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Garbage Out

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AdWeek has an article summarizing findings from a McKinsey study on online marketing. The question posed to a bunch of marketing execs who market online was, essentially, why aren’t you marketing more online?

The answers:

  • 52%: insufficient metrics to measure impact;
  • 41%: insufficient in-house capabilities;
  • 33%: the difficulty of convincing management;
  • 24%: limited reach of digital tools;
  • 18%: insufficient capabilities at agency.

Um, what? Insufficient metrics? Compared to what? Online has metrics and that’s more than you can say about almost all other media except for direct mail and telemarketing. Parsing the above answers, I think the upshot is that at least two-thirds and probably more like 80% of marketing execs simply don’t know what they are doing when it comes to the internet.

From the article:

…although a majority … find online vehicles to be more efficient than traditional advertising, the relative newness of the medium and its still developing benchmark data make it a hard sell internally to bosses who demand accountability… the multiplicity of online channels can make it difficult to isolate what’s working and what’s not…

I agree it’s more efficient, but not accountable? The beauty of online versus most other media is that you can isolate what’s working and what’s not. Is TV accountable? Newspaper? Radio? This is truly an odd survey and frankly, I can’t make sense of the results. Am I missing something? Do I just not get it?

My opinion? To coin a phrase, online advertising is clearly the worst form of marketing, except all the others that have been tried from time to time.

Here’s an alternative survey.

You aren’t increasing your online advertising spend because:

  1. Janice, could you print out my email for me to read, please?
  2. Do you mind closing the door? I’m working on my putting.
  3. That’s not going to impress my buddies at halftime during the Superbowl.
  4. Accountability? You trying to get me fired?


McKinsey, feel free.