’s DM focus “short-changing” marketers

Marketers are being “short-changed” by
focussing too much on direct response advertising online and measuring
“clicks”, rather than brand building in the digital space, according to
the head of Fairfax Digital.

Matthews, CEO of one of Australia’s largest online publishers, said a
common pitfall in the online ad industry is that “what gets measured
gets done” and implored the audience at the Advertising and Marketing
Summit in Sydney not underestimate the power of online behaviour on
offline consumption.

He said that pay per click, including online
search advertising, has been rebranded as “performance” advertising in
recent times, implying other forms of online advertising do not perform
and achieve a valuable return on investment. However while most
marketers are making decisions about their media mix based on the
bottom of the “marketing funnel”, which is all about sales, the way to
grow a business lies at the top, he added.

“Direct response is easy to measure and clicks represent the low hanging fruit of measurement,” he said.

“While direct response advertising can be
effective, the over emphasis on the last click is undermining
advertising as an effective brand building platform.”

He warned: “If we allow online to become
nothing more than a direct response marketing channel then we’ve wasted
a massive opportunity.”

Matthews also criticised marketers for
continuing to invest where they get the lowest cost per click without
considering the impact that has on the brand.

“Many of you are throwing millions of impressions at the lowest click rate (costs)…that’s a big mistake.”

He said the fact the industry has no accepted metrics for measuring brand performance online is holding it back.

“We are really short changing ourselves by
not giving you a really clear metric that explains what’s happening
online. Though the IAB has made some enormous strides and we are going
to get there.”

Matthews also touched on the paid online
content debate, arguing that strong content is at the centre of
creating engaging environments for advertisers to reach consumers, but
said it is going to “tricky” to introduce.

“Someone said to me paying for content is like putting a toll booth in the middle of the ocean,” he said.

29 July 2009

Ok so this is an interesting tack but who's going to listen? We, that is email marketers, already know what we can do and yet no one is paying that much attention to their lists. That is a bigger 'wasted opportunity' to me.