Effective marketing accountability requires a mix of art and science

Frank Harrison

In the past ten years, most acutely after the dotcom bubble burst and in the current global recession, marketers and their agents have been working harder than ever to identify the best way to measure and plan marketing returns.

We are learning that accountability is as much about the art of corporate culture as it is about the science of cause and effect. But what are the most effective approaches to marketing accountability?

“The time has come when advertising has in some hands reached the status of a science. It is based on fixed principles and is reasonably exact. The causes and effects have been analysed until they are well understood. The correct methods of procedure have been proved and established. We know what is most effective, and we act on basic law.” These words were written in 1923, in the book Scientific Advertising, by Claude Hopkins, a founder of the ad agency that became Foote Cone & Belding.