Laura: I don’t watch a lot of television for many reasons, first and foremost of which is my love of reading. But a close second is my excessive frustration at television networks that pull a new show off the air after only one or two airings.
It’s difficult for me to give up an hour of my precious time, only to get interested and have my point of interest unceremoniously yanked away.
This has happened to me enough over the years, that it now takes A LOT to get me to invest time in watching a new show.
The joke at our house used to be that my favorite SciFi shows would get canceled after three airings – yet “According to Jim” (ranked similarly in Neilson ratings) would live on for years…oh the humanity!
With the advent of online marketing, this ability to monitor the success or failure of an advertising or marketing campaign has taken on new meaning. With the prominence of programs like Google AdWords, a marketer can change campaigns, keywords and text ads on a rolling or ongoing basis – every 10 minutes if they wanted.
But just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean that you should.
Sometimes media – whether a TV drama or a text-based ad campaign – just needs an opportunity to succeed.
That’s not to say that if a campaign clearly is performing poorly it shouldn’t be yanked – or re-calibrated. But you’ve got to give the statistics a bit of time to accumulate so that decisions are made from a point of strategy and not as a knee jerk reaction to a long holiday weekend.
I am also a huge proponent of using such online marketing offerings for A/B testing of headlines and messages – again, a quick way to gather truly useful data before making a major marketing decision.
A wise person once told me that when “need” crosses “awareness,” you get a sale.
“Need” is the easy part. It’s generating the visibility and frequency that creates “awareness” that seems to trip up many companies and marketers.
Online tools are prevalent, easy to use and can generate big results – but they are still just tools.
I am often amused by hearing someone say: “Yeah, I’ve had a Facebook page for two months, and haven’t made a single sale off it. I don’t know why I bother.”
You “bother” because it’s part of your overall product branding – and because branding and awareness take, with few exceptions, more than 10 minutes.
These are probably the same people who canceled “Pushing Daisies” in favor of a Japanese reality show. Of course, the producers should have seen it coming – two other great shows they produced, “Wonderfalls” and “Dead Like Me” got the same treatment.
Jeff: In the interest of cleaning up the apples-to-bananas comparison, some TV shows are canceled not because of relatively low ratings, but because they cost more than they earn. A SciFi show like last year’s “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” simply couldn’t afford ratings in the “According to Jim” range, since episodes cost four or five times more to get on the air. (Not that I’ll ever forgive Fox for yanking that show in favor of “Dollhouse” only to kill off Dollhouse half a season later. Talk about “oh the humanity!”)