I’m often vexed that online media professionals are typically 100 percent on the hook for a campaign’s performance when the creative typically determines whether a well-planned and -targeted campaign succeeds or fails. People often forget that media will only put you in front of the right people, while the creative (banners and landing pages) make people react, interact, click, take action, and convert.
This occurred when I was involved with a small campaign for a business-to-business (B2B) tech company. It had a product for bank IT staffers, and we placed ads on Bank Systems and Technology, BankInfoSecurity, “Banking Technology” magazine, and more. All the stars seemed aligned on this one, the media hit the target square on the head, and the offer in the banner was a valuable report from well-known analysts.
The campaign tanked.
The client quickly blamed the media plan. However, if we couldn’t generate interest for a banking technology industry report on a site like Banking Technology, this company had a bigger problem than a bad media plan.
The real problem was the creative was provided by another agency that didn’t know what it was doing! First, the banner was a ultra-creative and so ethereal that people didn’t get it. People had to think way too much to discover the product and offer relevance. Second, and this was the bigger problem, the offer didn’t appear for 19 seconds. Who’ s going to wait for 19 seconds in a looping banner to see an offer?