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May 03, 2011


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I don't mind being challenged; in fact, I normally appreciate it as a way to further the debate & learn. The trouble is - you add no arguments, no facts and no logic to the debate.

So let's start with basics:
- I asserted that online advertising is mostly a direct response medium and branded advertising is not online. I provided a graph. So your talking about Coke & Pepsi is irrelevant. I even specifically showed that a brand like Hershey spends only 0.1% of its budget online. I already asserted that.
- Quoting CTRs out of context is irrelevant. You need to focus on eCPMs. As a direct response marketer all I care about is "customer acquisition costs" and if I spend $22 dollars to get a customer at a 0.1% CTR or $22 to buy a customer through a TV or print ad - all I care about is the $22. Not mentioned in your post.
- You make no mention of alternatives that you're advocating for.
- You make no mention of SEO/SEM - the two largest components of online advertising.
- You assert that digital marketing is "wasted" - you give no evidence.
- I have directly discussed why integrated marketing is more effective than banner advertising and I have data. You haven't discussed this at all.
- Finally, you throw in a Red Herring about HuffPo & Arrington, which has zero to do with my post and zero to do with your alleged argument about advertising. And my case for "integrated marketing" did not say "don't disclose it's marketing," I argue for the opposite.

This is a very lazy post. Frankly, I'm not sure what point you're trying to make at all. Boo.

Katherine Warman Kern

Hi Mark.

Mine is a Forest vs. the Trees argument. If we want to keep marketing jobs and media going in this country we need to come up with exponentially better tools. Improving a .08% CTR by doubling it, is a waste of time. But if you want me to get into the Trees, I will.

You say "integrated advertising" delivered a .04% CTR on a network of websites of 100,000,000 monthly uniques. In your comment above you say your clients will pay a $22 acquisition cost but you don't tell me what the conversion rate from CTR is to acquisition. Let's give you the benefit of the doubt and say it is 25% (a number I've achieved online).

Here's an alternative to compare. The old expression is that door-to-door sales is the most persuasive direct marketing. Ambassador marketing at "high receptivity" locations and events is a way to do more for less.

Since speed of acquisition is important, I've taken your numbers and estimated a daily rate to compare to a day of Ambassador marketing.

Since I can't figure out how to put a jpeg in the typepad comment box, I don't have a chart. But here's the result.

In a day - "integrated digital direct marketing (IDDM)" (I assume must be customized to be integrated) on 1,600 different websites, the Ambassador Marketing (AM) has 22 Ambassadors to train.

IDDM sites average 2500 uniques in a day, AM ambassadors average 400 "meet 'n greets".

IDDM generates 4 million impressions (at 30 days a month that's about 1 Million) and AM generates 8,800 "meet 'n greets".

IDDM .04% CTR is 1,600 clicks and about 1/2 of the AM "meet 'n greets" turn into conversations.

I'm estimating an IDDM can do a 25% conversion to acquisition for 400. The AM conversion rate can be very high since we target highly receptive locations, but I'll be conservative at 35% for 1,540.

At $22 per IDDM costs $8,800. To make the comparison, I budgeted the AM cost at $8,800, but the acquisition cost is only $5.71.

I'm just saying there is a lot of room for improvement in digital marketing and it isn't tinkering. It's really stepping back to look at the forest and asking how digital technology can exponentially improve the way business and customers interact.

I don't think you are lazy certainly. I just think you are spinning wheels.

Good luck

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