That’s the question I put to the Leadership Council of IAB Europe last week. For the national IABs the answer will shape their plans, for the pan-European agencies and media owners the answer will focus their budgets, and for those new to the industry, the answer will reveal the breadth of the online research agenda.
Here I’ve collated a few of the key points that emerged:
• Metrix Lab: “The brand- building power of online - translating that into the effectiveness of media is the only way to prove what the new media mix should be”.
• ComScore’s research on users’ behaviour shows how it’s now possible to measure the different types of behaviour online.
• The Search Works: “Everyone is trying to educate the marketers, but we need to teach them how to look at metrics, how to understand campaign activity, how online behaviour really works; more studies, more often”.
• Yahoo: “You can’t just focus on the web, the role of mobile is swelling and that’s where more research attention is needed.”
• Interactive agencies (many): “Understanding the concrete effects of web campaigns is key. Not only on direct response, but also between different media channels. It is easy to measure response but that doesn’t mean people are measuring the right response metrics in the right way. What happens if we don’t go for print as part of the campaign? What happens if we do? We need this kind of mixed media research.”
• “In the Netherlands we need to translate the digital marketing language into more basic terms so that finance directors and marketing execs can shift the budgets quickly and understand what it means for them, how it increases the business, sales, purchase etc.”
• United Internet (Germany): “There isn’t a single simple model in cross media. We need to understand if the metrics work for all of the products. We have to focus on different media mixes for different products. What ideal media mix is there for food? What is the best media mix for cars companies? How does this differ from the media mix for finance sector?”
• Metrix Lab: “When firms like Procter & Gamble decide to invest a lot of money in online to increase their brand awareness, it’s important that the learnings are conveyed back into future campaigns. That means understanding how to use the metrics, and then doing a number of internal case studies. The industry needs to prove that a brand can be built online the same as in tv, radio or other classic channels. Then you need to explain the value each cannel brings. Get the maths right and you have cost per sale figures for the highstreet purchases that can be directly related to the web.”
The question is: what are your thoughts? What do you feel will change the market and get the switch to digital communication channels moving even faster?
Need more? Look out in the Ledership Council pages of www.IABeurope.ws and contact your national IAB for more research studies or Yahoo, Hitwise and i-Level for more about this.