Efficiency vs. Effectiveness

You just sat through another analytics meeting where the agency you're working with is telling you that the KPIs that were established are being crushed, and that you, the client, should be comfortable that you're getting the best value for your media spend. Green, yellow and red color coding based on cost per impression. The mathematicians have won. Your agency kicks their feet up on the conference table and pops open a cold one. But on your end, you're not seeing any significant sales increase.

Is this really the best way to analyze a campaign?

Do you get the same emotion from a banner ad that you get from a tv spot? Does a print ad leave the same impression as a marquee downtown billboard? Clearly not. But if you were to use cost per impression as your defining metric, you would select the media vehicles with the lesser impact, because of their perceived financial efficiency.

It's important for agencies, and brands to stop offering Cover Your Ass analytics reports and marketing options. There is a lineage of fear that exists between agencies and the marketing officers that they work with, and subsequently, the marketing officers with their superiors. Impressions and visits to a website don't always translate into sales, and we, as an industry need to stop measuring success solely through those metrics.

The terms ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’ are often perceived to be closely connected, but in many advertisers' minds, they apparently live on opposite ends of a brand strategy.

The perfect advertising/media campaign combines greater/more passionate results with fewer resources. The need for efficiency exists, due to budget restrictions, but effectiveness is the force behind what will actually grow sales, brand awareness/perception. Both are clearly vital to the success of any brand's success, but which of the two is more important?

To purely choose effectiveness over efficiency is simply too costly for any brand to handle in today’s marketplace. There are only so many brands with an unlimited budget. Instead, Saluk Advertising's position has always been to analyze each brand's unique request, and identify the perfect creative strategy to provide results. For instance, a brand awareness/perception campaign, our metrics are measured through market research studies and social media listening reports. While still not ideal, these will give you a much clearer picture of whether your campaign "worked" or if it missed the mark. If the campaign is a sales-oriented one (inclusive of actual sales, enrollment, leads generated, etc.), while we use impression/traffic metrics to help guide the process, ultimately, our success is based on the results of our clients. This is where our relationship with our clients comes into play. Of course we can provide the actual insights as to which digital options generated sales, if the media choices are broadcast, out of home, print, etc. we need our clients' data to help identify the success/failures of those media choices.

So, when it comes down to answering the question, is it more important for a brand to pursue effectiveness or efficiency? A company with vast resources that is seeking aggressive growth could be better off maximizing its effectiveness. While a company that seeks to maximize its outcome using limited resources could be better off operating in an efficient manner.

In both cases, while the media choices are going to be influenced by budget to maintain efficiency, it is the creative's job to drive the results and the effectiveness.

If you would like to get a free consultation about your brand's effectiveness vs. efficiency strategy, contact our president & founder, Peter Saluk today.