All the data in the world can’t tell you if an ad campaign is responsible for increased sales. The success or failure of any sales effort involves so many factors. It would be impossible to credit or blame an advertising campaign on the data collected. In the fast-paced world of Internet marketing, it is possible to get far more analytic data than we once had to track the results of any online campaign effort. And clients and agencies alike seem to be relying more and more on the numbers and less and less on whether or not it is a good ad. Just because we have more data doesn’t mean we know any more than we did ten years ago. I once heard a creative director at a very large advertising agency tell a very large client that advertising doesn’t make people go out and buy products. The client was dismayed and asked why he was advertising with the agency then. He replied, “The only thing you can hope for is that someone will like you a little more because you just made them laugh or cry.” That’s it! I tend to agree. Any client who thinks a piece of communication is going to get people to remove their rotund arse from a warm comfortable seat and head over to a store with cash in hand is fooling themselves. So why do we have a confluence of analytic tools and measuring methods that are all tethered to sales results? In a recent Adage article, Hernan Lopez, president of Fox Networks and chief operating officer of Fox International Channels said, “the most important factor behind successful TV campaigns was the quality of the creative” .Â You go Hernan! He goes on to say that “the industry’s obsession with click-through rates, despite evidence of their small correlation with total sales, results in messages that are rarely entertaining or amusing and are overly reliant on verbal hard sell.” Mr. Lopez believes the answer relies on a creative revolution. As a former creative, I couldn’t agree more. But don’t expect me to move my arse any time soon.
According to a recent Adage article, email marketing is expected to more than double in the next five years. How is that possible? I’m already getting enough email to choke a digital horse. Advertisers are projected to spend 2 billion dollars in e-mail marketing by 2014. The reason for the increase is that marketers have figured out that doing an email campaign is cheap, can be easily tracked and will report whether the campaign is working or not in an instant. It took them a while, didn’t it? Wouldn’t it be great if your mailbox could hold a finite amount of marketing mail? Just like in the real world, your mailbox is only so big. In some European countries I’ve even seen neighborhoods that had two mailboxes for each household”“one for mail, and one for marketing materials and newspapers. If someone were smart, they’d figure out how to deploy the same kind of two-mailbox system on the Interwebs and offer it to “target markets” so they could sort their mail without having to click delete a thousand times. Maybe I should do it. But who’s got the time? I’m too busy reading emails.