Different Is Not Necessarily Better

There’s a lively discussion going on at Ron Shevlin’s Marketing Whims in his recent post ”The Challenge Of Unconventional Marketing.”

He talks about how unconventional marketing may not necessarily equate to more effective marketing. He says the real problem is that Social Marketing and Word Of Mouth campaigns get a pass on rigorous testing and financial evaluation.

Remember how general advertisers used X impressions as the key evaluation criteria for purchasing large volumes of image advertising because they could not seem to quantify their expenditures -- and still do in many cases? This is anathema to direct marketers who evaluate their campaigns based on cost per lead, cost per sale and cost per customer allowables.

The “New Media” proponents struggle with the same challenge. Instead of X impressions, now such campaigns “talk about the success of those efforts in terms of reach, exposure or hits.”

As I have mentioned before on this blog, such marketing activities do not qualify as direct marketing strategies until someone comes up with a reliable method for testing and evaluating such strategies based on ROI.

In a speech given by a leading brander a couple of months ago, the speaker affirmed that any campaign that was evaluated based on financial return relegated such an effort to a tactic rather than a strategy! She was basically belittling the necessity for tracking the financial results for “cutting edge” marketing campaigns.

What is your take on this?

Posted on October 17, 2008 and filed under Direct Marketing Strategy.