Money is so much better than a click

5/06/2014 Unknown 0 Comments

Folio Magazine blogged yesterday that "Branding Success Should Be Measured by Orders, Not Click-Throughs." This message challenges much of the breathless assertions about value inferences from digital analytics as well as adheres to marketing and business fundamental concepts. We have got so caught up with how well we can "count" (categorize, weight, etc.) the views of an ad, that there is often a decline in focus on successfully selling.

Just as the analytics have become sophisticated, the arts of spam and scam have also reached unanticipated levels of refinement -- "more than a third of web traffic is fraudulent . . . only 40 percent of the ads measured were actually viewable . . . "  Folio's blogger, Roy Beagley, writes, "Viruses and bots can inflate click-throughs, page views and a whole host of other nasty things, but as far as I am aware, viruses and bots have not actually placed any orders."

For the past few years, those of us who work in the PR research community been trying to pound a basic concept into the heads of marketers and digital enthusiasts. The following is what you can measure:

Outputs -- The stuff you (the marketer) did. The ads you placed. The media releases you distributed. The party you threw. The brochures you handed out. This is the stuff on which you spent your money. Research and analytics at this point are in the realm of process audit.

Outtakes -- The immediate reactions to the Output.  This includes the view and click-throughs. It includes the media coverage resulting from your releases and events. It includes the inquiries you get over your 800-number. And the comments on your blog.  All good stuff. This is the stuff that immediately results from how you spent your money. And it directly earns you nothing. Research and measurement at this point are in the realm of environmental (market) monitoring.

Outcomes -- Sales. Orders. Votes. Memberships. Commitments. Revenues. This is how you can truly measure the value of the Output to the enterprise.  If ROI (return on investment) can legitimately used in marketing communications, this is the point. Research and measurement at this point are financial.

Do you want "talk" about a new logo?

5/05/2014 Unknown 0 Comments

Old and new Netflix logos.
A new post on Fast Company Design today raises the question of why there has been no public comment about the introduction of Netflix's new logo. The bigger question for integrated communications is when -- and when not -- a corporate branding change needs to be "news."

By not treating the new logo as news, is Netflix implicitly asserting that the logo change has insignificant value to the company (to customers, to investors)? By not having a traditional PR initiative surround the launch of the new logo, Netflix may have raised more questions than the whole topic deserves. It is probably not of the consequence of Quikster ("the worst product launch since New Coke," Mashable), but it does show again Netflix's continuing ability to thrive (dominate) in its sector while still seeming to make dubious branding moves.