What I am Reading: vacation list

Main event: Tree of Smoke Denis Johnson’s well received novel about Vietnam

Sideshows: The Art of Knotting and Splicing, Cyrus Lawrence Day and Peter Owen’s The Book of Decorative Knots (I intend to work on my decorative marlinespike skills and crack the Turk’s Head and Matthew Walker knots)

Everett Allen’s A Wind to Shake the World, was supposed to be a main event, but I read it on Wednesday and had to get another of his: Martha’s Vineyard: An Elegy. I know of very little good Vineyard fiction — the place was infested with great writers: John Hersey, William Styron, Lillian Hellman — but of novels set on the island, other than the predictable regional who-dun-its, I know of none.

I hope to get a ton of writing done, and in my experience over-reading leads to under-writing.

Elmer Fudd and Google

So I was trying to get to my iGoogle portal page and instead of typing http://www.google.com/ig  I made a typo and put in http://www.google.com/ug

That resulted in my going to a page in “Uyghurche” which I assume is some Balkanish-Asia Minory-weirdness which I cannot understand.

So, I tried to change my default back to the US version, but learned that I had another option.

Elmer Fudd

So, if your pweferwences are seawching in the wanguage of Fudd, check it out.

Online advertising not measurable enough?

Compared to what! Television? Print? Mark Cahill calls my attention to this insanity.
Scott Karp rips apart a recent McKinsey survey/report on online advertising (which I meant to do, but got sidetracked). Here’s the upshot as reported in Adweek:

McKinsey polled 410 marketing executives in five sectors, and among those already advertising online, 52 percent said “insufficient metrics to measure impact” [emphasis mine, ed] was the biggest barrier, followed by insufficient in-house capabilities (41 percent), the difficulty of convincing management (33 percent), limited reach of digital tools (24 percent) and insufficient capabilities at agency (18 percent).”

Scott gets right to it:

“Does that mean advertisers really believe metrics like cost per lead, cost per sale, or even cost per visit are inferior to traditional “bottom line” metrics like reach and frequency, gross rating points, and rate base? Does that mean advertisers believe mass media have better “capabilities” than online advertising platforms like keyword-targeted search advertising, behavioral targeting”

Client-side as I am, let me agree with the survey panel that the primary barrier is indeed in-house capabilities. Budgets, staff and mindset are still geared towards television, print and out of home. Convincing management? Not an issue for me. Limited reach? Sure, online is growing more expensive and yet it is harder to put money in market as strong opportunities begin to vanish under high demand. Agency capabilities? Agencies are scrambling to staff up, I’d put the onus on the client to deal with the in-house capabilities, we’re moving to a multi-agency, specialist network model with the client providing the management and the glue, the metrics and the execution.

But insuffiicient metrics? That is doubtlessly the most ignorant thing I have heard all year. McKinsey needs to either change its survey methodology or find marketers who have a clue, because the one’s they surveyed are probably relying on their agency to give them click-through reports and therefore, deserve what they get.

Metrics in online advertising are the responsibility of the client, not the agency, not the publisher. If the client is incapable of attributing revenue to a dollar placed in the market, then the client is wasting its money. Only the client can detect the action on the client site. Period. If an advertiser is spending online (I suspect McKinsey’s survey panel is obsessed with CPM and CTR on banners) and not measuring the impact end-to-end then they need to fire their agency, hire an interactive marketing manager, and invest in a decent metrics package. If not, well, stick to your TV, radio and print and have fun with such wonderful measurements as “pass-along” and “drive-time impressions”

Note, McKinsey loves its registration wall, in the belief that its content is super precious (it is good, but sorry Stuart and Jeff, it needs to be easy to get to), so I shall not waste your time with a link to the survey which I can’t find anyway.