For all the talk of how critical integrated media strategies are to marketing success, a new survey concludes advertisers could be doing a better job of implementing them.
According to the survey released last week, a joint effort from the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers, obstacles to executing integrated plans include: a lack of metrics to properly allocate the right mix of traditional and digital media; a reluctance on the part of many companies to shift budgets from "tried-and-true" media to digital; and the fact that many client-side marketers still don't get digital and don't understand how their customers use digital media.
Agency executives agree that metrics are an issue and that clients, particularly in the current environment, are sticking with media they know works and that they can verify.
Chris Geraci, managing director, national broadcast, Omnicom's OMD, says the lack of metrics that would help buyers better assess the value of online video ads vis-à-vis TV spots has been an impediment to executing cross-platform deals. "Everybody's trying to get there, but nobody's there yet," he says.
Kris Magel, evp, director of national broadcast, Initiative, agreed. "We need to do a lot of work laying down evaluation metrics," he said, such as how likely a viewer is to be watching spots online—where there is less clutter than on the air—and the impact of watching on a 60-inch HDTV screen versus a 14-inch computer screen. "We have to add all those things together to come up with a value we think each of these environments has and a basis for comparing them," says Magel.
According to Andy Donchin, evp and director of media investments at Aegis Group's Carat, clients are increasingly "prudent" in the way they allocate their spending budgets, focusing on "what's really working," versus "where can we cut."
As for marketers who still don't "get" digital, now is the time to figure it out, says ANA CEO Bob Liodice. "Only once the industry takes steps to become savvy will integrated marketers be able to fully embrace all that advertising today can offer a brand," he says.
Leadership Research & Development helped conduct the survey with the ANA and the 4A's. Nearly 300 marketing and agency executives were queried. It was conducted online in the first quarter. Google was a sponsor, but the parties did not disclose how much the company contributed.