Many reasons have been put forward for the decline in creative effectiveness, including a focus on data and the neglect of gut feel, but a rigorous measurement strategy is necessary if marketers are to be confident that they are making the correct advertising investments, says a senior industry figure.

Writing for WARC, Matthew Chappell, partner at Gain Theory, stresses that measurement as a practice is not to blame, but that bad measurement practice is.

“To put measurement back on the right track requires a rule book that all of the industry can follow,” he argues in his article, The nine golden rules of measurement.

Chappell admits that his nine rules are not particularly new. “You may think that they’re too damn obvious,” he acknowledges. “But how many of us can realistically say we follow all of them, all the time?”

But by following them all, he maintains that it is possible to return to “proper marketing measurement”.

He identifies three categories – data, methodologies and a catch-all further considerations – with three rules in each.

And the first – define success in advance – is possibly the most important, Chappell advises.

“Measurement becomes misguided when it is post hoc. Once the campaign has run and the outcomes are known, it is easy to cherry-pick metrics which demonstrate some sort of success.”

Thus a campaign may not have driven sales, but a proliferation of possible metrics means that “it is generally easy to find one or two that show some kind of uplift, but not real business success”.

The metrics that are chosen to measure campaign success then need to be consistent across media channels.

Use a level playing field to ensure a fair comparison of input metrics, such as impressions, GRPs, or reach; or outcome metrics such as sales, web visits, brand awareness or brand value.

And, Chappell cautions, “do not fall into the trap of measuring output, like clicks or phone calls: outputs are not the same as outcomes and can lead to misguided thinking.

“Think business success, not clickbait.”

WARC subscribers can read all nine of Matthew Chappell’s measurement rules here.

Sourced from WARC