The End of Advertising and Media As We've Known It.
HAF November Luncheon
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Junior League of Houston
Speaker: Dave Morgan, TACODA
storm is brewing in the communications industry that is much bigger
than most can imagine. Our speaker suggests that all media will be
fully digital in the next decade, which means surviving and succeeding
will require lighter, faster, nimbler and more flexible approaches. In
addition, technology has introduced real-time cost-and-results
accountability. Suddenly, immediate interactivity, response and
conversation are possible. Communications organizations that do not
embrace a new way of operating will go away. What happens next? Find
out at the November HAF luncheon, in partnership with the Houston
Interactive Marketing Association.
Our speaker, Dave Morgan,
founded TACODA in 2001 to develop innovative technologies for target
marketing. A lawyer by training, Mr. Morgan served as General Counsel
and Director of New Media Ventures for the Pennsylvania Newspaper
Association. Actively involved in industry trade groups, Mr. Morgan
currently serves as Chairman of the Associates Board of the Interactive
Wednesday, November 15, 2006 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Junior League of Houston
1811 Briar Oaks Drive
Houston, TX 77027
DAVE MORGAN ARTICLE
In his first iMedia byline, the Tacoda CEO talks about what
engagement is, what it isn't, and what we need to do in order to engage
A note from Executive Editor Brad Berens:
I'm proud to welcome Dave Morgan as a new iMedia contributor. It's
worth pointing out that at the time of publication Tacoda is sponsoring
our Behavioral Marketing coverage, but Dave's byline is in no way a
part of that sponsorship. You can find a more detailed explanation of
our editorial policy here, or contact me directly with questions.
Engagement continues to be the hottest buzzword in advertising. Not
only was it the central theme of the recent iMedia Agency Summit at
Amelia Island, but "engagement" is a topic in some form at every
industry conference. A few weeks ago, it was the topic of a rather
heated lunchtime debate between Joe Plummer and Erwin Ephron at the ARF
Audience Symposium. And, as media buyers are all too aware, virtually
every media seller's pitch leads with it.
Engagement is hot.
Everyone wants a piece of it. Or better yet, to own it. It isn't
helping matters that everyone is trying to define the term in ways that
advantage their particular medium or product or role in the advertising
industry supply chain. But, like everyone else, I have my own ideas on
I am not going to lead with the usual dictionary
definition. That is for the researchers and the academics. Nor am I
going to lead with a comprehensive set of suggested techniques. I am
not that bold. Rather, I am going to present some of my thoughts on
what I think it is, what it is not, and what it should mean for media
companies and folks in the trenches.
What is it?
is about the consumption of an ad by an audience. A sandwich not
delivered is not a sandwich; neither is an ad that was never seen, nor
an ad that was seen but not consumed. If it didn't register with the
person's brain, it was a wasted impression.
What isn't it?
is not about the media or the media content. It is about the ad and the
audience and what happens between them. Nothing else. Lots of factors
can affect engagement, including the media and its content and its
brand, the ad creative, the targeting, the circumstances of the moment,
but they are not the objective, engaging the consumer is.
Why should we care?
what engagement is and how to measure it is essential if we as an
industry are going to be able to move past our outdated, traditional
metrics for measuring advertising. We need measurements that are more
precise and relevant than media distribution or ad distribution or ad
consumption based on passive recall surveys or remembered diaries. We
need metrics that speak to whether the consumer actually saw or heard
the ad and whether they actually internalized it; whether they were
actually impacted by it in any way. Circulation, readership, and reach
and frequency are all overstated and irrelevant when considered in that
How will we do it?
I think that the
key to engagement long-term will be creating and delivering "ads that
people want." That will be the driver. It will be about them and what
they want, not what the advertiser or the media wants. That will be the
only way to actually get them to accept ads rather than blocking them,
to notice and digest them, rather than ignoring them.
not mean that the media and its content and its brands will become
irrelevant. Quite the contrary. The environment in which a consumer
receives an ad is very important. Not only is it an essential enabler
for delivering ads to the right person, but it can make a big
difference. The same ad delivered in different media and different ad
units will impact audiences differently. They will engage with them
differently. That difference will be the unique and special value that
each media and each media channel will bring to the table. Those
differences will be very important when it comes to media selections
However, those differences will no longer be the center of the
universe in the process of planning, buying, and measuring effective
advertising. They will become planets in that universe, and the
audience and the ads will become the new sun.