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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Imprecision Marketing


Sometimes I want to tear my hair out in frustration. This article on the Precision Marketing website seems at face value to be saying something interesting and contrary to the general view on this blog. It purports to argue that business people still want mags and therefore marketeers should think very carefully about wasting their money on digital marketing.


It is argued that this is because print brands are trusted (and Internet coverage is not) and magazines are read "in a more relaxed state of mind".


I haven't read or seen the survey which is being reported on because, maddeningly, Precision Marketing don't bother to provide any links to any supporting material. Nevertheless even their own copy when read with a critical eye does not support their conclusion. The article says:


Over 70 per cent of bosses use online sources for updates and information and 78
per cent agree online makes it easy to find what they are looking for. However,
only 30 per cent say that they trust the information they find on the
Internet.
In contrast, print material that bosses have opted in to receive
will achieve a 93 per cent readership and a 73 per cent response rate. This is
due to the medium providing new information about products and services, as well
as sparking ideas and discussions
What possible value is there in comparing media which I have requested with inbound mail that is spammed into my box. In any case what on earth do these statistics mean? Does readership mean average issue readership, total readership or some other made up definition. What could a 73% reponse rate possibly mean? 73% of magazine readers responded to all the ads? How is this supposed to compare with the claimed 28% reponse rate to solicited email? What on earth is being measured here?


My complaints are, if you are going to write an article on the web, make an effort to write it for the web (links!) and when you write it, please do so in a way which makes sense. If anybody has the link to the original research I would be interested to see it so we might learn something - anything. Dear God lets try and learn something - even if its only how to write a web article.
Anyway, according to the article, as its on the web, we are not supposed to trust it anyway. Thats another fifteen minutes of my life wasted. Bugger.


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2 Comments:

At 1:32 am, Blogger Paul Conley said...

My God that article was frustrating. Sure, it would have been a hell of a lot better if there had been a link to the original research. But what was more upsetting was the lack of basic reporting. I mean seriously, didn't the reporter question anything? Even the most ridiculous stuff?
Consider this section: "In contrast, print material that bosses have opted in to receive will achieve a 93 per cent readership and a 73 per cent response rate. This is due to the medium providing new information about products and services, as well as sparking ideas and discussions."
What? Does this study claim that the online world does NOT provide new information? Does the study claim that material on the Web doesn't spark ideas or discussion? And what in the world is a 73% response rate to a print product?
For that matter, where in the world are they getting this 93% readership rate figure? That, I assume, is based on the survey results. And the study then compares this with a 67% open rate for solicited email. Can we assume that the email number is based on hard data on open rates from email marketers? Or is this based on what the survey found? Why would I care what someone claims to do (open an email) when there are numerous studies on what people actually do (open rates are probably the most studied metric in the online world. )
Did these same bosses say that they open nearly 4 out every 10 unsolicited emails? Surely the reporter isn't suggesting that bosses open 38% of spam. It's more likely that the bosses are saying they open 38% of the "unsolicited" emails they receive -- including things like job requests, contacts from salesmen, interview requests from journalists, etc. But what the the hell does that have to do with "print material that bosses have opted in to receive"?
I mean, seriously, are we supposed to be surprised that someone is more likely to read a magazine they subscribe to than to open an email from someone they have never heard of?

 
At 11:25 am, Blogger Businessmediablogger said...

Yes- absolutely. What I now realise is that the journalist hasn't read the original research either and has simply cut and pasted the press release or pretty close to it.

This kind of idleness is one of many reason that traditional business mags are not doing so well. If the content isn't any good - what are they for?

 

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