Data, Data Everywhere (Part 1)

Today’s rant is one of those about a couple of discordant pieces of information that found me this morning.  Maybe I read too many things and I get confused – it happens.  On the other hand, the two articles I’m going to cite are fairly typical of some thinking that’s floating around in digital media and marketing.  I’ll deal with the first one today and the second one tomorrow since I’m not big on 1,000 word posts . Let’s see what you think.

Both these pieces came from MediaPost – one from a marketing newsletter and one from an agency newsletter.  Let’s start with the latter.  In an article entitled “Digital Is The Least Accountable Of Media,” the head of the ANA  is reported as having claimed that

Digital media, once thought to be the most accountable media turned out to be the least accountable, with viewability levels, according to some studies, hovering around just 50%. That’s got to change or advertisers will pull dollars off the table…the industry has to improve media measurement significantly. Marketers obviously need and want to buy digital media, but the return on investment has been hugely disappointing.

There is that nasty term – “viewability”- again.  It means that some ads on web pages are on parts of the page that aren’t seen (scrolled down to) and yet since they are served when the page is served they’re counted as having been displayed.  I’ve added a couple of articles on the topic below.  I have issues with digital being singled out for that since no one takes people leaving the room to go to the bathroom into their TV commercial ratings nor people turning down the volume for radio measurement.  Frankly, given that digital is the only medium of which I’m aware that doesn’t use sampling when gauging audiences I’m not sure why it’s held to a different standard.  Sure, digital has other issues (traffic fraud being the worst) but data isn’t one of them.

Which leads to the second article about that data and a new study about how it affects the top people in marketing which I’ll cover tomorrow.  Let’s just say there doesn’t seem to be a demand to get more data from digital.  Stay tuned.

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