More on buying unmeasurable media

Mary from the movie Blood Night encouraging college students to ditch class and cause mayhem.

Seth Godin wrote yesterday about measurable media vs. unmeasurable media. He touched on two important points:

One school of thought is to measure everything. If you can’t measure it, don’t do it. This is the direct marketer method and there’s no doubt it can work.

There’s another thought, though: Most businesses (including your competitors) are afraid of big investments in unmeasurable media. Therefore, if you have the resources and the guts, it’s a home run waiting to be hit.

He then went on to offer two things you should never do:

  1. Try to measure unmeasurable media and use that to make decisions. You’ll get it wrong. Sure, some sophisticated marketers get good hints from their measurements, but it’s still an art, not a science.
  2. Compromise on your investment. Small investments in unmeasurable media almost always fail. Go big or stay home.

As a college marketing agency, we live in a world of experiential media, guerilla marketing, and non-traditional tactics that are really difficult to measure. The college market tends to be a sandbox where marketers are allowed to play, create, and try new things. Whether they succeed or fail, most brands enjoy the process and come away learning something valuable.

Sometimes, the wrong brands want to come and play. They tiptoe in with good intentions, but end up with a strategy that is watered down because of unrealistic goals, rigid rules, and an uncontrollable urge to do the safest thing.

If you are extremely risk adverse, there is a safer sandbox with traditional options that exist for you. But if you want to do something fun and different, be prepared to step outside your comfort zone and ruffle some feathers. Be prepared to fail, but also be prepared to win.

Examples: Here, here, and here.

About Jason Bakker

Jason Bakker is a native Minnesotan and has been working in the area of youth marketing for nearly a decade. He currently works with Minneapolis based Campus Media Group as the Director of Marketing and is responsible for following trends in the ever-changing landscape of youth culture and media usage, and for consulting advertising agency and national brand professionals on how to develop integrated marketing programs that reach college youth.