Ad:Tech Chicago — New Media vs. Traditional

Ad:Tech Chicago 2009

With a mouthful title like “Master Class Workshop: Defining the New Media Currency – How to Bring Traditional Media Metrics Online – Or Should We?” we see how Ad:Tech is different from other Internet Marketing conferences. The focus here is on the impact that Internet technology has on the $100B+ advertising industry. The advertising industry has proven highly resilient in the face of the Internet Marketing revolution.

We are continuing a conversation that has been going on for nearly a decade. As Chicago-based ComScore”s Gian Fulgoni put it early in the session: 8% of all media dollars go to the Internet but 25 to 30% of media consumption is online. Internet Marketing mavens have been railing on the Mad Men to “get it” and shift their spending to online media. But the Internet argument has focused on “Direct Response” and has shied away from “Brand Impact” and the metrics that agencies care about, like “recency” and “frequency”. Fulgoni says Internet marketers have got to pull in traditional branding dollars by talking the language and providing the impact of other branding vehicles.

The session panel:

  • Kelly Twohig, Moderator – Executive VP/Digital Activation Director, Starcom USA
  • Marc Johnson — Chief Marketing Officer, Hitwise
  • Jon Gibs, — VP, Media Analytics, Nielsen Online
  • Gian Fulgoni – Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, ComScore, Inc.
  • Todd Teresi – Chief Revenue Officer, Quantcast

The Discussion:

Teresi of Quantcast said that the power of online marketing is addressability, you can see the behavior of individuals. He is interested to see what happens when television becomes similarly addressable through set-top boxes. Then, he says, “engagement” and “behavior” will engage the minds of brand marketers.

Teresi says that some marketers see the impact that engagement has when they look at Social Media. Right now, Internet Marketers are not talking the same language as Brand Managers. We need metrics that Brand Managers can relate to.

Gibbs agreed “we need to speak in a languages that adheres to the language of the current system.”

Then, Teresi asked, can we help marketers see beyond the demographics of “Women 18-29”? There”s more nuance under that. Fulgoni identified three components needed: first the marketer has to have a target defined, then you have to figure out impact and then analyze. Then you can go back and talk about media “reach” to that target, people times exposures.

Gibbs says that the creative still has a way to go, looking at non-standard ads and their surrounding experiences allows publishers to differentiate themselves from ad networks. Better targeting, greater impact.

Twohig asked how a media buyer can make a decision on a large scale, there are so many methods of data collection. How do we create a standard vocabulary for metrics?

Teresi said Marketers only care when they can create definitions of their own target market. Marketers need to be able to define their own audience. This is why search marketing is such a big deal. In display advertising, you can”t target the audience. But Gibs said that while 1-to-1 targeting is an awesome ideal, Media Planning is the art of trying to find your audience. “We” say our targeting model is perfect, but the planners often miss; post-buy reporting is needed to answer two questions: “who did we hit?” and “what did they do?”

Teresi observed that holding companies are building targeting platforms to reach the “important” audiences. They buy publishers who have a specific target audience and then sell an ad network bundle. Fulgoni doesn”t think these ad networks have enough of the picture to do a good job of targeting a specific audience. For example, he says, web analytics (Omniture, Google Analytics) ignore the value built up to the final click that brought a visitor to a web site. Web analytics reporting reports are read as if the only reason for that click was, in most cases, the last search at the last search engine. Further, if you expand the targeting to all activity by the person within the ad network using cookies, you still only see about 10% of the person”s activity. So much for 1:1 targeting.

Teresi says that cookie-based targeting does give consumer intent. And the Media Buyer has to know what they are buying. There was then some back-and-forth between Teresi and Fulgoni about data capture methods (Quantcast collects data through a network of participating web sites that share visitor cookies while ComScore and Nielsen use sample panels who have opted in to let all their Internet usage be tracked).

Twohig came back and asked “What is important to know?” Gibs said there are three key questions that advertisers need to know: 1) How many people did I hit? 2) Who did I hit? And 3) Did it work?

The client sets goals and these include offline ROI and branding metrics. Gibbs and Fulgoni both said that there are significant gaps in the ability to accurately measure reach and frequency. Whatever method you use, there is extrapolation and estimation involved. Johnson brought up comments from Ad:Tech keynote speaker Rashad Tobaccowala, CEO of Denuo and Chief Innovation Officer at Publicis Groupe Media: 1) People will continue to do Business as Usual and 2) to do new and innovative things, we need metrics.

Twohig then asked how to coordinate when media planning, buying, delivery, and reporting are all disparate systems. Gibbs pointed out that that”s only Internet, the media are in silos and addressable TV is still fairly far away. Twohig asked what tools there will be in five years.

Fulgoni said you need to know if the advertising generated sales, and advertising (as opposed to direct marketing) takes time. “Sometimes I think we want to generate sales faster than the real world will allow.”

To provide effective information to those areas, you need to know what you delivered to whom and you have to know the effect, including offline purchases. Johnson pointed out that understanding the impact of online advertising and breaking down of silos between media is happening more and more as a new generation moves into executive leadership.

Gibs says that when AdAge editorializes that “the agency is dead” they are wrong. Agencies understand how to manage a brand across media. And Fulgoni claims that it costs an agency three times to do planning and buying on the Internet versus TV for the same company to reach the same audience. To scale to their needs, they will need set-top data and “three-screen visibility” to consumers along with single-source planning.

While Internet marketers look for the best “brand experience” and experiment with Social Media, the big advertising industry works on a different scale and speaks a different language. Until that gap is bridged and and a measure of impact is accepted, the big money will stay with big media, business as usual, despite an enormous gap in attention.

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