Effective Measure out to shift digital marketing conversations: Page 2 of 2
By A. Asohan June 21, 2013
Do unto digital
What all this brings to the table is being able to measure digital in the same way traditional media have been measured.
Digital campaigns tend to run into brick walls where a chief executive or marketing officer (CEO or CMO) would look at the click-through rate and say, “What has digital given us?.”
Effective Measure believes its rich source of demographic information and fine-grained measurement tools can shift the conversation, by bringing in the same level of data that traditional media have enjoyed: The GRP, demographic reach and how many times consumers were exposed to a digital campaign.
“I think bringing that level of measurement to the market is making some brands sit up and look at digital more closely,” says Hogg.
However, he is cognisant of the ‘out-of-whack’ equation. “I think the number is less than 1% of ad spend – it’s difficult to put an exact number on it, but the numbers that I hear is that TV and print ad spend is much higher in Malaysia than in other countries.”
Things are looking up, however. “At the same time, there are a lot of clients out there who are allocating 20% to 40% of every campaign budget to digital. There are a lot of advanced agencies in Malaysia doing great digital work; and there are an increasing number of forward-thinking brands which understand digital and understand the value it brings.
“And there a lot of different formats being used,” he says. “It’s a really exciting time. It’s an area that is growing, and I think that this is going to continue as we bring in metrics that resonate with brands.”
The verticals that are most proactive in terms of digital are finance and banking, insurance, travel, hospitality and automotive, and of course telecommunications, Hogg says.
The model that seems to be working for many companies in such industries is when it is about customer acquisition.
“So when you put a campaign out and you want somebody to come to a landing page, you’d want some details that would give you leads for your sales team.
“That’s obviously something that digital lends itself to very well. And again, that’s where we get involved,” he says.
Also, an increasing number of companies no longer just look at click-through rates, but are thinking in terms of cost per lead or per interaction, or even cost per acquisition.
While Effective Measure doesn’t cover the whole cycle from a digital campaign right up to confirmed sales, “where we get involved is getting the demographics of the people who are coming down the funnel,” says Hogg.
The funnel is essentially this: The profile of the people who saw your campaign; the profile of the people who then went on to the landing page; the profile of the people who actually completed the form; and so on.
“And that’s your final profile,” says Hogg. “So I think what that allows brands to pick up on, is a lot of learning and insight into who’s dropping out of the funnel, and determining what they can do to better engage them the next time.”
Agencies and publishers obviously know the value of the digital space, says Hogg. And while there are few brands which still haven’t quite got it – and are still in the ‘I know TV works, I’ve been doing it for years; I don’t need to do anything on digital’ mode – there are fewer of these around.
“But there are still a couple of these around who believe they are doing enough and that they don’t need to interact with the online population,” he says, despite the statistics on how many Malaysians are using the Internet, how often they are using it and how long they spend on it.
“Another misconception I hear sometimes is that ‘my target audience isn’t online’,” he says. “These may be companies that perhaps only want to reach out to older people, or those who live outside of the big cities, or people who are very busy with work and so won’t be online.
“We can pull out data that can quickly dispel these myths,” he adds. “For instance, the online population percentage of rural Malaysia is actually pretty much the same as the actual physical population of rural Malaysia – about 32% of the online population is in rural Malaysia, and 28% of the unique browsers we see (from tagging) are from rural Malaysia.”
It’s the same with age categories – except for the very old, more and more Malaysians across all age categories are getting online too.
“And even the online population in the very old category is growing,” says Hogg. “In a few years, you’re not going to see any difference.”
Even the ones who do get it, sometimes get it wrong. Many websites use Effective Measure results to boast of how they have the highest traffic or the biggest sites, etc.
While there is some value to being the ‘biggest and the best,’ Hogg says he is trying to shift the conversation away from this and towards the audience profile, although he acknowledges it is going to be a long process.
“All brands want to reach a large number of people; and the media agencies would want to work with the biggest sites,” he admits.
“What you find however, if you have a target audience demographic in mind, is that you can then find great sites to advertise in that aren’t necessarily the biggest,” he says, referring to a presentation he made at a recent conference organised by PropertyGuru.
The real estate online classifieds site held the Asia Mobile & Technology Real Estate Conference 2013 (Amtrec) in Kuala Lumpur on June 7-8, which showcased the possibilities that online and mobile technology offers the real estate professional.
“So the example I used in the PropertyGuru conference was that if I’m looking for an audience of 20- 35 year old males, then the biggest site in the country may be one of the biggest newspaper sites,” says Hogg.
“But if I filter it down to the percentage of traffic on that site which matches the above demographic profile, then that site is actually ranked No 6. So obviously if you’re buying CPMs (cost per mile or per thousand views), then you get lower wastage with the smaller site,” he says.
Advertisers know that with the big sites, they can reach the audience they want, much in the way you can use a cannon to kill a mosquito. But by arming yourself with the necessary demographic data, and targeting your ad spend selectively, you can sustain a campaign for a much longer period of time, at a lower cost. It’s the ‘more bang for the buck’ argument all over again.
There’s another reason why Effective Measure wants to shift the dialogue away from size and towards the audience instead. “Because it opens up the playing field for everybody, especially local publishers, to get involved,” says Hogg.
“Our CEO (Richard Webb) talks about the fact that you can reach about 98% of the people in every country in the world through only four companies – Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.
“In Australia right now, we have a very high proportion of advertising dollars leaving the country; local publishing isn’t seeing that revenue,” he adds. “So what Effective Measure believes in, and what we’re trying to do, is to help local publishers and to support local industry by showcasing the niche and rich audiences that they have.”
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