One of the great paradoxes of our industry is that the people who are constantly haranguing us with the indispensable role of data are the most active group of data deniers.
Every day there are conferences being staged, meetings being held, and presentations being made at which digital experts are standing up and intentionally misleading the attendees by glossing over or completely ignoring key data about online advertising. To wit...
- It takes 10,000 display ads to generate 6 clicks
- Over half of all display ads that are bought are unviewable
- Only 9% (at most) of display ads get even 1 second of attention
- 80% of people who are aware of ad blockers use them
- About 2/3 of millennials have ad blockers installed on their devices
- Ad fraud is out of control and no one knows the true level of ad fraud
- None of the reporting about online traffic or clicks is reliable
Instead, they use misdirection strategies to focus on tangential data that looks material to the undiscerning eye, for example...
1. Sociological data
In the first case, they give us irrelevant sociological data about, for example, how much time people spend with social media. This may be interesting but has nothing to do with the effectiveness of social media marketing as a tactic. We're marketers, not sociologists.
In the second instance they present us with anecdotes disguised as data. We'll hear an amazing case history that is two standard deviations from the norm and is not repeatable. But they imply it is representative and that there are great lessons to be learned from it.
Having critical data is an important component of marketing decision-making. And the people who who spend the most time yapping about it seem to be the people most likely to sidestep it.