The "UPC Code" (click on image) is a tremendous "accountability tool" that helps retailers and consumers. On 8/29/05 the ANA (Association of National Advertisers), and the AAAA (American Association of Advertising Agencies) announced "that Ad-ID, a universal ad coding standard, has been adopted by more than 300 of the nation's top marketers." This latest system generated ID tracking code can be used in all forms of advertising, including online. I feel it is only one of many definite signs of the increased emphasis on tracking, measurement, and overall "accountability" of all kinds in many different forms of marketing.
My last post talked about the accountability of tracking online leads to offline sales for Search Marketing buyers. In the 10/8/05 release of the "ANA Marketing Accountability Task Force Findings" on page 4, it says: "Relatively precise results from new marketing alternatives such as the Internet have fed management's desires to understand the relative efficiency of all marketing expenditures. Ignorance of the law of ROI is no longer an effective defense." Further on, on page 4, it says: "The focus on accountability has an ETHICAL aspect. Many marketers understand that marketing funds aren't 'theirs'." So, maybe now, the old "Spend it all, or you may not get as big a marketing budget next year." attitude will be less prevalent. Wait, there's more.
On page 5, it says in "Summary and Conclusions": "Accountability is more dependent upon corporate conviction than upon algebra on steroids. Create a culture of accountability." Eventually, I believe this "culture of accountability" will carry over to the SEO-SEM, Search Marketing Industry. Then, more SEO buyers will be accountable to educate themselves and fully cooperate in doing timely web site changes recommended by their consultant or search marketing agency. Also, more SEO sellers will be asked to take more of a financial risk in achieving their client's marketing goals than only a "best effort" guarantee ( with the only real downside for the SEO seller being "client turnover", and possible contract collection issues).
I believe these things, and what the President of the ANA said in his February, 2005 Letter bode well for the growth of the Search Marketing Industry. In fact, the title of this post is a "take off" on one of his points: "Mass marketing is out/targeted-addressable marketing is in". I don't think there is anything more "targeted" (the buyer is looking for a seller using "keywords" to target himself), or "addressable" (the buyer leaves behind a digital, trackable path that gives varying degrees of "addressable information" about himself) than Internet Search Marketing.
The "addressable" aspect is part of Yankelovich Partner's "Concurrence Marketing" which talks about "addressable attitudes" of consumers. But, basically, their two pairs of Marketing P's and R's (give consumers more "power" and "reciprocity", while cutting the clutter of mass marketing with "precise" and "relevant" information) is exactly what accountable Internet Search Marketing can do. I suspect that many members of the ANA have read the book "Coming to Concurrence". I even suspect that many SEO clients want more "power" and "reciprocity", while getting more "precise" and "relevant" results. But, both SEO buyer and seller have to be more "accountable", if they are to achieve a long term, ethical, and value driven relationship, in my opinion. What's yours?
4/24/06 Postscript: the relatively new "ANA Marketing Maestros" blog has a post about "Microsoft Corp. has selected Ad-ID as its preferred metadata tagging system for digital media advertising."
Animated image courtesy of www.artie.com.