ROI Remains the TV-Ad Metric that Matters

2015 09 09   Peter Feinstein   Online vs Offline Media    

The premise at the heart of this post – that the way in which TV (assuming writer Mark Keeney means broadcast or cable TV) “… creates tremendous waste, and perhaps more importantly … a lack of tools for measurement” – ignores the long-held reality that return on investment (ROI) on TV, or any medium for that matter, is readily available if a brand or their agency is willing to be accountable for sales.

I know, I know. How ridiculously traditional of me to roll out that old, hackneyed metric. But the truth is, nothing else matters. What I find largely entertaining (as in funnier than Welcome Back, Kotter) is that today’s movers and shakers in “ad tech” are under the strange impressions that:

1. They are inventing all-new kinds of advertising that needn’t accountable for a hard-dollar ROI.
2. ROI should be measured by delivery of impressions or engagement – whatever that means.
3. They can create their own fantastic array of measurement-like metrics to rationalize their version of what they are presenting.

I see it every day, in every trade publication, and I just have to laugh. In the end, the only question that matters is: Are consumers who are impressed by our clients’ ads taking measurable actions that can be tracked from the start of the sales funnel through closing?

That’s the standard to which we hold ourselves; it’s the standard our clients expect us to deliver. That’s the world we live in. It can be accomplished through traditional media and buying, or programmatic.