Death of the GRP? (0)

Monday, June 18, 2007 by , under ,

I have been thinking about this for a few days past, with no clear answer: How good is a GRP anymore, as a marketing measuring unit? Considering that traditional advertising is losing its grasp on the modern consumer in favor of experiential marketing, peer-2-peer networks and other emergent media, can we truly hope to meaningfully measure advertising effectiveness through reach and frequency anymore?

When Procter & Gamble's Chief Marketing Officer Jim Stengel says "show-and-tell advertising is over", I agree. When the industry says that modern advertising should be a dialogue rather than a one-way conversation, I agree. When trendwatchers consider that online communities are the new influencers, I agree. When my own agency thinks that the best mass communications are done through the mass itself, man are we right.

Word-of-mouth marketing. Guerilla marketing. Communities. Content creation. UGC. We seem to have found or identified new tools to permeate the consumer, and we are liking them because the consumer is liking them. But how do we know that what we're doing loops the marketing loop? How can we be sure that our "new and improved" marketing moves product?

We need to find new ways to track a campaign's success, and they need to be based on the value of interaction. Presenting a message to the consumer should generate another action, and not only an emotion. Non-traditional media should dictate how traditional media is used, because we don't just want people to see, we want people to act. "Come to my website", says the billboard. "Go see my web video", says the TV ad. Offline, to online. Encourage the consumer to go and get more. And to follow that chain until it leads him/her to the product or service.

That's why my little finger tells me that proper measurement of traditional media will now require that traditional media be used as gathering tools, rather than informative tools. If we can find a unit or ratio that measures the reactive power of "static" communication using the web ("dynamic" communication), we will have a better basis for effectiveness measurement.

Any thoughts?

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