This post from the IAB blog is quite interesting, if maybe too long.
I agree with much of it, but i disagree with the idea that we should blame direct marketing. The fact is that branding is an overused word. I believe in the power of brands, but i do not believe in the marketers who have been building them.
I think marketers default too much to what they "know" when the fact is they are afraid to say what they don't know. You can measure everything and you should measure everything, but you should take the time to structure the media mix in a way that allows you to look at awareness, consideration and intent and use these as proxies for measuring sales. If a marketer tells you they ultimately measure anything other than sales, they are lying!
The article is smart though, and it blames the lack of creativity for the decline of value in online advertising, and that is a fact that i agree 125% with. Our industry defaults to sad, boring and way too annoying ads (dancing aliens with mortgage rates do NOT work).
Read away and digest the content. The writer is obviously smart and hopefully their upcoming event will create a dialogue with results.