As I look at the heap of advertising inserts cluttering up the daily
newspaper box outside my door, and marvel at my recycling bin full of
direct mail detritus,
I keep chuckling at the notion that some media company somewhere sold some poor sucker those "eyeballs" on a promise that they might actually do something. NOT! I'm constantly astounded that impressions and eyeballs still carry as much weight with advertisers as they do. Or did.
With today's announcement that P&G will pay publishers based on online engagement, it's a whole new ballgame. Although few would admit it, most of us have known for years that the vast majority of those "eyeballs" we claim to reach aren't even glancing at most of the stuff we shovel at them. Most good marketers have known in their hearts that counting eyeballs in an era of engagement, interaction and word of mouth is a complete waste of time. I personally have longed for the day when CEOs and CMOs begin to question the numbers behind those HITS, eyeballs and AVE numbers and question the basis for those metrics. With today's annoucement, they could start any time. Because where P&G goes, there goes the industry.
Back in the 60s, it was P&G that called for accurate TV metrics, and thus was born Neilsen. In the 90s they were the first (with my help) to understand how PR impacted sales and later made its PRevaluate integral to its Marketing Mix Model.Consumer brands everywhere now incorporate both PR and word of mouth into their models.
But today is especially sweet for those of us who have been ranting about how counting eyeballs and GRPs no longer works in the social media environment. Why count eyeballs, and AVEs, I've argued for years, when you can count engagement, and clickthrus and sales?
Why indeed? Let the old-line media and marketing folks continue to gnash their teeth (I can hear them whinging from here) about how to justify their existence in this new weird wild wonderful world, while we go about engaging influencers in conversations and measuring the return on investment in terms of lower costs and greater profits.
So, thank you good folks at P&G for making my life a WHOLE lot easier. AND if you want to know how to actually implement measurement in this new environment, come to my workshop October 2nd in NYC, or November 9th in San Diego and I'll give you all the answers.