I’m a fan of Seth Godin, widely known author and marketing guru. Safe to say most marketers are because he often shares pearls of wisdom and marketing insight on his blog and through is many books.
Today however, a client sent me a link to Godin’s post on the Unclicking 84% that I have an issue with, so I thought I’d raise it here.
Here are my thoughts…
- Godin lacks clarity in this article and is off track..easy to point out a research report like this but neither his post or the post he linked to tell us as readers anything concrete about what to do. I tend to discount this kind of post..I also think this advice is far off the mark for most small and medium sized business who can’t afford to waste money. For SME’s, it’s important to: invest money in advertising -> measure results -> get sales -> improve the process. It’s not about “brand building” in my opinion, it’s about sales.
- The 80/20 rule is what’s being talked about
- Not clear if by “display ads” they mean banner ads, text ads, or all forms of online ads. Godin says ALL ads, the post he links to talks about display ads. No clear distinction.
- I agree that if people click but don’t buy then there’s no point in wasting money on online adsÂ unless you can get them to convert some other way like signing up for an email list or social media account so you can follow up with them
- Google recently started measuring “View through click” stats which these two articles suggest are important. I think it’s an attempt to convince people to not to stop advertising during tough times and to continue wasting money on ads that just don’t work. Pretty hard to gauge whether they saw your ad and came back 20 or 30 days later and then converted despite what Google may say. How often does this happen in the real world?
- Optimizing ads for clicks makes sense if you want to generate a lead or a sale. That doesn’t mean you are ignoring the “other 84%” of Internet users, it just means you have to reach them another way or that perhaps the 16% is the real group (aka the real someone) you are targeting.Â Also, this statement forgets the fact that direct response ads like Adwords, are meant primarily for buyers – if you’re paying for clicks, as an advertiser you want to see a return and you are after people looking to buy. You don’t want the 84% of people who are just looking for information to click on your ads. You want the 16% you can actually make a sale to. Fundamental flaw in the reasoning of Godin’s post and the post he references.
- It’s not about getting 100% of people to your site. Just those who can and will buy.
I think the following lines, which Godin has bought into, are meant for big advertisers who are building brands and doing mass advertising aka they don’t have the need to drive direct sales and they are fine with wasting money:
Linda Anderson, comScore VP of marketing solutions and author of the study, concludes that “… marketers who attempt to optimize their advertising campaigns solely around the click are assigning no value to the 84% of Internet users who don’t click on an ad… ” – (this is BS, as stated in one of my points above. You don’t want the 84% just the 16% who can/will buy now.)
The results underscore the notion that, for most display ad campaigns, the click-through is not the most appropriate metric for evaluating campaign performance. Rather, advertisers should consider evaluating campaigns based on their view-through impact, says the report. (Again, hogwash. This is just meant to convince you to waste money on advertising dollars that have no direct correlation to sales.)
So what does this mean for you?
If you’re advertising using Google or other methods online and you’re working on getting the ads to be clicked on and the site converting those clicks into sales then bravo. That makes sense as long as you do it with eyes wide open: you’re not after 100% of the people out there.
If in a reasonable time frame say the next 2-3 months, you can’t get that to work, you should stop advertising and work on another angle. SEO for example or a blogger outreach program or purely focus on building relationships with affiliate marketers depending on what it is you’re selling and your market.
I don’t believe in “View through clicks”, despite what Google says is important or what Seth Godin has to say.
SME’s need to focus on: traffic + conversion = profits. Period.