Last week I heard a familiar grudge that digital media does not have enough hard metrics to justify a shift in marketing budgets. It’s true, mass media can provide a scale that is hard to match. Let’s take a quick look at how a few mediums measure:
1. Nielsen measures audience size for TV – they only track 20,000 households (50,000 people) in the whole damn country.
2. Arbitron measures audience size for radio – they only track 70,000 people in the whole damn country.
With a properly tagged digital campaign we are able to track most or all interactions with our content and the resulting visits to a website including the user journey and purchases. Actual human beings and actual behavior. Compare this with the turning of a printed page – nothing. We are able track far more within digital and waste far less. Because of this level of accountability, digital media can and should be held to a higher standard. It is the Heaven and Hell of our industry and we will continue to strive for more precise measurement tactics across a diverse range of contexts.
Best results will always be driven by an integration of plans with both mass and targeted media, however no longer can we lean on the common argument that digital cannot justify a spend that mirrors how our customers spend their time.