Measuring because we can is not measuring what we should
Mark Ritson gets a lot of media coverage, and that’s partly because he doesn’t shy away from a fight. But mostly, it’s because he often challenges our industry to rethink the way we do things. His recent analysis of 6,000 Effie-award-winning campaigns over the past 50 years, presented at Advertising Week APAC last month, provided evidence-based answers on what effective advertising and marketing campaigns are made of.
- Marketers should be running a two-phased plan: the Long and the Short.
- Long-term planning makes your brand more money.
- ROI is stupid because short-termism only gives you quick sales uplifts NOT long-term brand growth.
- Media and creative working together is the most powerful way to build a brand.
We live in an attention economy where everything is nano-paced. In a brave new martech world, we measure things because we can, not because we should. It can take our eye off the long game, which is hard to measure in comparison. Add to that shorter CMO tenures and bonuses based on immediate response and, well, you’ve got a melting pot where brands are being burnt.
Building brand devotion takes time. It needs love and effort, even more so when we tune out after 10 or so seconds – hec, make that three seconds on mobile. How do you build brands in a world where our attention span is less than that of a goldfish?
The age-old theories of brand equity, trust, the value of the ‘intangible asset’ on the balance sheet is garnering a revival through the likes of Byron Sharp, Peter Field and Les Binet, even McKinsey, all of whom reinforce that brands (and sustainable businesses) are built over time.
However, the problem - and why we need commentators like Mark Ritson to reinforce the message - is that marketers aren’t listening. And they’re failing to get the balance right between the short and the long. Some of the blame can be directed at agencies too – we need to push harder and help clients understand what they stand to lose when they focus too much on short-term gains.
CMOs and agencies that buy into long-termism will influence CEOs and their boards to give them the time and space to build equity and ultimately growth.