Gian Fulgoni

eMarketer: Have we moved away from the click as a proxy for online advertising effectiveness?

Gian Fulgoni: Publishers would be out of their minds to take an average click rate of 0.1% to an advertiser or an agency and say, “Here’s an indication of advertising effectiveness.” It’s not the right metric. It’s a really short-term view of how advertising works as a direct-response-oriented vehicle and not a branding-oriented one.

Let’s say I’m BMW. Do I want to reach a 20-year-old kid who can’t afford to buy a BMW today? The direct response people would say, “No, don’t target with the Internet.” They would target those people who are about to buy a car. That’s one view.

The branding people would say that at some point, the 20-year-old kid is going to buy a BMW or a Lexus or a Mercedes, so let’s make sure that he has the BMW brand value and equity in his head. Otherwise, he’s going to buy a Mercedes or a Lexus.

eMarketer: A lot of people view the Internet as a direct response medium.

Mr. Fulgoni: That is just nonsense.

“Why should the Internet be different from print or TV or radio in the ability to create a branding value versus direct response?”

“There’s no question that search works, but it is the last step in the purchase funnel.”

“Let’s just accept that the click is just not telling the whole story.”

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