This "ROI" Thing
By Gene DeWitt
Advertising must of course generate results but the nonsense being bandied about in discussions of ROI are not really discussions of advertising. Deliver a message, deliver a result. That's direct response. And, yes, direct mail and often the internet as a transactional medium can do just that.
But the great brands of today were not built by direct response ads. Brands were and are built on awareness and preference and that's what constitutes ROI for advertising.
In talking about ROI, then, let's talk about the things that can be measured that advertising can affect in a concrete, finite universe, things like awareness, attitude, and brand preference.
Why? Because, frankly, the path from ad to sale is way too long to be easily measured because of such 'interventions' as pricing, competitive promotion, distribution, etc., etc., etc.
"You know what they say about a "person" who keeps puttin' off getting married (allocating $$ new media)?
They say "he/she" starts getting irritable (fired)." - Barney Fife
Barney's youthful exuberance was always laughable and respected by Andy, his older, more authoritative and responsible boss. The same cannot be said however of traditional media directors - Andy Griffith-types who held all the power of annually allocating $100 Million+ budgets - rationing out tiny amounts of working media $$ to new media, largely due to self-interest; thus inhibiting the growth of a sensible combination of passive and digital communication.
Had they looked to Mr. Griffith, an incredibly gifted and natural actor on and off the camera, they might today be enjoying "our main street's" respect, instead of being labeled as dinosaurs by some of Madison Avenue's most powerful players, in the press no less!
Griffith's unfettered support of his fellow actors led to at least 6 off-shoots from his simple little program, as well as a platform by which little Opie, our esteemed Ron Howard continues to entertain us, from his roll in American Graffiti, the TV program Happy Days, and now behind the camera creating some of the most important films effecting popular culture today.
Even Gomer Pyle, the most laughable character in Mayberry excelled far more than yesterday's "Madison Avenue's Media All-Stars." For as much as he was constantly scolded for screwing up, his character and integrity were never challenged. The same cannot be said for many traditional has-beens who planned media - more based on their bonus and self-interest - rather than the larger objective they were there for; to be of service to their clients.
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!
Ad Buzz continuously provides a truly outstanding MadAve media resource, whether you're a beginner, intermediate or expert "Guru". The word "Guru" is too often used as a term for aged folks who've spent more time with a calculator or excel spreadsheet than with their family, so by definition, if a Media Guru was so smart, how come they are a Media Guru?
Expressed (oddly) another way, what is the sound of one media impression?
But seriously, there are at least 5 different ways of defining Guru: which are not media related. AdBuzz actually deserves the title, if one assumes that a Media Guru has so much media knowledge that they are worthy of MadAve respect. Then so be it.
The term steal is used not because of its definition, but rather because AdBuzz does such a great job providing most everything media departments do (ignoring real life and real time media planning of course), that its being made available free to "the street" or to the classroom is so astounding that one might feel the need to download it quick, before its authors realize they have a virtual hole in their pocket.