Making an Impression

Advertising investments are often evaluated on a cost-per-impression basis, and digital advertising is typically seen as a very efficient medium when cost is a deciding factor. In Paul Gillin’s post yesterday, he said ” the only way to get make an impression is to be helpful, entertaining or memorable”.  And it hit me – we have always used the word “impressions” to talk about advertising, but in reality, how many of the “impressions” we buy is actually making an impression? 

How does a brand truly does “make an impression”? I think the reverse of Paul’s statement is also true: if you are helpful, entertaining or memorable, you will make an impression. And the digital world gives us a unique opportunity to move beyond just a hope and a prayer and to actually see whether the impression we purchased  actually made an impression: whether, and how, someone reacted to the message.

Of course, opinions about a brand form over time. in Fast Company’s great article on the Future of Advertising, they noted that “digital is incremental, experimental, continually optimized — “perpetual beta” — and never, ever finished”. More and more brands are moving to a more continuous communication plan, rather than being so strictly “campaign”-based. Paul’s article gave me a whole new way of thinking about the media plans and creative proposals that are presented to me: How will this build on the impression they already have of the brand? Will this plan really make an impression on the people I’m seeking to reach?

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