I Can’t See So It Must Be Dark

Times are tough. I know – huge news. But one would think that because of that marketers would be exceptionally careful with every penny.  One would think…and one would be wrong!  Need proof?  How about this:

2009 will see companies continue to invest significantly into online marketing, although less than half (47 percent) of marketers actually use analytics to measure their campaigns.

That is from the Alterian Annual Marketing Survey.  The survey, now in its sixth year, was conducted in North America and the United Kingdom in October and November 2008.  I’d take that one step further.  I’d be willing to bet that a substantial portion of the 47% that are using some sort of analytic tool don’t know how to use it to answer business questions.  As we’ve discussed before, data isn’t much until it’s made actionable.

I could post 1,000 links here to stories that proclaim how media spending is going to continue to die and how advertisers are cutting marketing dollars (3,200 articles with that phrase in Google alone in the last day!).  Yet study after study has shown that cutting marketing during bad times is one of the worst things a company can do.  However, they’re operating in the dark, as the above statistics would have one assume, so what do they know?

For those of you who sell digital media, you have a responsibility to help your clients, both current and prospective, realize the value of every precious dollar they’re spending with you.  Digital media is still an unknown and unproven item in the marketing mix at most companies.  Ask about what outcomes they’re seeking.  Help them document results.  If they can’t use or don’t have  analytics, help them set up reports that are meaningful.  Easy?  Nope.  But that’s why they call it work, and in bad times, there seems to be a lot more of it to do!

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Filed under Consulting, digital media, Helpful Hints, Reality checks

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