That disturbance you just felt in the force is compliments of @JackMarshall baiting me… As I sat watching my kids ice skating lessons, my twitter feed started to light up. What began as a friendly question of “why would someone save a TV ad to Youtube, but nobody is interested in the AdKeeper technology” quickly spun off into a tangent on whether the Web could be viewed as a Branding vehicle or not.
There is a lot of debate on this topic from the 4A’s to the IAB to the Internet Oldtimers group that I’m a part of – so I won’t pretend like I’m the first one to think about why digital has gotten the label of “DR first” – but here’s a few points to consider:
- Production budgets for TV and Banner ads are so far off! Go ahead – take a look at how much you allocate for a 30-second spot versus a banner series. Maybe you’ll have assets that could be re-used in a banner ad, but for the most part, I’d guess your budgets are probably one-tenth in digital what they are for TV. What that tells me is you’re getting a 10 times better user experience from a TV commercial than you are from a banner ad. You get what you pay for?
- Digital is very accountable, and easy to track conversions, traffic, usage, etc – so it’s natural to see all of the Direct Response opportunities.
- Digital is still an evolving medium, and for the most part – content is published free, which means that advertising is the sole source of revenue. This typically translates to publishers placing more and more spots on their site to take advantage of multiple revenue streams (affiliates, direct buys, DSP’s, etc). Why does this matter? Because, with so much clutter on every site, it’s no wonder banner blindness starts to occur. The industry as a whole needs to look at – dare I say – raising rates and removing inventory (basic economics).
- Google has convinced everyone that search is the Holy Grail to their marketing problems – just turn it on, and orders will come.
The list goes on, and it’s not just one bullet point that turns the web into “cheap DR” – it’s the mindset of every single one of them combined that doesn’t allow marketers or agencies to start thinking about the branding effect of the web. If your analytics shows the organic search traffic from your site doubles on your branded keywords after a banner ad campaign starts running, don’t you think if all factors are equal, that the banner campaign doubled your brand awareness? If a consumer retweets your helpful tips, or likes your Facebook recipe, or pluses your financial savvy advice – don’t you think those are brand advocates that are helping to raise your brand awareness one tweet at a time on the web?
There’s a lot more to this conversation – but Jack got me going, and my guess after looking at his profile is because he’s taking an angle on a story… So with that – I’ll sit back and look to see what he has to say, as he appears to be a better writer than me, and he definitely knows how to get someone fired up about a topic! What say you Jack?