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 â€œbottom lineâ€ metrics like reach and frequency, gross rating points, and rate base? Does that mean advertisers believe mass media have better â€œcapabilitiesâ€ 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.