online marketing began, digital agencies pitched it to advertisers as a measurable medium. Now that same concept of measurability is becoming a problem for the digital agencies. Many advertisers prefer to use the medium for lead generation activities, rather than to build brands. Has the measurability concept backfired on the agencies? Let's see what the industry experts have to say.
Anjali Hegde, vice-president, Interactive Avenues
Digital agencies played a big role in this situation. Early on, given the lack of critical mass, we pushed "measurability". Today, advertisers who run campaigns across TV and print - without a CPL focus - flog the digital space to generate "leads" and measure performance on CPL. But soon this "measurability" will see Internet advertising grow.
Sanjay Trehan, chief executive officer, NDTV Convergence
Companies should realise that the online medium can be used for certain brand exposure activities as well and that will not happen at zero cost. They are ready to spend on television campaigns, which have a high spill-over and are seen by a mass audience. Although there are chances that their target audience may have missed the ad on TV, they are still happy to air it there. In some ways, this could be called lazy marketing.
There is a need to develop a measurement system beyond cost per acquisition (CPA) and CPL based on parameters such as reach, context and exposure of the brand. That might take three to four years.
Anisha Motwani, executive vice-president, Max New York Life Insurance
The challenge is to develop campaigns that blend brand building and lead generation seamlessly. We measure brand campaigns on click through rates (CTRs) and cost per impression (CPI), while lead generation campaigns are measured on CPL and CPA.
Prasanth Mohanachandran, executive director, Digital Services, OgilvyOne
However, talks of brand advertising dying are far-fetched. I think it had never taken off and never will until it has measurable value. As we talk, models that will eventually be able to measure brand advertising are being built.
Take search engine marketing. While most felt it was the final nail in brand advertising's coffin, I see it as proof that brand advertising works. In fact for most companies, the search keyword that drives most traffic is their brand itself. Add to that the rise of branded content and videos with the power of measuring interaction, and brand advertising could just become more potent.