Steve McClellan, writing today in Mediapost's Agency Daily reports on a talk by Association of National Advertisers president Bob Liodice. He says marketers can't rely on ads in digital media since it's the least accountable of all media. Viewing levels, some studies show, are only around 50 percent.
Liodice says some estimate that for every dollar spent by marketers on digital, only half is applied to the media itself. So where does the other 50 cents go?
Digital had been thought to be more accurate than other media in terms of who sees those ads. Marketers can, supposedly, track how many clicks and how many "opens" a digital ad gets -- or so we had been led to believe.
Liodice is calling for better measurement and a standard that would cover digital, TV, radio and print.
But even with TV, for example, which relies heavily on Nielsen and others to determine how many people watch a given show, marketers still can't really determine how many viewers actually see an ad. How many of us do some fast channel-surfing while an ad is on, or how many go into the other room to hit the fridge or the bathroom. And now that we have DVRs, how many just zip through the ads?
It's a really tough challenge. And it just makes the case even stronger for using other marketing tools including public relations, which, if done right, will get people to read or watch or listen to your message. (I know... a shameless plug for what I do, but when the shoe fits...)