• Hugh McPherson

Message from the President: Response to Distrust of Digital Media

A recent survey of 200 advertising & marketing executives found that there is are some reservations pertaining to digital media. The perception is that there is a lack of transparency, the data is not accurate and there is fraud. The following are thoughts and ideas from Hugh McPherson, President & CEO of The Media $tore!

Starting way back in the late 1920s Daniel Starch was hired by NBC to produce radio audience data. Mr. Starch was a Harvard professor and his pioneering work laid the foundation for radio listener research studies.

Distrust of listener claims enabled Archibald Crossley to create the Cooperative Analysis of Broadcasting for radio. This was the start of a decade and a half run followed by others including Pulse in 1941 and C.E. Hooper who started with radio and then moved into television ratings with Hooper Ratings in 1946.

His first love was radio so he sold out to Arthur C. Nielsen in 1950 and Nielsen's Audimeter created the first electronic continuous ratings measurements. Pulse enjoyed a long run into the 1970s as radio's dominant data collector until a new competitor, Arbitron, challenged them and ultimately won out. Radio's feuds with Arbitron and Nielsen are legendary so being wary of data is nothing new. Each of these new companies claimed to have the answer to tainted data through newer and better data gathering techniques.

The common thread was each measurement had a new solution to an old problem, the issue of data accuracy.

Today we there are some who now distrust the accuracy of digital media. The problem is that this is new technology and many people from broadcast do not understand it so they feel lost and pushed aside.

The advertiser wants a return on investment capital that can be tracked. So what does this mean? It means the ability to convey your idea simply in this sea of confusion is key to gaining a foothold.

It means not telling clients how the iPhone works but telling them what time it is and why that is important to their business!

The key is simplicity combined with ideas and in a transparent environment that the customer can quickly understand. When the client understands he or she engages and once that happens they begin to add ideas to the mix and you build a plan together!

One third of ad managers trust analytics completely so why focus on the trivial many who have doubt. Find the ones who agree and work with them to achieve their goals.

Instead of complaining about his competitive disadvantages Hall of Fame baseball executive Branch Rickey lived by the motto "quality in quantity" building the farm system with the St. Louis Cardinals and Brooklyn Dodgers which ended up being copied by all major league baseball clubs. Today the Cardinals and Dodgers are still two of the best organizations in the National League.

If you see enough clients with a simple explanation of how you can help them achieve their new customer goals you will find many new clients.

My perception is that digital has great potential to help a business grow. When paired with radio it is a very powerful one-two punch: branding + an on-the-go, in the consumer's hand, reminder to shop at a specific store!

Imagine what Ray Kroc could have done with radio combined with digital!

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