Advertisers have always been obsessed with measuring the results of campaigns they buy (and, as media veterans reading this know, most have shown a proclivity to pin too much credit or blame on the medium and not nearly enough on the message). For salespeople, the challenge has been manageable in the past because everyone—advertiser and salesperson alike—knew the data was skimpy and shaky.
It’s still shaky at times, but it’s no longer skimpy! Online marketing campaigns of all types automatically generate a sea of data, enough to drown all but the most intrepid analyst. Visits, views, clicks, downloads, form-fills, re-visits, shopping cart additions, shopping cart desertions, everything is tracked, databased, calculated, and reported. The easy availability of online-campaign metrics has raised the bar for all media. More and more, advertisers expect the legacy media to be as accountable as the digital media—to prove their performance—even if they can’t duplicate the density of data. The Great Recession, arriving just as digital-campaign metrics became universally available, made lots of advertisers more cautious and more demanding. With advertisers now accustomed to swimming in this data, the tepid recovery hasn’t tempered their expectations of accountability.
Selling Ads is Increasingly Difficult
It’s no wonder, then, that those tasked with selling ad schedules in traditional media are finding the job more difficult these days. Indeed, “advertiser focus on metrics and measurement makes selling tougher” is the parameter that scored a strong #3 among the media salespeople who responded to our 2013 survey, the findings of which we released in December. One in every three respondents placed this challenge, among 12 they were offered, as one of their three toughest.
The best response to the metrics and measurement challenge is to propose integrated marketing solutions… custom solutions that begin with the powerful reach, attention, and spark of mass media (print, TV, cable, radio, outdoor) and then continue online, where they deliver information, interaction, and response (via landing pages, social media, video, blog content, etc.). Integrated solutions offer the best of both worlds: they produce superior consumer response, and generate the metrics advertisers so desperately crave.
An Alternative: Integrated Marketing Solutions
Integrated marketing solutions put more power into the hands of media salespeople, power they can use wisely or poorly. Wise use of both the mass media and digital tools available enables creation of effective content for every stage of the path that the interested consumer will follow, from the offline start to the online finish. Effective content is content finely attuned to the target consumer’s needs, wants, interests, and questions… and producing such content calls upon the media seller to understand consumer marketing strategy and tactics—or to have that knowledge and skill available from others within the organization.
While one in three salesperson-respondents called metrics and measurement a top-three challenge, among managers only one in 10 named it in their top three. This is one of several wake-up calls for managers that emerged from our study. Every sales manager reading this now knows better and can give this issue the attention it clearly deserves.
Have you read the full report? Download it here.