Monday, July 21, 2008

If Scale Goes, What Do We Aggregate?

Don’t know if you saw Joe Marchese’s recent article. In it he quoted Dr. Augustine Fou, senior vice president/digital strategist, MRM Worldwide. Dr. Fou was giving a talk focusing on understanding social media’s implications for the agency business.

In the talk, Dr. Fou went so far as to say the following, “But ‘scale’ is not necessarily as important as it once was. Advertisers coming from a world where ‘reach and frequency’ was a success metric need to realize that in this new world, scale is out and impact is in.”

“In other words,” Dr. Fou continued, “buying billions of impressions online—where click-throughs amount to no more than a rounding error, and the number of people who recall seeing the ad, let alone remember the message in the ad, can hardly be measured on a logarithmic scale—is not impactful.”

Thank-you, Dr. Fou. Truer words were never spoken.

So, the question becomes, how do we start to aggregate impact?

According to the statistics, the amount of time that people spend in front of screens is increasing, while the number in front of any particular piece of content at one particular time is decreasing.

The industry’s established models were designed to aggregate what is becoming a rapidly decreasing base.

What is needed are models designed to aggregate what is increasing – time-spent in front of screens.

Screen time is replacing a show’s time as something that advertisers should be targeting.

If we start to aggregate that, then perhaps we can start to aggregate impact.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks "Wilson" for your comment and analysis. I think we need to move beyond even "screen time."

    How 'bout we focus on "usefulness."

    The amount of info that can be conveyed in a typical 30-second TV ad is small. Hence its usefulness to the modern consumer is limited -- they will go do more research online by themselves to study a product before the purchase.

    However, a product review posted by another consumer is a bit longer and arguably a bit more useful to someone researching a product, possibly just because of its objective nature (i.e. NOT coming from the advertiser of the product).

    The concurrence of hundreds of people about how great a product or service is (social media) might then be arguably even MORE useful to people doing their own research online.

    So if we focus on "usefulness" instead of on "time spent, engagement, screen time" or even "scale" as we used to know it, we might also aggregate impact for the advertisers too!

    let's keep pushing the envelope together.

    best regards,