Yes, by Sharon Zeev Poole, Director, Agent99
If we’re talking about that galaxy far far away where AVEs have gone, then yes, the days of media impressions as a means of proving a campaign’s worth are definitely numbered.
Whilst the metric is still there in all its glory in many post campaign reports, with the amount of information and tools available to us these days, it simply doesn’t inform us in the slightest of the true impact that a campaign has had.
We are bombarded by brand messages all day of which majority are ignored. So do impressions really do anything? An impression is really only where the journey begins, but it’s what happens next that makes it really interesting, and can authentically demonstrate the true difference a campaign can make.
I believe that our persistent reliance on impressions as a metric (along with highly inflated AVEs in some shuddering instances), is only detrimental to the communication sector’s growth and long-term sustainability.
Developing measurable metrics around the key campaign objectives which may include (perhaps alongside impressions or reach) shares, quality of reach, general sentiment, lead generation, conversion rate, click through rate, referral traffic, awareness pre and post campaign, the conversation we were able to generate between a brand and its consumers, and business impact, will only help to cement earned media as an essential component of the marketing plan.
There is no doubt that measurement can be challenging, and is top of mind for our industry. However, I think that it’s our responsibility as professionals to work with our brand partners to look at objectives, dream outcomes, what is available (and is realistically within budget), and how we can best access the information together to make us all better marketers.