In Terms of ROI: Scene From A Future Movie - Bill Harvey - MediaBizBloggers

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INT. DAY. CONFERENCE ROOM AT LARGE ADVERTISER. JOE EASY, CEO of Large Media Agency and ASSOCIATES are pitching to a roomful of top advertiser C-Suite EXECUTIVES. A SLIDE on the screen shows that purchaser targeting is highly correlated with higher ROI.

CLIENT RESEARCH HEAD

Correlation is not causation. How do we know it was the purchaser targeting that caused it, it could have been something else, you don't control for everything else, what if it was Internet?

AGENCY RESEARCH HEAD

(Pretends to ponder a second) Hmm, to explain the consistency in these numbers that would mean that the Internet is somehow always skewed to the Heavy Swing Purchasers of every brand…?

CLIENT MEDIA HEAD

That would seem unlikely…

CLIENT RESEARCH HEAD

I would prefer to see ROI proof by a controlled experiment, we could do it in six months, and have results in a year, then make this decision.

AGENCY CEO (Turns to BRAND MANAGER)

It's up to you Ralph. The question is whether we wait a year and spend money on a test which is also likely to have its research imperfections, or whether the weight of evidence and common sense – targeting is related to ROI, didn't we believe that all along – is already enough reason for us to act now and get a jump on your competitors? In fact, we at the agency have an ROI incentive comp with your brand and we are all betting our bonuses on purchaser targeting now. But it's your call, Ralph.

Bill Harvey has spent over 35 years leading the way in the area of media research with special emphasis on the New Media. Bill can be contacted at bill@traglobal.com.

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