I’m a bit of a nut for measurement. In fact, I spent the first eight years of my career focused on improving and applying digital marketing measurement.
I believe everything needs to be measured. But just maybe, we should stop measuring for a moment. Measurement has gone too far, expectations of measurement are too great, and measurement has clouded our judgement instead of informing it.
These days, all to often measurement has become the purpose, not a tool. One thing I learned in those first eight years is:
Purpose. Trumps. Measurement.
Just because everything can be measured doesn’t mean its value is fully measured. Amber Naslund wrote an elegant open letter to the social business industry last week. The only flaw: it should have been writing to the entire marketing industry.
In a market that is addicted to granular click and activity measurements, our addiction has taken us over the edge. We ask that every individual activity drive a measured, discrete, ROI. In so doing, the opportunity for synergy is dismissed. What about the TV advertising activity that drives search? What about the tastemakers influenced through social media? What about the benefit of brand recognition on direct response measurements?
These benefits are very real and broadly recognized, but rarely measured, and often undervalued or even forgotten as time goes on.
As marketers, we have allowed strategy to become second to data. We have allowed measurement to trump purpose. As marketers, stand up for your purpose, and stop short of allowing your measurement to replace it.