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But do the Ads produce Sales?

I talk a lot nowadays about the rise of accountability in advertising, even as radio remains obsessed by “reach,” which rarely promises anything about effectiveness.

By “accountability” I do not mean guaranteeing that as many ears hear advertiser messages as we promise. I do not mean more accuracy in counting those ears.

I mean proof that our medium – like any other – leads to the outcome the advertiser usually wants: sales.

This just in from Google’s Eric Schmidt via MediaPost:

“[Increasingly,] the principles of marketing…will be augmented by analytical tools,” Schmidt said. The goal for Google is to develop technology that delivers actionable metrics, making it easier for advertisers and agencies to optimize and measure campaigns. More advertisers will have the tools to expand into multiple markets that can test consumer interest in products and services. Take, for example, Cadillac’s click-to-play video ads. The car manufacturer had its ad agency create 13 versions of an ad, testing them in multiple markets to gauge consumer impact and the correlation between viewing the ads and the actual sales. Chrysler allowed consumers to customize the Chrysler 300, but the carmaker did it as content to draw in consumer engagement. Honda sponsored a concert. Google engineers built technology that allowed concertgoers to ask the band questions and get responses. Schmidt says these will become the defining models for advertisers over the next 10 or 20 years. For Google, advertising nirvana occurs when the search giant can return the exact answer for each query, accompanied with one perfectly targeted ad. “Eventually, maybe what we can do is guarantee advertisers who pay us money–and this is my fantasy, the sale,” Schmidt says. “If we can get to that level of that specificity, advertising will no longer be a marketing expense. It becomes a sales expense.”
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