Earlier this week, Nielsen and Vizu released their 2013 Outlook on Online Advertising (available here). Among other interesting points, the study called out the idea that brand advertising has caught up to direct response in online channels.
Brands are only beginning to maximize the ability of online channels to tell their story. The rich, interactive, engrossing capabilities of web, app and gaming environments make them the perfect place for brands to connect with consumers – alongside the content that already engages users. The best places to tell stories are the places where consumers spend their time, and mobile will continue to draw more attention away from traditional media.
The study also points out the channel confusion between direct response and brand advertisements. Agencies and brand marketers have become so accustomed to the deep metrics associated with direct response, they try to apply those same standards to brand advertising. While online channels do provide more instantaneous access to brand health metrics, advertisers should look at their online brand-building efforts in broader contexts rather than the transactional, one-to-one ROI nature of direct response.