Pat McGraw of Gillette started the ball rolling. Sitting down to lunch two years ago he huffed, “I really don’t need another highly charged sales pitch on the power of internet advertising. What I would like to know is how it works and why it works.” There were eight people at the lunch table, so the sample was decidedly small, but the consensus that day perked up our ears, and we started snooping around. As our sample expanded, the consensus solidified. A sampling:
“Marketers cast around on the internet, but it’s still a fishing expedition.”
—Rance Crain, Advertising Age
“Many marketers do not yet know how to create effective advertising online.”
—Greg Stuart, Interactive Advertising Bureau
“Online advertising offers unique advantages, but what’s missing is an understanding of which executions will have a desired impact.”
—Joe Gillespie, CNET Networks, Inc.
“Everybody’s doing it, but they don’t feel confident it’s going to produce results.”
—Al Ries, consultant
With characteristic flair, and perhaps a bit of hyperbole, Colgate’s Jack Haber concluded, “What do we know about online advertising? Well, we know that the brand should be present and persistent throughout the ad. Ten years and $15 billion of experience, and that’s all we’ve learned!” Okay, maybe we’ve learned a bit more, but what? After a decade-plus of experience and a significant amount of spending, what do we really know about using the internet to advertise effectively?
Scratching our heads, we at ...