The Cost-Performance Paradox Of Modern Digital Marketing
Everyone wants to know “what’s the performance of my digital marketing campaigns?” That’s a good question. The answer is NOT how much traffic, how many clicks, how many impressions did my agency buy for me and how low were the CPM prices? But sadly, these are the exact things most often reported as “performance” by media agencies in Excel spreadsheets sent to their clients. This is partly because these quantity metrics are easily measured and big numbers look better — the campaign got billions of ad impressions, millions of clicks, etc. Yay!
But you might guess where I’m going next — these quantity metrics have little or nothing to do with actual business outcomes. Without getting into attribution models or analytics, let’s look at some established facts in digital marketing and use some common sense to ponder how effective digital ads could possibly be, given the way big advertisers are doing digital these days. Note that I’m a digital marketer of 25 years and continue to advocate for it, as it is one of the most efficient and cost effective channels for marketing — but only if used correctly. Let’s hold that thought for a minute and explore how big brand marketers spending billions in digital ($157 billion in the U.S., $350 billion globally) through big media agencies are doing it wrong and wasting big money in the process.