Response is Not the Same as Results

If you work with clients on their advertising, you’ll eventually encounter the business person who confuses response with results. Response is when the guys at the country club tell you how funny your commercials are. Results is when your commercials cause a whole bunch of good prospects to become good customers.

Last month, I probably received ten “Elf Yourself” emails, and watched a bunch more. And yet, until I read Ron Shevlin’s smackdown on OfficeMax, it didn’t even really occur to me that OfficeMax wanted me to shop with them.

OfficeMax definitely got response — according to Advertising Age, the campaign was watched by 110 million visitors. But it’s less clear whether the “Elf Yourself” campaign caused many of the visitors to go to an Office Max store and buy something.

Shevlin does a terrific job reminding us what marketing is supposed to do, and how Office Max forgot what really matters. His jumping-off point is the Advertising Age article that calls the campaign “a winner”:

My take: This is the stuff that drives CEOs/CFOs crazy. Nowhere in the article does it mention metrics like incremental awareness, improved brand affinity, or [heaven forbid] incremental sales as measures of success. According to the article, Alexa ranked Elf Yourself as a top 1000 site in 50 countries. OfficeMax does business in five.

You want rules of viral web success? A viral web effort succeeds when it… [read the rest of the post here.]


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One thought on “Response is Not the Same as Results

  1. I, too, enjoyed Ron Shevlin’s take on the Elf and thank you for calling attention to it. I guess we marketers need to constantly be reminded that it’s results we’re going after. It’s great to be creative, but without measurable results, what good is it?

    By the way, I love the title of your blog. As a fellow Portland Marketer (not in advertising, direct marketing’s my game), I can relate to the civic pride 🙂