On buying unmeasurable media
Should you invest in TV, radio, billboards and other media where you can't measure whether your ad works? Is an ad in New York magazine worth 1,000 times as much as a text link on Google? If you're doing the comparison directly, that's how much extra you're paying if you're only measuring direct web visits...
One school of thought is to measure everything. If you can't measure it, don't do it. This is the direct marketer method and there's no doubt it can work.
There's another thought, though: Most businesses (including your competitors) are afraid of big investments in unmeasurable media. Therefore, if you have the resources and the guts, it's a home run waiting to be hit.
Ralph Lauren is a billion dollar brand. Totally unmeasurable. So are Revlon, LVMH, Donald Trump, Andersen Windows, Lady Gaga and hundreds of other mass market brands.
There are two things you should never do:
- Try to measure unmeasurable media and use that to make decisions. You'll get it wrong. Sure, some sophisticated marketers get good hints from their measurements, but it's still an art, not a science.
- Compromise on your investment. Small investments in unmeasurable media almost always fail. Go big or stay home.
And if you're selling unmeasurable media? Don't try to sell to people who are obsessed with measuring. You'll waste your time and annoy the prospect at the same time.