Marketing in the days before mass media was simple. Most businesses were local and there were few national brands. So a product got a strong following and word-of-mouth with an occasional newspaper ad worked. But after World War II mass media took over—first driven by magazines and radio. But barely a decade later, TV became affordable to a large segment of the population–and mass brands grew simultaneously in a symbiotic way. TV and Magazines helped introduce brands to new consumers and the advertising revenue generated by these brands funded the content that increased the appeal of mass media. And because there were fewer options the mass media flourished.

Advertising became the focus of most brand’s marketing and TV became the favored medium. The advertising industry came up with the famous six stage ARF Model—Vehicle Distribution, Vehicle Exposure, Advertising Exposure, Advertising Perception, Advertising Communication and Sales Response to evaluate results. The advertising impression became the sole metric to track how we were doing. Advertising agencies restructured around this principle and created media planning and media buying disciplines whose goal was to aggregate audiences.

Since the 1980’s a lot has changed in media availability. Most homes have multiple TV’s, and access to more than 100 channels and the share of viewing has fragmented greatly. That’s just TV. Magazines, radio, newspapers had the same fragmentation and increased availability of options. Today, with internet/mobile access rivaling TV ownership, the world is different. The age-old ARF model doesn’t apply anymore because with digital media we can do so much more than we ever could before.

Designed for Today’s Media World

The sad truth is that today that ARF model still drives the advertising industry. Media is still planned and purchased at most agencies on an impression/GRP basis. Buyers value themselves solely on how well they do on cost per thousand impressions. Media Researchers at most agencies are more concerned about methodology of tracking audiences than on developing tools and techniques to measure what really is important—product sales. The advertising industry has been focusing for too long on a surrogate metric for evaluating success. They are still trying to aggregate audiences.

At OCD Media, we think like a marketing agency, not media buyers. We are uniquely situated to help collaborate, build and evaluate.

We don’t just keep buying more boxes of GRP’s. We are a marketing partner and develop new metrics to prove what works.

We treat the media companies as partners, they are not the enemy, working with them to develop the best solutions possible.

Click here to download our whitepaper on how media agencies should be functioning in the modern age.