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War, Peace and Ads

August 6, 2019
The battle over what makes viewership metrics valuable

Did you read War and Peace

  1. I sure did. In Russian. 
  2. Of course. I even wrote a 20-page essay about Tolstoy's masterpiece back in College.
  3. I did back in high school. It was a required read. 
  4. I've read the Cliff Notes.
  5. I've seen the movie.
  6. I opened the book once and read 2 paragraphs.
  7. No, but I've heard it's a very thick book.

In your opinion, which of the 7 answers above qualify as a "yes" in response to the initial question? It depends, right? It depends not so much on what "reading" means but on the objectives and the follow-up to the question. Is there going to be a follow-up quiz? Are you supposed to name all three Kuragins children? Are you expected to deliver a literary opinion to back up your (positive) answer? Is it enough just to know the gist of the novel's main plots? Is the question inconsequential? If you've read the novel once but don't recall anything about it, does it matter whether or not you read it at all? 



You could easily swap the subject, simply by switching from book to video: Have you seen this video? [insert any movie or video title you like here] Then ask yourself: what does it mean to have seen a video? The range of answers you'll get from random people will likely match the ones you'd have gotten if you had asked about a book instead. Although, to be honest, the likeliness of someone having read a specific book is relatively low these days.  Still...

Frankly, viewership is the last metric brand marketers and advertisers should care about. [source]

Since it is written by a leading marketing agency, the above statement can be surprising. Then again, it is 100% correct: viewership metrics are nowhere near as important for marketing purposes as you'd expect at first sight. They're generally only good at inflating (or deflating) your business ego. As a matter of fact, there is likely no correlation whatsoever between measured viewership and the impact of the videos on your business -- or on anything and anybody else for that matter.  

Like every other social media platform, Facebook can define its metrics how it wants. [source]

The underlying argument of the article titled: WHY FACEBOOK’S VIDEO METRIC INFLATION ISSUE SHOULDN’T DETER MARKETERS is that it is up to the vendor to define the parameters of what constitute acceptable measurements points. Whether you agree or not in your context matters little. After all, it's a free market. One that's controlled overwhelmingly by Facebook.

Facebook claims almost $9 of every $10 spent in the U.S. on social video ads. [source]

 

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