In the age of Big Data and the C-Suite's insatiable appetite for ROI, AdLand has been fumbling for numbers that support creativity. No longer does the "gut feeling" set marketers and brands at ease. In order to do what creatives want to do, we must provide numbers that support our claims.
We understand that the other arms in Corporate America see this as obvious; of course a business activity needs a quantifiable foundation. To be fair, several areas in the wide array of marketing depend on data in order to make business decisions. It is simply the new emphasis on data and the following paralysis when such data cannot be found that is frustrating.
And different channels are having different results.
The main point of this article highlights the podcast community. Podcasting got popular in the early 2000s and has taken off to higher levels than anyone probably imagined. It has been so popular that advertisers are developing coordinated efforts to be present. The thing is, how do you track results?
A recent report highlighted by Marketplace (a segment from American Public Media) brought to light that many podcasting companies do not share the numbers of podcasters or any demographic material they collect, if they even collect it.
To the advertiser, this presents an interesting dilemma.
So what does a brand do? Well, the brand can implement an old method to a new medium — coupons. Yes, the segment shared multiple examples where the ads ended with coupons and digital offers that the consumer needed to use in order to get the product they wanted. This captures several data points — the demographics of the customer, what kind of offer stimulates action, when the consumer heard the ad versus acting on it, and what the consumer buys based on the station or segment they are listening to.
A small treasure chest, true, but treasure nonetheless.
The lesson? Even with the latest and greatest technology, sometimes to find out the numbers we need, we have to go back to basics. There's nothing wrong with that — as long as it works.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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