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March 18, 2007



I saw a bit of a spike in traffic to my site this week. I think it just might have been the reference to the 'dark ages.'

First things first, nothing would make me happier than our industry putting to bed all debate about measurement. Our industry owes a great gratitude to all the brains that are wrestling with this issue. I salute you and thank you.

Naturally, clients want to see conclusive evidence that the PR fees they are dumping in our agencies are reaping dividends in terms of business growth. Not vacuous piles of press clips, or an iffy, meaningless advertising value figure - real behaviour change causing business growth.

However, my flippant post is caused by a continuing frustration at the misuse of measurement (usually by junior clients), specifically in the planning and idea generation process.

Daniel Pink's book, "A Whole New Mind" is the backdrop to my angst. Pink's now well-read book can be summed up in two sentences. In this age of automation, cheaper labour in Asia, and abundance of choice (products, consumer choice); the winners in business in the 21st century will be the right-brainers: the empathisers, the artists and the story-tellers. Conceptual thinking will defeat linear thinking.

Measurement (or lack of) can be used as an excuse for the timid and conservative marketer to stifle big thinking. It's an excuse not to be fired, and to do the same as everyone else.

Truly original thought means something new. Something never been done before. Something that takes you into the unknown. So it stands to reason that you may not always be able to set a pre-assigned, measurable target.

So my lazy post really shouldn't say 'fcuk measurement,' - but it should say 'stop fcuking with measurement' and use the ideas to breathe and grow. Challenge ideas for their robustness; their excitement factor. Does it instinctively make you think the idea will move people? Don't stub them out because you're worried about how your internal case study's going to look at the end of it. Read a few chapters of Blink, and you'll see it's worth a gamble.

I'd like to see more clients backing their own judgement. Once the idea is executed, then we measure to see if we made the right call.

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