Internet Advertising is a Victim of . . . The Click?

I’m not an expert in advertising, traditional media or internet media, so jump in on this.

The other day I rode passed a billboard and wondered, how does the company who bought that billboard know it’s working? There are no clicks to measure. I then thought, what about T.V. there are no clicks there either. There aren’t even any telephone numbers. Traditional media has almost now way to measure advertising effectiveness. It’s all based on reach and eyeballs. I really started to wonder. How does anyone truly know if their traditional marketing campaign is working? Traditional media marketing is vapor, there is not direct measurement.

Internet marketing is measurable and that’s why it’s harder to make it work. Facebook gets 10 million people day to their site. That is more than most T.V. shows get. That’s more than most newspaper and magazine circulations. Yet, those mediums generate far more revenue per views. Why, because you can can’t accurately measure traditional media. You count a click on the Internet and but not in a magazine, on a TV or in a newspaper.

What would happen to the traditional advertising world if all of a sudden, ads could be clicked on T.V., the radio, the newspaper or magazines? I know newspapers are dying, but they can still demand a pretty penny for an ad. How much would advertisers pay for a 30 second spot during Conan O’Brien if they could count clicks? If advertisers could tangibly measure the effectiveness of their traditional media spending, how would TV, Newspapers, Magazines, Radio and Billboards, advertising look different?

Traditional media is benefiting from the status quo. For generations we’ve come to accept the inexact science of measuring traditional media and have become OK with it. We’ve become to accept and spend billions of dollars based on reach and views through tradtional media, because that’s what we’ve always done. But we’re not so forgiving with internet advertising. If it doesn’t get the clicks we don’t pay. Reach, views and eyeballs are nothing in the internet world. T.V. talks about not wanting to trade analog dollars for digital pennies, however it’s more like not wanting the beat cop to come around the corner before you can scam one more customer in your shell game. They know the gig would be up if they were measured like Internet advertising. Traditional media is leveraging just that, “tradition”. Everyone has always accepted T.V., Newspapers, Radio and the rest as effective marketing mediums. And they are, but are they as good as the Internet? As long as they can’t be measured by clicks we will never know.

Internet advertising is a victim of the click.