Too busy with data to be bothered with facts.

According to the Type A Group 250 advertising people – about 70% agency  and 30% marketers – were asked very basic questions about video viewing habits of consumers. Their ignorance was shocking.

First, they were asked what percent of video viewing was done on a TV ? Their estimate was 25%. The actual number is 82%. They were off by over 200%. You might expect they’d be off by 5 or 10%. Maybe 30% if they were really dumb. But over 200%?

Next they were asked about the viewing habits of people watching video on  SmartPhones.

When asked what percent of video viewing time was spent on a SmartPhone, the professionals estimated 18%. They were off by 800%.

WTF?

What we have here is failure to communicate.  For the past five years, the consulting group that I work with has been spending a lot of time and effort trying to bring a sense of all the data that agencies use to persuade clients how to waste money.

I’m not talking about the small, innovative agencies that have the ability to see through the hype to really help their clients.  I’m talking about the big, huge agencies who have swallowed up smaller agencies in an attempt to become digital experts even though the digital experts usually abandon ship after the merger/acquisition.

We had a client who launched a line of craft chocolate bars in Massachusetts.  The product was great and research supported their strategy for a higher price, but their product wasn’t selling.  They had hired an agency out of New York who suggested a YouTube channel and an extensive social media marketing strategy. After almost 7 months their sales were still stuck in neutral.

We immediately suggested that they terminate the YouTube channel and social media marketing in favor of POP displays at retail and ads that would run on woman’s health pages.  In just two months, sales started to climb.  By the way the agency in New York suggested that they send a film crew to South America to film how cocoa beans are harvested (cost was projected at $65K).

As the Type A Group says “One of the most startling (and depressing) aspects of the advertising and marketing industries is the depth of the ignorance all around us. You expect that professionals would be aware of the key facts that govern their industry. These are facts that are necessary for making million dollar decisions. But over and over we find that advertising and marketing people don’t know the most basic facts about their business”.

Too bad

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