How do we measure up?

How do we measure up?

: Mayfield calls for new metrics for the measurement of the effectiveness of citizens’ media and I agree. Ross quotes Terry Heaton:

The broadcast metrics of reach and frequency are bound for the grave. A study released this week by InsightExpress finds that people (with DVRs) are most inclined to view ads they have not seen before, and consequently are most likely to zap ads they’ve already seen. Joe Mandese of MediaDailyNews wrote, “it suggests that the economics of a business based on serving redundant commercial impressions to a mass audience in order to reach an impressionable few will no longer work in the future.” This is the kind of thing Doc Searls prophesied over six years ago.

Ross says:

With Technorati’s new Ad Mission, you have to wonder if Cosmos’ substitute Reach and Authority replaces Frequency.

Tim Oren pipes in about the declining value of old media and adds:

…all exposure-based advertising models are under attack, both by direct competition and through the increasingly visible failure of exposure metrics to actually represent the value derived from advertising.

And I say in Ross’ comments:

You’re right: We need to define new metrics. This medium isn’t about impressions; it’s about relationships; it’s about conversations; it’s about influence; it’s about authority. We are starting to measure how many conversations a blog starts (or at least takes part in) with Technorati. But it’s just a beginning.

So how do we measure the authority and influence of this medium? That is its real value; that is what takes it up the value chain way above Google AdSense and web banners and print ads and TV impressions and billboard impressions and radio frequency and all that old stuff. This is about conversations. How do you measure that?

: Note this, too: I’ve been saying for sometime that paid search is only the latest fad and that it is low on the value chain. It’s not about relationships. It’s not about conversations. It’s not about authority. It’s about the coincidence of a word.

Now Yahoo admits that paid search advertising is falling flat:

Paid search, the engine that’s driving many Internet companies into profitability, is getting a dose of reality.

After surging at dizzying rates for the past two years, the paid search market this quarter showed signs of slowing down….

During a conference call Wednesday with analysts, Yahoo executives admitted that its paid search query volume and pricing were flat last quarter, causing a scare on Wall Street. Shares of Yahoo stock plummeted 12 percent in after-hours trading, but recovered a bit the following day.

[via Marketing Vox]

  • brian

    What media companies need to understand and do is give their audience/readers/viewers a justification for diverting their time from the content of entertainment/news to the advertisers. The old habit of uninvited interruption will no longer cut it.

  • dude, this post is from the future! look at that date.
    please please please please tell me who is going to win the trifecta at hollywood park. i promise not to use my winnings for powers of evil.
    [ oops. i revealed my supranatural powers. it’s fixed now. – j

  • Heh. All the “new realities” do is create new opportunities. I love it!
    It’s so unbecoming to watch the past trying to lay claim to the future.
    Watching the big Madison Avenue agencies trying to get with the program is a bit like watching a middle age married man hitting on a co-ed in a bar.

  • Well, how effective do you think existing metrics are for measuring the impact of traditional advertising? Seriously.
    As far as coming up with metrics to measure the impact of citizens’ media, the best you could ever hope for is to be able to measure those conversations that happen online. For that matter, you wouldn’t be able to measure conversations had via email, IM, Skype, etc – so let’s just say the best you could hope for is to be able to measure conversations that happen via the web. What unfolds off-web, as a consequence of web-based conversations, is many times where the real meat of the conversation takes places – and where the consequences unfold. Can we realistically ever hope to measure that?

  • Brian H

    It’s all about control. When control of the screen passes from sponsors to viewers, it’s almost game over. Beyond that, it’s about mind control. “Impressions” and psychological button pushing has been the bread and butter of advert boffins for many decades (as I know from both training and experience and exposure to the sub-culture). Behaviors desired are buying and resistance to other influences. Inputs are images, hot-button words, “cognitive dissonance” (desire to justify past purchases = brand loyalty) etc., etc.
    Information and dialog are mere surface cover words. Metrics are not dialog, they’re targetting data. Open information flows and rational purchasing are things advert-ers pray every night never come to pass.
    IOW, marketing is INHERENTLY psychopathic.

  • Don’t make the mistake of equating flat growth with a decline. Paid search is just one of many marketing tactics, not the only one, and it’s still healthy (just not making short-term focused investors ecstatic for the moment).
    As to the death of reach and frequency: Don’t bury them yet. Both are still important metrics, but likely will be combined with others (for example, if someone fast-forwards past an ad after they’ve seen it, fine — but how many exposures does it take to make sure a target audience has noticed it and has seen it at least once before they start to fast-forward? — the new metric may be one of “saturation point”).
    New media encroaching on old media isn’t a new phenomenon — it’s been happening for decades as new media types are developed. What happens is old media outlets — and the advertising vehicles they carry — get re-defined at what they do best, rather than trying to do everything. That’s what the Internet and blogs are forcing on this decade’s “old media.”

  • Jay Gilbert

    I’d bet that one of the “pioneers” of the failure of exposure-based ads is Jeff’s beloved Howard Stern.
    A typical Stern show segment runs for almost a full hour without a commercial break, and then airs literally a quarter-hour or more of ads. Any regular listener quickly develops the habit of switching to another station for 15 minutes, knowing they’re not missing any Howard.
    So despite Stern’s high ratings and the high ad rates that go along with them, you can bet that the clients buying those ads are not getting nearly the listener impressions they’re paying for.

  • lets see jay, off the top of my head lets see if i can remember some of howard’s sponsors.
    Sit n Sleep
    Dr. Sal Collabaro
    Poland Springs
    National Enquirer
    Girls Gone Wild
    there are many many more, but can you name nine sponsors of Friends off the top of your head?

  • Actually, Tony, Jay is entirely correct when he says that people are switching off to this stuff – it’s no reflection on Stern, just on the fact that interruptive marketing doesn’t work the way advertisers want it to work. If people were using DVR devices to record Stern, as they do with TV shows, it’s a no-brainer that they’d be skipping those radio adverts just like they do television adverts.

  • What, does anybody here think a top exec at Starcom or Mediavest isn’t going to know about Stern’s ad formatting?
    Media is mostly a buyer’s market. This idea that blogs/Cluetrain is somehow turning it into a seller’s market is absurd.
    People who work in media are famously underpaid (and getting more underpaid by the day). People who buy media famously are not. Why is that, I wonder?

  • Howard Owens

    To say that impression-based advertising is dead is to say human nature is dead.
    Impression-based advertising won’t die for one simple reason: It works.
    Now, how those impressions are delivered, in what media, when, in what format/design/value proposition, with what goal, expectation, etc — that’s all up in the air and up for grabs. It is a changing media landscape where the power is shifting, but advertisers are going to continue to work to get their message out, and as long as poeple respond, they will use what works. And people will respond, because people will continue to want/need/desire the products and services advertisers offer.
    We’ll probably see more (across all media, as the technology evolves), viral marketing, opt-in marketing, behavorial targeting, cohort marketing, product placement, etc.
    Mass marketing is dead (already deader than a door nail), but not impression marketing.