Paved With Good Intentions

"I'm going to..."

Who hasn't uttered these words, followed by, well...not doing whatever succeeded this well-intentioned phrase. Work out regularly. Eat healthy. Read more. And so on. Heck, the word itself, intent, drips with unfulfillment. Because let's face it, if you took action you wouldn't need to intend anything, you'd have Just Done it. So to speak.

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So why then all the hoopla around a performance metric called purchase consideration?  Consideration is even a step more vague than intent. It sounds to me like an I.O.U. from that dead-beat college friend; he fully intends to pay up, but everybody knows somehow he'll never get around to it.

The author acknowledges that purchase consideration is fleeting: "What this doesn't show you, because we're looking at this only two days after the Super Bowl, is how long that purchase consideration lasts." Which is to say the longer you go without acting, the less likely you are to ultimately act. If we accept that as true (and Mr. Marzilli is way smarter than me, so...) why shouldn't the goal be to motivate an actual purchase, or at least a tangible step towards a purchase, right then and there?

Indeed. Which brings us to the world of don't-wait-do-it-now direct response TV.

Purchase consideration amounts to bupkus here. In the world of DRTV, it's all about how much did it cost to secure a lead, a sale, an application. It's about how many did we move yesterday. This is where purchase consideration and intent turns into measurable results before you can say "and that's not all." (Truth is, nobody says "and that's not all" anymore. Well, almost nobody.

I'm not suggesting brand advertising isn't a productive endeavor. Far from it. Some of my best friends are brands. I'm just uncomfortable with the unpredictability. When you're accountable for business results, all the thoughtful consideration and good intentions don't amount to much. Consider this: I had every intention of getting this blog posted a week ago. So there you go.    

Mike Powell is Executive Creative Director at A. Eicoff & Co., one of North America's largest DRTV agencies.