Category Archives: advertising effectiveness

Big Data: Savior or Anti-Christ?

Anybody read any good pieces about big data lately?  Those of us in the marketing/media/advertising complex can’t stumble into a stream of things we should be reading on the industry without being slapped in the face with a headline or two on the topic two or three times an hour or, at least, a day depending on whom or what one prioritizes in one’s stream.

Since coverage of big data is contributing to big data and since I’m but a human who does not have sufficient capacity on hand to process it all, I couldn’t possibly plant links to pertinent articles, but simply will share a couple of themes I picked up from headlines in my stream the past few weeks or so.

The genius, of course, is that if you want to read more about these themes, you will leverage the big data of a search engine with some pieces of the information I’m providing below to find the articles on big data.  I’m helping you learn to cope.  Your welcome.  It’s all just so, well, big and data-y…

The head of one of the agency holding companies said all media markets will operate like digital exchanges sooner than later (I think this was on FT or some other pay-walled situation)

Someone said markets operating on big data are killing creative, while someone else said its making creative better since it’s tied more directly to business metrics – or maybe that was all in the same article (Maybe this was in MediaPost or AdAge)

Another said something about big data actually pointing to a lot of really good “little” ideas that can have “big” impact as long as you know how to mine the big data to find these gems (I think this was on the blog of analyst or consultant or a consultative analyst)

My personal favorite was Cobra Commander’s perspective.

I’m a bit geeky.  I like books about taxonomy and the history of information and how people used stuff before so we can understand or hypothesize how they might use new stuff now and in the future.  I like tinkering around with lots of numbers in spreadsheets so I can uncover an interesting story.  I’m not a 1’s and 0’s kind of geek.  I’m more of a know enough to be dangerous about how the plumbing works such that I can understand how the toilet, sink and shower are in the right places at the right times – even if it may be different than before.  If big data can help that be done, that is fantastic.

What I’m trying really hard not to say but am just going to say anyway is know what it is you want data of any size to do for you, to solve for you, to support for you before you start trying to process it.  Thinking about it that way should help you trim through the noise of the bigness, the veiled and unveiled fear of it, and make it another part of your toolbox of strategic goodness.

Leave a comment

Filed under advertising effectiveness, analytics, future of media, measurement, twitter

(Lack of) Political Media Strategery

As mentioned, I’ve had more than five calls in five days from the Republican Party of Minnesota imploring me to vote for McCain/Palin and Norm Coleman (non-Minnesotans: the dude that was mayor of St. Paul, brought professional hockey back to MN, has been a senator for 6 years, and is running against Al Franken).

This fine Sunday morning, I had a wonderful flier in the handle of my storm door, not the first of those either in the past 5 days.

If I’m undecided and you call me five times in five days when my number is on the Do Not Call list (yeah, I know politicians get special status, but I’m in this industry…if I’m Joe Insert Name Here, I may not be as in the know w/ such things), then paper my front porch w/ your fliers when the “No Soliciting” sign is roughly a foot from my door handle, you’re not really getting credit for listening to my needs. And most likely not getting my vote as two things I remember vividly less than a week before voting are things that PISS ME OFF!

I guess the irony is that at this point in the game it’s usually the Dems reaching for high frequency desperation tactics. Regardless, do these people not have media/advertising strategists working for them? Or have they not learned from Dem failures of the past 8 years and the media strategies they used to get there. Oh, wait, they probably do and that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

And let’s not forget 30 minute infomercials. Personally, I was asking myself where the foamboard charts were. “We’re in deep doo doo, folks.” Now that’s how you connect w/ Joe Insert Name Here.

My only comment is HRP used his own money to buy two 30 minute blocks of time, which came off as a bit pretentious and showy but he was a 3rd wheel looking to shake things up.

BHO, a major party candidate, used the funds he raised by not adhering to policies of fund raising that he said he would adhere to before he became the nominee. I get that he more than any other modern candidate accumulated a ridiculous amount of minimal contributions from a ridiculous number of people by activating the true base, in the trenches, part of the electorate to get the money. And I greatly applaud that because that is a sound use and activation of strategy that understands that all politics is indeed local.

However, he is now the candidate talking about spreading the wealth around who is buying 30 minutes on three major broadcast networks on the mass-est of mass media.

A thought: How about you finish strategically where you started? Produce the video for straight to digital distribution to re-ignite the base and get them passing said video around to their undecided friends vs. wasting dollars on the committed base and the competition’s committed base. Polls right now show a huge advantage in electoral votes, but most agree that the 10 million or so undecided voters are the key. If you buy into the promise of social media, as you seem to based on how you’ve used it throughout, then the best way to persuade the undecided is via their friends and family who aren’t undecided.

Just a thought. After all, you were the man who advocated using a scalpel vs. a hatchet in the 2nd debate. You can apply that analogy a bit more easily to media strategy than trillions of dollars of debt. At least I think so…

Leave a comment

Filed under advertising effectiveness, bad media, communication platforms, competition, election 08, media usage, push vs. pull, video

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

One of the things I prided myself on when I was leading a “new”, “digital”, “interactive” media group was I liked to say, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Obviously an odd thing to say for the dude who was supposed to be leading the charge into the brave new media world. I have this problem with things needing to be strategically relevant and stuff, not to mention relevant and useful for the people you’re trying to influence or act and whatnot. My bad. Anyway, had a couple of brushes w/ that recently.

Got me to thinking, hey, this is great fodder for a post when I get a chance to get to it. I started recalling bits and pieces of some article I’d read way back when that was related to this.

It was mine as it turns out. Ironically, Eyeblaster was running on the page when I went there, expandables on roll over that sat there for a good 5 seconds after rolling over. Can…should…

Leave a comment

Filed under advertising effectiveness

The beer that made Milwaukee famous

It’s my blog and I’ll be a focus group of one if I wanna…

Personal proof that (a) advertising works and (b) media mix doesn’t matter:

At some point last week, I saw an advertisement, can’t remember in what medium, from Schlitz showing pics of middle class men from the 60s/70s that simply stated, “Your father was not a metrosexual.” Damn straight. Now he did drink Coors yellow bellies and Old Milwaukee, but, regardless, the man most definitively was not, and still isn’t and never will be, a metrosexual. And, frankly, I greatly admire the man and would personally prefer to not be referenced as such when it comes to selecting by beer.

Also at some point last week, I went down to my basement to grab a beer and it turned out to be my last. So at the subsequent liquor store trip on Saturday, guess what popped into my head as I turned up my nose at beer w/ lemonade in it, malt liquors w/ fruit flavors, and $10 six packs? That’s right: My father, and me, ain’t no damn metrosexual. Get me a case of Schlitz (and a six of Leinie’s Octoberfest and Shiner Bock – Yes! I can get it in MN!)!

Did I need a glitzy multi-media experience? Did I need to be “engaged” by Schlitz? Did I even need to remember if I saw the ad in print, online, TV or a billboard?

BTW, I could do a similar posting for Miller High Life.


Filed under advertising effectiveness, media mix

You know what to do, G, Bust a Myth (or three)

Heard from a couple of you w/ regards to the iMedia “Myth Busters” panel I’m going to be on this Tuesday. Below are the 3 key points I gave to the moderator. What do you think?

Myth #1
“Online” or “the Internet” is a medium in the the same sense that, or can be considered/compared to in an apples-to-apples way with, TV, radio, magazine, out-of-home, etc in terms of media mix allocation. TV, radio, magazine, out-of-home, etc. imply a “pushing” of message. “Online” or “the Internet” are best leveraged when there is a “pull” – and the investment buckets, not to mention the people resource buckets, push and pull come from at a marketing organization and/or agency tend to not be the same. Many “online campaigns” and pure-play online businesses don’t really require “media spending” at any significant level to be successful, but they do require a keen understanding of how the platform of the Internet operates to make themselves easily found. That tends to require a different kind of investment and resource allocation than “successful” TV, radio, magazine, OOH, etc. “campaigns”. So trying to figure out how to shift TV or print money into online is short-sighted – especially as all media becomes digital and runs on the platform (i.e. not the “medium”) that is the Internet.

Myth #2
Another one is thinking one, universally applicable definition of “engagement” or success is possible. ABC’s upfront presentation got me going on this one. Efficiency at the front end or amount of time people spend “watching” is not necessarily a predeterminant of success on the back end. Marketers need to define success and the systems to measure it for themselves, share it completely and fully w/ their partners/agencies, agencies need to take care of the front end to make sure whatever is negotiated produces desired results on the backend, and reward media vendors accordingly with business – regardless of how high or low CPMs are.

Myth #3
Most tactically is mobile as a “medium”. It’s not a medium. It’s a tool that allows people to not have to carry around scraps of papers, shopping lists, to do lists, little black books, etc. Develop a functional experience in mobile that allows people to solve the day to day problems they have with stuff they usually have to carry around in their purses or pockets.


Filed under advertising effectiveness, communication platforms, conferences, future of media, media mix, mobile, monetizing media

Prove It

“Prove it. Just the facts. The confidential.
This case, this case, this case that I’ve been workin‘ on so long…
It’s too “too too” to put a finger on
This case is closed”

Television, Prove It

The following is separate but related

Think about this – as more people are using more media in a social/pull context vs. passive/push context, subjective opinion as a means to and important input into decision making among that vast rabble we fondly refer to as our audience, our customers, our guests is becoming much more prevalent. People are becoming more damned unpredictable as they become more empowered to talk to one other more freely.

At this same moment in time we are more and more challenged to produce and prove objective, sustainable, predictable results. And, by God, we’ve got the tools to measure exposure to advertising to a consumers next visit to the john and extrapolate w/ statistical confidence when it will happen again. And we’ve got more and more number crunchers with more and more computing power crunching away.

Juxtapose that linear number crunching x leads to y which produces z thinking w/ the prevalent thought that our precious “funnel” looks more like an infinity sign. Awareness to purchase, regardless of category of purchase, can take 10 seconds, 10 minutes, 10 hours, 10 days, 10 weeks or 10 years due to either the speed at which a person can now find exactly what they want or the motivation of the person to dig for as much information as possible – from the portion of a paper product that is made from recyclable material to the intricacies of battery power vs. combustible engine power on a car – because it’s now available and find-able.

Hmmm, this line of thinking could take me in a few different directions. I’ll leave it open for now and perhaps will pick it up later. Feel free to pick up the thread as you see fit.

Leave a comment

Filed under advertising effectiveness, measurement, push vs. pull

Mastering Basic Economic Concepts 201: Commoditization vs. Value Proposition

Interesting piece on the Daily AdAge video regarding the pros and cons associated with the growth of online ad networks.

Within that discussion, Wenda Harris Millard from Martha/Omnimedia points out that we are potentially in a place where online media is becoming commoditized before the true and full value proposition is understood.

Hmm, that’s an interesting point and very much related to the Supply and Demand post from last week, but I think it’s a bit too simplistic and doesn’t really follow the history of where online media has been – or even take into account phenomenon such as direct response TV. Of course, the context is a short soundbite from a daily video report of the trade news, so I’ll assume the points I’m about to make were subsequently brought to light by Wenda or others…

Online media came out of the box as a commodity, initially a boon to marketers of the direct orientation due to it’s measurability and inherent ability to balance supply and demand. And though returns on such approaches are waning as more and more people come online (another basic economic concept for you – the funnel is getting fuller at the top and people are getting a lot smarter on how to use the web lower in the funnel), it is still an extremely efficient medium for acquisition.

However, now that we are at a point of cable-like penetration (70%+ last I cared to look) and huge swaths of people using the media as a social mechanism, I’d say we are at a state of truly defining the new value proposition that digital media provides.

It’s not CPC, CPA or CPM based, that’s for sure. However, the rate of exchange to negotiate the medium has to live somewhere in there because deriving value from a more social medium involves personally relevant metrics. It doesn’t make sense to expect media companies to define value in a social space in a universally acceptable media unit of exchange.

That means marketers and agencies will have to do more work in cultivating the relevant metrics and insights they want from “the community”, benchmark them, then negotiate front-end costs in such a way that the value derived at the other end is acceptable, and maybe even develop hybrid models that provide incentives for media partners that can best deliver these personal goals/metrics.

It’s not rocket science, folks (it’s pretty much what affiliate marketing already is), but I don’t think it’s commodity vs. value proposition either. It’s understanding the role you want the medium to play, then developing the correct programs to pay it off.

I know some scoff when folks say digital media can be used against practically any objective. Perhaps we should consider broadcast – home of beautiful brand advertising as well as bastion for informercials, HSN and QVC. Pretty broad spectrum of objectives being delivered there, and mostly done with hybrid pricing models that may start with a CPM but end with response.

Leave a comment

Filed under advertising effectiveness, measurement, media on media, monetizing media