We have a fascination with facts and figures. The Guiness Book of Records is perhaps, the pinnacle of achievement in this sphere – showcasing the remarkable and the banal, cheek by jowl. There is the world’s tallest man, the world’s oldest woman, and the world’s heaviest burger. They are all jammed together in a collection that catalogues our obsessions and our foibles. Each record is given equal footing with the next in line.
But when it comes to marketing, especially online, it’s important to differentiate. It’s important to highlight – and focus upon – those measurements that are most important to your (or your client’s) campaign. This is as important for the future of the work that you do as it is for the agency or client that you work for – for in the constant justification of marketing effort we turn to statistics or various versions of “ROI”. But how well do you understand what the investment is? How well can you explain the underlying business levers that are driving the need to communicate, advertise or connect? Against which top line figure are you measuring your results (and no, it’s not about reach, frequency or recall).
Richard Huntington has an excellent rant on this very subject – be sure to read it all:
So long as the digital community clings to its obsession with accountability over effectiveness it will remain in the unedifying position of creating engaging brand fluff on the one hand and highly measurable but largely pointless direct response advertising on the other. If that sounds like a future to you then fine but I’d suggest changing the fortunes of a client’s business is a finer ambition to hold. And that is going to need proper measurement.
Just because we can measure a broad range of digital interaction doesn’t mean it is worthwhile or even necessary. Understanding the core drivers of your (or your client’s business) will point you in the right direction – but there are simpler ways to find out. Ask the CFO.