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[Continuing today's rethink marketing thread...] What consumes attention vs. what consumes advertising budgets

This is a very scary graph. Just look at the mismatch for Print and Mobile.

I do not anticipate Fortune 1000 companies changing their marketing investments one iota. At least not this year or next. Opinions at the very top of the companies are simply too entrenched.

With that reality in mind, I'm very strongly encouraging them to consider allocating 10% of their budget to persistent experimentation. My hope is that if they do that then the results will scare them towards the right direction (because graphs from outside, no matter how good, rarely do that).

#foodforthought
Source: http://goo.gl/GP30Z
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Stanley Oppenheimer's profile photoSean Blankenship's profile photoDaniel Thull's profile photoSarah Hamelinck's profile photo
21 comments
 
+Avinash Kaushik Marketers at the top aren't as entrenched as we think; they just have a few roadblocks in the way of trashing those entrenched opinions. In my opinion, their first roadblock is, they can't take risks that aren't conventionally accepted without upsetting the shareholders. Often, the opportunity to do so only presents itself when the company is in trouble and the shareholders will support any idea that could lift it back up.

The second roadblock is that their advisors are hardwired to avoid sticking their necks out. They are often the decision makers tied to the initiatives at risk of being cut! Imagine a VP of Media suggesting to the CMO that the company stray from the known path... So the people that are supposed to keep marketing execs apprised of the creative possibilities are the same people that inevitably shield them.

The third roadblock, and I think many of your followers would agree, is that a lot of emerging marketing channels are challenging to integrate into a marketing organization, especially when the metrics and KPIs don't fit the legacy model. It's not just a marketing decision, it's an HR nightmare!
 
In the auto industry we face to issues for marketing/advertising decision makers; first no one ever got fired for running an ad in USA Today (actually that's probably not true but you get the point), and second the 'stakeholders' all want to "see" the ads when they read the Sunday paper (or when they watch they evening news on TV). If the don't see the ad, then there is an uprising. The stakeholders actually believe they are the target audience. 
 
Well this was what +Thomas Baekdal was talking about a long time ago... but I don't agree on using the time spent by media as a good parameter to value the quality or success of the media. These days you have to keep in mind that there are still two ways of branding a product, one is for conversions the other for awareness... also print media can be the initial source why people spend a long time online looking at it... imagina google analytics giving you a measure of time spend on site, without telling me how many pages they looked at and what source they came from. if the source is print and time online is directly influenced by it then this graph has no meaning at all. But don't have to explain this to +Avinash Kaushik he always tries to explain us that looking at the right metric is important to draw the right conclusions. In this case I believe this graph shows us the wrong parameters to draw any conclusions.
 
+Sebastian Roberts I think you are saying... "here's why they are entrenched" rather than "aren't as entrenched." :) I concur with all three of your observations, with the last one, IMHO, being the most challenging. And we, "new media," need to step up and try to figure out a solution. I appreciate your thoughtful comment very much.

+Sean Blankenship Oh I love that last line! The ways I've framed it is: "You are not the proxy for the customer." But I like your framing better.

+Pieter Collier I'm sure +Thomas Baekdal will opine on this (as he has on his magazine many times). Time is not an optimal proxy for everything. But when it comes to branding and influence having such an enormous mismatch is cause for enormous concern.
 
+Avinash Kaushik Good point. And definitely agreed. I suppose I was thinking that their opinions might be freer than many of us presume, but their actions and ability to act is absolutely entrenched. :) Thanks for the feedback. I love this stuff.
 
+Pieter Collier That is a very good point and I agree (in part). The best measurement, of course, is comparing real ROI/profit to each channel. But in the absence of that (since most brands, as +Avinash Kaushik points out, aren't experimenting enough) time spent can tell us a lot about just how much the world has changed in recent years.

The real question is which is best?

Print is very powerful because people usually consume it while in consumption mode, and are therefore more susceptible to advertising. This favors a print focus above the amount of time spent. But on the other hand, with mobile, people are in 'action' mode, and if you can transform your focus into doing active advertising, then that clearly is also worth more than the time spent. +Avinash Kaushik created a great video about this a while back: Re-think Mobile Marketing & Analytics

But then we have social, which is fueled by post-conversion activity - like turning loyal customers into brand advocates who facilitate the sale for you. That is also clearly more valuable than the time spent in average.
 
I'm continually amazed at how the key decision-makers and money spenders are in denial. Or perhaps it's not denial so much as it is a need to be made aware of the shift that's taking place. And too perhaps the only way we will see change is to wait out the old guard - but some of them have many years before retirement. Thank you Avinesh!
 
I would also like to mention the current skills mismatch in most companies. I know of plenty of graphic designers excellent in designing for print, but can't get near digital or mobile. They need training and a mind shift towards responsive design. Techies get it, but print designers are very slow to adapt and are quite frankly terrified of digital, in my experiences. They need hand holding, and I don't see companies jumping in to retrain them. It seems there is a way of thinking right now in corporate america: "We have a budget, we have print people, let's get through another year..." Nobody wants to get fired and things will be safe for a while yet to come I'm afraid.
 
I remember when I worked for an Ad Agency in 1992 as a summer intern...and there were such things as Type Setters & the Stat guy used to regularly sleep in the afternoon at his desk..he was a Biker mind you so you didn't mess with him!

The salaries were ridiculous. The Desk Top Publishing Revolution, destroyed them all!

This chart is the changing of the guard (The Old Guard). If you start from the premise of humility, "I do not know everything, but am willing to learn & listen, or pay someone for the service", You will prosper. The problem is IMHO, change is terrifying, we feel comfortable sticking to what we know or are SILO'D into our comfortable Niches. Spending your life worried about getting fired, is almost a self fulfilling prophecy.

North American culture is entrenched in the HIPPO culture. Challenging conventional thinking is career suicide or getting Sued.

I highly recommend reading the book "Start Up Nation" http://www.startupnationbook.com/
Which discusses the Israeli model of business, where just because you're the boss doesn't make you God! They move fast. Change is the lifeblood of those organizations, they don't have the patience to sit still and wait. They make things happen..learn from mistakes and move on.
 
I love the idea of experimenting and getting out some good figures and a big mind switch. We (here at +android ) at least do believe in the change of minds and are now working hard to set up experiments and change the minds of our designers... now let us see if clients follow as well!

But what we also have realized that much needs to be done on our IT front as well, since they really need to be able to react quickly to 'active' marketing ideas of the print side.

Overal I believe we will throw away the words print and web after some time and will work as one unit. In the end I believe printed media, mobile and online media will become so interconnected that they will all influence each other. Print will get a completely new meaning and once it comes 'alive' will be used differently. Maybe printing technologies will even allow it to be so personalized that spending money on it (or even that it can become a window to advertise on) is again useful. But thinking about it that will only push mobile even more, but at least there will be room to measure things!
 
I actually think the graph is not scary but encouraging! Think of the opportunities this mismatch creates!

To seize this opportunity, however, it doesn't help to complain about the stupid HIPPOs that just don't get it. These are intelligent people! The industry needs to come up with the right proposals that create business value to "earn" the media money.

Just imagine you're 50 years old and running a business: you have to worry about all kinds of things (R&D, supply chain, finance, HR, IT etc), so marketing is just one of your issues. Within marketing there is this innovative field of digital marketing where the only thing that has been farily "proven" to work is search. Everything else (and in particular mobile!) is still very experimental. The upsides are clearly there (you might be first mover in your industry, find the philosopher's stone of digital advertising and speak at cool digital conferences) but the downsides are also considerable (remember the $1 million entry ticket for iAds?). Plus: you don't have the people in your business who know how to run these projects and can't really trust your agencies neither.

In summary: money will flow to digital and mobile but rather than complaining about how slow this is happening we should continue to experiment and show the benefits.

Laying all your eggs in the digital baskets can be very costly indeed. Just ask Pepsi. :)
http://adcontrarian.blogspot.com/2011/03/finally-true-value-of-facebook-fan.html
 
+Daniel Thull I concur with you on the fact that we have to step up as well, and you'll see me state that above in my reply to Sebastian. I'm afraid I can't agree with the rest of your comment. I don't think anyone is saying "stupid hippos," simply accepting reality that mindsets are entrenched and that we should work within that reality. I also have to disagree with the comment that only Search has proven its value to business. We are surrounded with too many businesses, too successful, across too many digital channels. It is an easy excuse for large companies that only Search works, but it is not true.

Any company that is willing to internalize the reality today, and start to evolve their advertising and marketing mix, will win big. The operative word is mix. The graph above after all clearly shows that we have to become masters of many channels, not just digital. It is not too late to be early.
 
What I know for sure is that advertising on mobile is not working. It is a very high cost endeavor for little return. Time on media is meaningless if there are no orders. I'm hearing this from other ecommerce leaders as well.

Maybe Apple can find a way to secretly use the iPhone camera to record user's behavior so we can see if mobile advertising is like Sunday circulars - people read one thing and buy in another channel.
 
A point covered in a session I recently took at Ryan Deiss Digital Marketers Lab is the trap many marketing fall into wherein we consider our potential customers with too much focus on metrics no matter how complex, rather than contemplating the human being making the decision. With the plethora of ad channels, in printed magazines, newspaper, benches and billboards, ebooks, emails, text messaging, pop ups, banner ads, mobile pop ups, HULU type companies, PPC placement, Social Media strategies, and on and on... Customer targeting is critical today. I think the lesson I am learning is to target not just prospect's head but heart as well... Customer targeting starts way before ad deployment and should always be mindful that the moment of sales conception is a human event.
 
What Scott just said about "not just prospect's head but heart" brought to mind an article I stumbled across a few months ago. The article was mentioning the difference between consumers and customers you service. When you imply they are consumers, it is assumed the business will treat them as not being able to contribute back into the society they consume. On the other hand, when you imply they are customers, it is assumed the business will treat them as a human with desire to support society in the decisions they make.
 
I find +Jim Carrington 's insights to be very much on target in getting to the heart of the issue: $ ROI Correlation. The real question that needs to be considered much more carefully - rather than intuitively - is the correlation between non $ ROI metrics such as time spent and $ ROI measurements like new orders. I think most C-levels understand that correlation is a tricky business to demonstrate and in fact can only be demonstrated through experimentation and measurement-guided iteration.

That said, the real issue is how to undertake the experimentation in the most cost - effective mannger.

Most C-Levels would prefer that the sunk costs associated with experimentation be borne at least in part by competitors. Outside the box thinking and innovation is nice. But it's also potential more expense than is necessary in a world where intelligence can and should be more easily shared to reduce the costs of innovation.

So I'm not sure if spending 10%.because you are relying mainly on in-house efforts really makes sense when you could spend 5% by relying on a combination of both in-house experimentation and competitive intelligence gathering from the experiments of other organizations. This is why I believe it makes economic sense for organizations to strategically share intelligence on such matters. cc: +Olivier Blanchard
 
What this doesn't capture is the extent of commercial intent during the minute spent on each of these media - and that'll skew this graphic even further

 
+Hugh Macken do you have a link? Interested to see , but hard to find where you are talking about...
 
+Pieter Collier I was referring to Jim Carrington's comment within this thread. Does this answer your question?
 
thanks now I got it... was checking out his G+ profile on a post he could have made there...
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