Magazine article Marketing

Response Is Just Half of the Story

Magazine article Marketing

Response Is Just Half of the Story

Article excerpt

The news that Abbott Mead Vickers is to buy Barraclough Hall Woolston Gray comes at an opposite moment, coinciding as it does with the publication of the Direct Mail Association's first survey of the medium and its importance. The first event reminds us that advertising agencies are no longer trying to dismiss direct marketing as a junior art, the second tells us how important it really is.

In part, the lurch towards response-driven methods - and especially DRTV - has been driven by pressure on marketers to produce quantifiable results. Many boards feel happier when told that their [pounds]2m has generated 200,000 responses than they do on hearing that it's been used to "build the brand".

It's a development which Marketing, as a magazine committed to the idea of measurable effectiveness in marketing communications, should, and does, welcome.

Our question is not, "Is this a good ad?", but, "Is this an effective ad?". But there's a problem. While most of us feel that in looking for measurements of effectiveness we're being objective in assessing creative work, the unpleasant truth is that effectiveness too can be a subjective assessment.

Right now, there's a real danger that generating high response levels to communications on TV, radio or in print, will become the only mark of success which many clients will accept. …

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