"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don't know why"
is one of the most infamous phrase of advertisment, the worst part: it used to be true. John Wanamaker
, considered one of the fathers or department stores and advertisement, said this more than a century ago and it remaind true, with little option for marketers to get away from this
Recently the magazine The Economist published an article
that should be read by all marketers
, but specially by those targeting specific niche markets or diverse audiences. Titled The Ultimate Marketing Machine
, this article describes how thanks to internet marketing, advertisment is becoming less wastefull and its value more measurable, but only if the marketers are willing to face reality and directly connect their advertisment investment decisions with the bottom line.
I've spent half of my career on the agency side, and more often I find my self thinking if people responsible for the marketing budgets on the brand's side do really want to measure the sales funnel
, from the first touch points with the consumers till the sales are closed. If marketers are ready and willing for make a significnat cultural change.
Plenty are the articles, like the one I mentioned on The Economist, that have been presenting the benefits of online advertisment. However, few are the marketers that change the way that things have been done in the organizations they are part of. Or is it that adopting these new marketing tools will finally make the marketing department directly responsible for the budget allocations they made?
From our digital marketing agency we are continously faced with the challenge to convince prospects and clients alike to give us the chance to connect sales with the online campaigns we develop. To leave behind traffic variables and focus on the ROI of the campaign
. To put it in more concrete terms. Would you rather have a campaign that reaches out to 200,000 consumers and generates 100 leads? Or would you rather have a campaign that reaches out to 40,000 but generates 2200 leads? Put like that, the answer seems pretty obvious.
Unfortunately, marketers are culturally atracted to show big numbers on powerpoint
presentations, showing that they reached a high volume of consumers. The sales? Are the distribution channel or sales team responsibility.
Internet advertisment should be approach differently to traditional media. Other common mistake we commonly see on the account we take as new clients, is planning their online campaigns on the homepages of high traffic sites. However, when it comes to online advertisment, you are buying ,at the worst case scenario, CPMs and not the total reach of a particular site. Thus some more segmented, less known, more affordable options are left aside. Portal's branding has become a great way for these internet giants to become the preferred media placement for most brand marketers. They would not buy on second or third tier sites, they want to be on the home page of yahoo, msn, aol, terra or whatever other site they consider the leader.
This is, in a way, the same old story in a different format. If you'd ask me what my biggest challenge as a digital marketing agency is, I would say educating my prospects and client base
. comepting not only against other interactive agencies, but also to each of these marketers beliefs and customs. I turned from a technology evangelist to an online marketing evangelist, beyond the technology itself, and more focused on how to take the best out of it, even if it's not the latest, edgier, innovative platform.
Internet Advertisement brings to the table lots of advantages, among them: measurability, agility, segmentation capabilities, direct response to call to actions and virality..measurable virality. But all these benefits bring us closer to my question. Do you really want to know if that nice looking ad, actually sold any product, or at least paid for the campaign and production costs?
This is a very important issue, particularly on market segments as the US Hispanic, where the internet penetration is already over 50% while online investment and the need to segment messages is particularly high. Enough has been said about the need to reach Hispanics who are primarly Spanish speaking, the bilingual and the primarly English speaking ones. The mexicans, centro americans, caribeans and south americans. The west coast one versus South Floridians, versus New Yorkers. However, few are the companies targeting them with segmented messages online, less are those with established online relationship programs, developing open commnications channels through which brands can reach consumers with highly tailored messages. An example, almost none of the most recent account in review for the US Hispanic market conducted an interactive agency bidding process, oftenly leaving the online as a small part of the whole budget.
The US Hispanic market is particularly new, or at least its significant gowth as a total share of advertisement budget is recent. In a growing market like this, building the case for more budget, for growing Hispanic market departmets is key, and the online advertisement could be the tool that marketers targeting this segment could not leave aside.