Last time, we mentioned we plan on commenting on related news and opinions in the analytics, marketing, and digital space. With this in mind, and after some pushing from people we respect, we think the piece from the Correspondent titled “The new dot com bubble is here: it’s called online advertising” deserves some attention and a response.
As with a lot of topics, we find ourselves agreeing with most of what is written, then (not so) completely shocked that what we consider to be the wrong conclusion is found. To get straight to the point, we do not see online advertising as a bubble. We see it as needing to find its focus. It needs the Magic Layer.
Why do we think so? Let’s jump to what we consider the critical finding from the research and where the interpretation really matters most. The graph titled: “Facebook ads are far less effective than we thought” shows a clear pattern.
Most of the effect within most studies can be attributed to the selection effect. It follows that “Is online advertising working? We simply don’t know”. Some want to draw a single conclusion from the data that advertising doesn’t work and is therefore in a bubble. Or that we don’t know if it works. But here is the exciting bit: we could know! It is possible.
We see opportunity. We see that that there are at least some situations where more than half of the effect is the advertising effect, and more than half of the studies see a non-zero advertising effect.
This is critical.
Advertising does work to some extent most of the time. We just have to isolate which advertising works, in which situation, at what levels of return. Then do more of what is working, and less of what is not.
Many only see analytics as post-execution validation, measurement, & reporting. But this is not good enough. This is how we got to this world, where most of the effect within most of the studies can be attributed to the selection effect.
This is a call to research and analysis. To discovery and iteration. To better methodologies of working. Our role as analysts in the marketing and digital space is to do this hard work so we can unleash strategy and creative skills and professionals to have the largest impact that they can on the business.
Alright! Now that we know what it takes from a research perspective, next time we will explore the iteration aspects needed to ensure your marketing is having it’s intended impact. Until then, stop guessing and start researching!
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