Double Standards Of Digital Media ROI

Double Standards Of Digital Media ROI | OpinionBrands happily invest thousands of dollars in direct mail, TV advertisements or large PR event, yet spending comparable money on social media, Google Adwords, or banner ads can cause panic attacks.

Here are some of the classics:

“Just think of the foot traffic that will pass by, see the billboard and just run out to buy the product.”
Executives understand the value of reach when it comes to traditional advertising, but somehow the same thinking doesn’t translate into online ads as well. In fact, users can actually buy a product just by clicking on an ad or going to a website, which a lot more than a passerby can say if they see a billboard at 60 miles per hour on the side of the road.

“Digital marketing can be measured, so let’s hold it to impossible standards.”
Click activity can be measured, which means you can figure out what words, images, and strategies are objectively better than others. Organizations can store that information and use it as a reference it later. Meanwhile, it’s impossible to know how many people saw a billboard and then took action. Somehow, digital media is held to a different standard just because it’s possible to collect data about the results.

“There’s too much pressure to get CTR. Our real goal is raising awareness which doesn’t require funds.”
People are generally averse to risk and measurable, hard data can put you in a tricky spot if you don’t perform. However, even if your goal is raising awareness or generating earned media, make it clear that ROI doesn’t not apply in the traditional sense. But avoiding investment in digital marketing is just playing ostrich.

The bottom line is that marketing in the digital world is facing the very same skepticism that radio and television advertising faced before it. Its impact on profitability is frequently nonlinear, and is often measured in ways other than sales. And no matter the performance matrix you choose, it is only prudent to compare apples to the proverbial apples.

See you next week!

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