When It Comes To ROI, Don’t Be a Mad Man: Part 2

Missed Part I? Read it here.

So what is the new wave of development when it comes to generating and measuring ROI? Capitalizing on behavioral targeting. (Yeah, I’m talking to you, Facebook.)

Despite these advances currently being challenged by consumer privacy advocates, there’s a major force working against it: The shift in privacy expectations — and a rising generation increasingly willing to compromise privacy for convenience — are clearing the way for this kind of targeting to become the standard for online advertising. Not only because it cuts waste, but because it allows marketers to advertise using relevant content that speaks to the interest and behavior of a given target audience. (Yeah, I’m talking to you, 36-year-old college-educacted mother from Cambridge who enjoys sushi.)

As a result of these changes, established media companies can be left out of the equation entirely. Marketers no longer need these middlemen because they are able to engage customers directly. Whether in the form of email marketing, social media, behavioral targeting, virtual events or direct mail, there are abundant tools and techniques to measure tactics and to gauge if sales objectives are being met.

The true benefit of new technology is the ability of brands and companies to create and foster meaningful relationships directly with their customers, without the filter of a media company. After decades of renting media space from all-controlling media powerhouses, any marketer in the world — from the local CPA or chiropractor to IBM and Coca-Cola — can create media platforms to host original content that attracts customers and facilitates long-term relationships.

It’s not just the sexism and the homophobia that make Mad Men seem archaic; it’s the business model itself. If marketers can create and own their media channels rather than run ads with traditional media companies — and they can measure the success of those same channels themselves — they certainly don’t need the people who created those ads in the same way either.

This presents a new challenge to media companies, which must now provide marketers with access to consumers along with measurable advertising opportunities. Media companies must additionally provide content that will capture the imagination of consumers and hold their attention in order to compete with increasingly good branded content. Only media companies that innovate and provide measurable value for both the consumer and marketer will survive.

Gordon Plutsky is the director of marketing and research at King Fish Media.

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