On a sales call, how do you answer this question? Many media reps jump into a canned pitch about the power of their print originated brand franchise and how their website extends the franchise online.
Media buyers, are driven by "What's in if it for me," and the best print brand does not guarantee online results.
The online word is results and measurement driven. You have to explain the functional benefit behind your online media first. Then go one to explain how this function can generate measurable results. Start with an explanation of what your website or online media DOES for it's visitors.
A great post on today's "Online Metrics Insider" lays out a guide for categorizing the functional benefit of a website for people who measure web performance. They need this as much as we do. If you can't functionally define a web visitor benefit you cannot evaluate a web sites result, nor can you explain the advertising benefit of that site to a media buyer.
From the post:
Your Web site exists for a purpose, perhaps multiple purposes, such as:
Providing information or data. Many sites entice people to visit for access to valuable, differentiated information or data. Traffic is then monetized primarily through site advertising. Many internal and external analytics packages will tell you where visitors come from and what they do on site, which, when combined with demographic information, can be used to qualify a specific audience to an advertiser. Generating leads. A content asset is placed on a site and gated using a form. People fill out the form and download the asset. The information captured in the form is stored and used by the company that generated the leads or profitably sold to another company. Selling products. The typical e-commerce model involves acquiring customers via some method or offer, providing a product catalog or landing page, and creating a strong call to action and funnel that persuades people to purchase a product. Connecting people. The explosion of social networking sites where people connect to other people, interact with each other, and use widgets, apps, and data services, is a modern phenomenon in which many of us participate.