Wendy Clark’s speach at the Adage Digital Conference touched on two core themes: measurability and branded, owned content. (Full disclosure, Coke has advertised on Buzzfeed.) Wendy began with a common baseline:
Impressions will always be the backbone of any activity that we do, because it goes horizontal across all the media. (Around the 16:20 Mark)
I like how she starts with impressions and then moves on to richer measures of engagement. Too often, impressions and social engagements are forked. This results in the historic, defined starting point of impressions and CPMs being used to define legacy display buys (which are enormous), and only new, less defined standards being used to define social. All digital buys should start with impressions and CTRs, and then move on to richer measures of engagement. Why skip this measure just because a buy is social, when enormous budgets are being spent on buys where it’s the only measure?
The measurement flow should be: CPM -> CTR -> Viral Lift (i.e. earned media, sharing activity, engagements)
At each stage the buy should be judged for ROI.
She strongly advocated for brands to become content creators and storytellers, as well as to be open to the ways that users adapt this content. Coke prides itself on the fact that of the 146 million Youtube views Coke content has seen to date, 120 million were on content created by users. Take a look at my photos below: pets with Coke!
As one of the most established brands on earth, Coke embraces the loss of control and the fact that it’s all out there. Wendy wants “expressions” (what others calls engagements or earned media) to arise from paid impressions.
Her talk affirmed my belief that digital campaigns can be run most effectively with:
- Classic ROI measurements supplemented by enhanced social measurements
- Branded content as the foundation that is owned and promoted by the brand with paid seeding
- Willingness to let users remix, comment, and share as they chose