Is There an Actoinable Formula to Interactive? IAB Aims to Create It

By Matt Van Hoven 

Got an e-mail today about the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s plan to do some research “into marketers’ perspectives on shifts in brand marketing needs and interactive strategies.” The goal of said, and yet unpaid for research: “to outline a prescriptive ‘action plan’ for digital media…(and provide) actionable recommendations for winning more brand advertising dollars.”

But how to pay for such research (which btw is being conducted by Bain & Company), the IAB is asking for sponsors. For $11,000 you get (if you want it) your agency’s name on the cover of the report and a private VIP lap dance &#151 er &#151 an individual briefing on the report’s findings by Bain. Oh, and then the report goes public (to other IAB members, that is).


We spoke with the CEO of a digital agency who wished to remain anonymous, but said of the plan, “I’m not sure I get it &#151 this isn’t 1998 where there’s a need to put an ‘action plan’ together for digital media…they need to focus this effort on the successful ROI driven case studies and methods to ‘win more brand advertising dollars’ &#151 not some sponsored PR play where the ogilvy’s, saatchi’s, etc are going to pay to play up their digital expertise…”

For those of you who disagree with that statement, there’s only room for 10 sponsors so get your checkbook out.

Final thought: a recent survey from Heidrick & Struggles found that CMOs are frustrated by their current inability to access their companies’ ROI and metrics specific to digital marketing. They also rated their companies as worse than the rest of the field.

Writes BusinessWeek’s Todd Wasserman, “Time after time in the survey, marketers expressed an awareness of digital’s potential along with a recognition that they weren’t close to tapping it.”

It might be a bit early for an action plan &#151 and it seems somewhat arrogant of the IAB to waltz in and claim they’re going to figure the thing out by talking to “marketing decision-makers and senior marketing influencers at large and medium-sized national advertisers…to get the marketers’ perspectives on shifts in brand marketing needs and interactive strategies…” Basically, they’re asking the very people who claim they don’t know how to do this better. So, yeah, maybe don’t waste your money. The interns haven’t eaten in weeks.

More: “IAB Gets Some Law And Order