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Evidence of digital’s inflated importance

Following up on my latest blog on the obsession with digital marketing, Ebiquity has conducted a major, robust study on the marketing industry’s perceptions of media versus the hard evidence. The dichotomy between the two is striking.

One of the key takeouts quoted in the report is the “disconnect between the scale of investment in online media and the value it delivers”. For instance, compared to 10 other media channels, the marketing industry believes the second best medium for increasing campaign ROI is social media (paid) whereas the evidence confirms it is the seventh best. In triggering a positive emotional response, the industry said social media (paid) is the third best medium but the evidence says it’s the 8th best. A similar disconnect appears for increasing brand salience, maximising campaign reach, getting your ads noticed and short term sales response.

Even the measure of low cost audience delivery was not perceived correctly by the industry. Not surprisingly advertisers and agencies put the three digital media (social media, online video and online display) joint first. In fact radio, out of home and newspapers all deliver a lower cost audience than any of the three digital media.

It’s worth noting that the industry’s perception is more accurate for online display and other measures such as guaranteeing a safe environment and low cost production.

The conclusion is clear, the media mix needs to be carefully evaluated avoiding the evident bias towards digital media.

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