Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A note on metrics

It's been a while since the last post - over a month - so it seems as good a time as any to post some interesting content (and also to prove I'm not dead yet).

In the August issue of Media (MediaPost) there was an article on metrics written by Yaakov Kimelfeld who happens to be the vice president, digital research and analytics director at MediaVest USA. (As the site requires signing up to view the articles, I've uploaded the document here). It's an interesting 3 page article about how reach and frequency should not be the gauge for online effectiveness. Yaakov goes on to say that most marketers and advertisers still tend to use their rearview mirrors when dealing with online, in that they are using metrics developed for print and TV in an environment that is totally different.

I can see the argument for and against Reach/Frequency. While they shouldn't be the sole measure for evaluation, they still play a role in determining whether or not an environment is suitable for a campaign. This is where it becomes hard for those trying to migrate over from 'traditional' media. When you have developed your career dealing almost solely with R&F, it can be hard to grasp the idea that there are other (often more important) ways of determining site suitability. When you add in the fact that different advertisers have different measures of success and different metrics, then you can understand why some people get flustered and give up on trying to learn.

There is a seemingly infinite amount of information we can obtain from online advertising, and unfortunately the simple method of R&F no longer applies. Unfortunately for those coming over from TV and Radio this means altering the way you think about media and from the outset you have to think about what the outcome of your campaign will be. You can then start looking at different avenues and comparing them in a way that will drive success for the campaign, and ultimately your client.

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