Thursday, September 06, 2012

Content Must Be Created In Context Of Control


Think about it.  Advertising is created to run on TV to do what?  Grab your attention as it interrupts what you are watching. 

This is the advertiser-initiated advertising that I talked about in the previous post.  We all know what this type of advertising looks like. 

Since it’s intrusive, this type of advertising’s objective is very different than advertising that is created where the viewer is in control.   Where the viewer comes to it.  Where the viewer opts in to watch because they’re interested to start with.

It’s like a door-to-door salesman.  They know they have a very short window of opportunity to get their pitch out before the door slams shut in their face. 

Very different selling approach then when a potential customer walks into a showroom on their own accord.  You treat that customer differently.  If you acted like a door-to-doors salesman with that customer, your time in business would be very short.

Content must be created in context of control.   

When the advertiser controls the interaction by intruding on your programming, the message is created one way.  When the viewer controls the interaction by opting in to what interests them, the message needs to be created in a very different way.

Is that what happens?

Hardly.

Instead, we re-purpose what we do on TV to run online.  And then wonder why it doesn’t work.  We buy online as we do offline  - based on GRPs. 

Effective?

Hardly.  But it is efficient.

And that's the problem with trying to create viewer-initiated advertising.  It isn’t very efficient from a production point of view.   Tell an advertiser that they need to create new creative for a much smaller audience that will opt-in only if they’re interested.   What's more, tell them this advertising should cost as much (have the same production values) as their TV spots and guess what?

They can’t justify it.

They can’t justify spending half a million dollars on production for a spot that might be seen by 250,000.   Where is the ROI in that?

Good question.  But here's a good answer.  The ROI can be justified.  It just can't be justified based solely on how many.  Justification also needs to be based on how long. 

Let’s say the online spot is 90 seconds long.  Let’s say the 250,000 who opted in to watch actually watched, on average, 80% of the spot – 72 seconds.

Multiply that 72 seconds by 250K and you get 18M seconds of relationship building with your brand.  That’s 5,000 hours of time spent with your brand.

Is five thousand hours of time spent with the brand worth a half million dollars in production?

It's not an question with an easy answer.  After all, it's not a question that advertisers have had to answer before.

The return advertisers should be looking for with opt-in advertising is the involvement on the part of the viewer.  Not impressions on the part of the media.

Content must be created in context of control.

And it can be.  If we justify it by switching our thinking from efficiency to effectiveness.

From gross rating points (GRPs) to optimal rating points (ORPs).   Rather than reach and frequency, we start to measure reach and view duration.

We need to start treating commercial creation as an investment rather than a cost.  

Why?

Because investments offer returns.  We can justify investments based on returns.

The return in this case is involvement on the part of the viewer.

Which can now be measured.

And as we all know, what can be measured can be monetized.

So, how do we monetize involvement?

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