It’s all about the numbers, you can count on it
After 33 years, I can honestly say I don’t think there has been a more exciting or challenging time to be in this business. Everything is moving at lightning speed and we are all living in a perpetual state of urgency.
While the bulk of ad spend is still in “traditional” channels, those dollars have been shifting primarily to creative solutions that are based on digital, online and mobile platforms.
Technology will help us think even bigger. To paint on a bigger canvas – one that is social, engaging and connects with user-generated content that does more than entertain. It actually sells.
I believe we’ve moved from the business of targeting consumers to capturing consumers – and they have never been in more control.
Gone are the simpler days when we could have a longer dialogue with consumers via a direct mail piece or catalogue.
Now they go to the web to get their information before entering a car showroom or to compare and contrast cell phone coverage.
In the 1970s, consumers had to filter through about 500 marketing messages each day. That number is now closer to 5,000.
At Draftfcb, we recently mounted a global study with more than 2,000 consumers and found that we have – on average – only 6.5 seconds to connect with a consumer in a way that matters to them before they choose whether to shut us out.
That’s not a lot of time. The really sobering news is that the amount of time varies by the channel.
Consumers will give a TV spot an average of 11.1 seconds to get their attention, 3.3 seconds on the web and 2.9 in print.
We believe the answer to capturing their attention is literally in the numbers – but you have to be creative about it.
We’re programmed to think about numbers as being quantitative. But we’ve found numbers have a great qualitative element. And they can have an enormous impact.
This is something journalists have known for a long time. How many newspaper headlines use a statistic to get a point across?
Numbers are not only about being predictable and analytical.
They can have great richness and nuance. Unexpected numbers can make us stop and think.
For example, did you know that testosterone levels in men have decreased 17% over the past 20 years? Ouch.
Or that 82% of job losses in the US last year affected men?
Or that Facebook has a community of 500-million plus people which would rank it as the world’s third most populous country?
All of these numbers tell a story. We believe it’s up to us to dig deeper into them and uncover rich human insights that will lead to creative strategies and executions that connect with consumers.
Creativity should not only be about having a big idea, it’s about starting a dialogue – or better – a relationship.
While new technologies will continue to astound and challenge us creatively, understanding the lifetime value and retention of a customer will always be at the heart of what we do.
You can count on it.
Howard Draft is the executive chairman of Draftfcb.
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