February 17, 2014

The Only Ad Bozo You Can Trust

As regular readers know, I consider people who make predictions idiots.

They almost always turn out wrong and they give smart-ass big-mouths like me wonderful opportunities to make fun of smart-ass big-mouths like them.

Every now and then, however, I step outside my comfort zone and make a prediction. When it turns out wrong I conveniently forget about it. But when it turns out right, I really like to rub it in.

Today, we're going to do some rubbing.

Back in May of 2009, when social media mania was at its hysterical high point, I wrote a post called Looking For Volunteers.

In it, I wrote the following...
TAC predicts that when the frenzy over Facebook, Twitter, and other social media calms down and the dust clears, email and search will continue to be the dreariest and most productive forms of online advertising.
Well, guess what? McKinsey released a report a few weeks ago about the astounding failure of social media to drive sales (my words, not theirs.)

The title of the piece was Why Marketers Should Keep Sending You E-Mails and it reported a finding that...
E-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.
To repeat, nearly forty times as effective as Facebook and Twitter combined. That's a lot of times. And we're talking about email here. Not exactly the most profound or sophisticated type of advertising.

Now, being honest, I have no idea how McKinsey conducted its research or whether its worth anything or not, but they agree with me, so I'm here to tell you it's a brilliant piece of work!

They also published a chart...

And what does this chart demonstrate?

Well, ahem, I believe it shows that despite the frenzy over Facebook and Twitter, email and search continue to be "the dreariest and most productive forms of online advertising."

Which demonstrates once again that The Ad Contrarian is the only ad bozo you can trust.


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Andy C said...

The irony of the first (spam) comment is delicious.

uglymugagency said...

Between this and your last post of on the fraud of Facebook likes, there definitely is some vindication owed to you by certain Social Media wonks (who say they "don't work in Advertising", yet do) in Portland. However since they're too busy shouting into their own echo chamber, let me say "Bravo!"

It will be interesting to see what happens when the giant social media bubble bursts. It's going to cause quite the blood letting amongst all the little fish feeding off that phony chum.

Michael said...

Another feather for your cap...

A Forrester study from 2012 shows identical numbers for that year. And, email's effectiveness jumps to 13 percent for repeat customers while social still clings to the bottom.


Cecil B. DeMille said...

I can't help but think that this was a softball prediction. It's like predicting that someone will be disappointed by the ride in a Yugo, or that the Yankees will spend a lot of money on free agents. Seemed rather obvious to the thinking mind. I guess the real takeaway here is that there aren't enough thinking minds in advertising these days. Still, nicely done.

D. Holcomb said...

Social media, in my opinion, is a tremendous time-sucker. And I'm sucked in. So glad you found this study! You are indeed the only ad bozo I'll trust.

bob hoffman said...

True, but everything seems obvious in retrospect

Cecil B. Demille said...

One is an accident. Two is a trend. Three is a problem. I think this is number eleventy when it comes to social media's ad failures. Not unexpected, but entertaining and informative nonetheless. That's why I read your blog daily.

Jon P said...

Not sure how McKinsey does their research either. But what may be overlooked here is how much that item at the top of the chart, organic search, is driven by that item at the bottom. I have no idea. But many digital marketers are using social to create awareness about their content, which is a key driver of organic search.

Do I have a chart? No. But people who use analytics software effectively have their own charts that tell them which tactics work and which don't.

My big problem with all this tactical stuff is that if you don't have a compelling brand in the first place, then you're just polishing a turd. If you put up a chart about consumer awareness of brands, it would show that 80% are no better than commodities.