I live on the Web. 95% of my media consumption is done through a computing or mobile device. In average, I see thousands of banner ads and digital campaigns each day. The problem is, I don’t really see them. I ignore them. I blur them out.

Today I watched an NBA Playoff game and I discovered Chrysler has new products and was reminded to see “Modern Family” once in a while. Later, I read through a few magazines and saw that Asics has pretty cool shoes, there’s a new drink “Neuro” that markets through a sexist campaign and Hilfiger lost his touch.

Why did I pay attention to print ads and commercials, while, at the same time, I don’t recall any digital ads?

Heavy usage equals minimal impact

There are times when I watch a lot of TV, the World Cup comes to mind. Up to 8 hours of soccer, constantly interrupted by commercials that I ignore and blur out. When I return to my usual habit of 30 minutes TV each day, I register each ad.

When I used to get physical newspapers on a daily basis, I never noticed any ads, the inserts ended immediately in the trash. The Sunday New York Times is the only physical newspaper I still receive, and I go through each insert, look at each advertising.

A person that uses the computer sparingly will be more likely to be impacted by a flash ad. They might enjoy the roll-over experience, expansion of banners, etc.

We should never align ad spend with media usage

Many pundits complain about the misalignment of usage and ad spend.

Don’t listen to them. The exact opposite should happen:

Trying to reach affluent technophiles in their 30’s? Spend the majority of your money on the few print publications they still consume, the few TV shows they still watch. A Wired print ad will be more impactful than a display ad on wired.com.

Need to communicate with grandparents in their 50’s? Heavy up on digital because majority of their media consumption is still through print and TV. You might even delight them with your banner ad.

Measure impact. Not some vanity metric.

The only metric you should invest energy in collecting and analyzing are those that help you make better decisions. And impact your bottom line. The majority of data available are just vanity metrics. They might make you feel good (“2,500 followers!”, “We had 1 million hits!!” and “We served 3 trillion ads!!!”

Do you think a virtual gift will lead to a sale?

Do you believe a million Facebook fans will lead to 1 million sales?

Do you really think people want to get more ads on their mobile device?

I mean, really?

No, really?

Not every media tactic will lead to a sale. But each brand interaction should have an impact. Or you’re wasting money.