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.

Jack 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.

Posted via email from Glenn Edley’s posterous