Brands Still Want Better Digital Research

I participated on a panel yesterday called “What Advertisers Want, What Businesses Need” at The Momentum Growth Conference. Participants spanned research and analytics to direct marketing; I represented the brand marketer perspective. As the post title suggests, my take-away is that big brands want research in which they can put more confidence to inform moving boldly where they know they need to be based on their consumer data.

High-level summary from the CMO strata of leading CPG, Media and Entertainment companies: Bring metrics that can translate as real business drivers offline and online.

The lack of uniform metrics and inconsistency between different measurement companies are creating confusion and lack of confidence in new media to deliver against business needs. As a result, as much as 40% of funds moving from offline to digital are witheld (per recent roundtable I moderated at iMedia) or marketers rely on “tried and true” marketing channels in spite of their own recognition of the massive shift in consumer media habits towards digital.

Brands are experiencing a real frustration and dissonance with this behavior and are looking for solutions that help justify changing behaviors.

On 10/01 you may have seen the headline “Despite Challenges Agency (Zenith) Predicts TV Advertising to Hit A New Highs” (http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=68331). We have the following relevant  news items that fly in the face of “New Highs” wisdom:

10/04: Online Ad Revenue up 27% (most other media flat or down)(IAB/PriceWaterhouseCoopers) http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=68660

8/28 Global Downturn of TV as Primary Media Device (IBM) http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=66367

8/24 Real TV Usage decline–not just factor or ratings methodology change or DVR use (Nielson) http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=66383

8/7 Digital will overtake all meda for top position by 2011 (Veronis Suhler Stevenson)

etcetera.

The key take-away I wanted to offer Web 2.0 companies and their financial/capital/managment advisors in the audience looking to capture a share of the big brand marketing dollars in migration to digital is to partner closely with a research company, earmark “use of proceeds” and early margins for research that helps marketers discover insights and business drivers in your solutions. Not trumped-up research for your business case, but something about them and their customers that advances their knowlege. This would benefit everyone in the ecosystem and begin to move us towards a more credible and confidently applied research metric.

A couple more links from the moderator of our panel, Mark Glaser, NPR blogger on media:

http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2007/07/digging_deeperthe_problem_with.html

http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2007/08/digging_deeperthe_problem_with_1.html

What do you think? Add to the conversation in the comments form below.

http://ww.marksilva.com

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