Maybe it’s the feeling of having a big new job as the economy crumbles, but Peter Daboll, the new head of engagement-measurement firm Bunchball, has found a silver lining for advertisers in this recession. In an AdAge op-ed, the Yahoo’s former chief of insights says that as marketers cut their ad budgets in line with the downturn, they probably won’t notice any difference in the effectiveness of their advertising. The reason is that most marketing plans are bloated and focused too heavily on Daboli’s view, on pushing impressions and not enough on… engagement. And it’s not just overvaluing the old 30-second spot that’s the problem, he says. Online marketers are pursuing the same mistaken goals.
Considering that Bunchball is all about pushing “engagement metrics,” Daboll’s piece comes off as more than a little self-serving. But he does have some good points about the way marketers and agencies are failing to attract and retain consumers. Most marketers have latched onto the idea that users of a given product are the best ones to advertise it, but in order to drive sales and build brands, they will still need to use reach and frequency to move the “conversation” beyond a small group.