Accountability and newspapers

Maureen Duffy and Anne Foster

Companies take a lot of care over buying machinery. They test out the options, and once they have bought a new machine they keep a close eye on how it performs. When buying advertising, they have been making substantial investments with much less information about the return.

The lack of satisfactory metrics for assessing the likely and actual impact of an advertising campaign is a long-standing issue. Compared to other board members, the marketing director has been, to a great extent, flying blind.

Existing metrics have shortcomings, even when applied to the purpose they were designed for – assessing the impact of advertising in TV-focused brand marketing. With media fragmentation, brand advertisers increasingly adopt multi-media campaigns, and advertising metrics have not caught up with that reality.