Microsoft gets it

More great stuff from Microsoft’s Young-Bean Song at the OMMA performance show Monday in San Francisco.  Microsoft has made no secret of the fact that they are focused on the brand advertising market and clearly the push continues.

I would encourage you to watch the embedded video of Young-Bean’s talk.  The content is fantastic and well-delivered, particularly the planning example at the end.  Building from earlier Atlas Institute research, Young makes the argument for the utility of offline metrics for online Brand campaigns.  I couldn’t agree more.  Reach, composition and pricing guarantees that back into guaranteed GRPs, TRPs and CPPs are exactly what online Brand advertisers need for cross channel planning.  As he points out, ROI tradeoffs happen throughout the funnel, but that shouldn’t always mean just “CPA”.

The discussion about the importance of complete attribution models vs. the too common last click / last view approach, while also not new, is very much worth hearing again (and again).  Working – and measuring – the full funnel is just as important online as offline.

Microsoft understands this market extremely well.  Don’t underestimate them.

“Offline Metrics” Work Online Too

Still digging out of my baby-induced blog backlog and came across an interesting MediaPost article by Adam Kasper of Media Contacts.  He basically poses a challenge to the online media industry to pull together and come up with an online GRP.  This theme is echoed in a recent (and fantastic) whitepaper from Microsoft’s Atlas Institute, which gives a more comprehensive treatment along with some practical suggestions.

Development and use of online metrics comparable to those routinely used in offline media is an extremely important topic.  As Kasper points out, comparable metrics make it easier for marketers to follow their audiences online.  That’s for sure (and we still have a lot of work to do there), but there are also some practical reasons why these tried and true top of the funnel metrics are as important online as they are offline.  First off, keep in mind that nearly 90% of retail commerce still occurs offline (even higher in some key ad categories like CPG).  Offline sales simply do not generate the same volume of online-actionable direct metrics that, for example, a company like NetFlix does.  So there’s a real practical limit to the in-flight optimization that can be done for marketers whose supply chains terminate offline.  Concepts like composition, reach and frequency are still tremendously useful tools in this environment.  Secondly, for many campaigns more precise targeting may not valuable and/or may not be available at scale.  Privacy issues aside, I’m not sure that “laundry detergent purchase intender” targeting gets you much further than “women, 25-54 with children at home” does.  But I am sure that it’s more expensive and offers smaller scale.  These points are just a brief treatment of an issue I have written on at length in the past.

The bottom line is that, even though less sexy, these “offline metrics” can be just as useful online and we shouldn’t be ashamed of using them. has shown that quality media, tight management of frequency, maximized composition and full budget delivery drive measurable results at the cash register.  That’s sexy enough for me.

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