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Digital Hollywood: The Illusion of Research

Russian_service"How many blondes in Moscow’s Sephora store does it take to sell one mascara?"

The answer: five. It's not a joke, but a real story about the challenges that Moscow faces in adopting a market economy. You could fire the five blondes, but what's the point? Their replacements would still struggle to make change for a 500 ruble bill. The blondes aren't the issue, but they provide a great excuse for management to ignore the bigger picture.

Listening to a session on advertising strategies, Ridgeway "Teddy" Hall of the the Advertising Research Foundation seemed to make the slightly provocative point that trying to improve audience measurement has hit the point of diminishing returns. Research is only as good as the company's ability to use the results of the research to sell better.

Too often advertising salespeople (ab)use research to give them an excuse to call on clients they haven't seen in awhile, without providing real analysis. In turn, clients frequently coward out, choosing to fine tune their media schedule without making the real business changes that might be demanded by the research.

Management can complain about the half of the advertising budget that's wasted. But if we don't take the time to figure out why this happens, we've already surrendered to giving ourselves Sovkovy servis, American style. 

Link: Organized Crime Keeps Better Books (Adobe Acrobat required)

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