With reliable digital metrics continuing to be a vexed issue for marketers, industry executives in Australia have questioned whether it is time to rethink the holy grail as distrust takes its toll.

According to Chris Walton, managing director at Nunn Media, marketers need to acknowledge that finding a “single source of truth” when it comes to digital measurement is most likely an “impossible goal”.

“If it’s truth or not truth, I think it’s more important to be aware of the shortcomings of any one approach. With all the best will in the world, just about every approach to measurement has a flaw somewhere,” said Walton at the Mumbrella Publish conference recently.

“It’s knowing what those flaws are and what to do with it,” he added.

With more integrated campaigns in the market, a single source of truth is more elusive than ever. This is particularly relevant for those in agencies working across multiple channels at any one time.

“I remain healthily sceptical about all forms of measurement. I believe you simply cannot have, as an agency doing integrated campaigns, a metric, a single source of truth that can deliver what you want. It’s impossible, it’s an impossible goal to aim for,” Waldon said.

Michelle Levine, chief executive officer of market research giant Roy Morgan, pointed to a crisis of trust which has, in part, been fuelled by inaccurate metrics.

“Australia is actually suffering from an explosion of mistrust – media, the banking industry, sport, health insurance, almost any industry we look at is suffering an explosion of distrust and a lot of it has to do with metrics. A lot of it has to do with the gaming of metrics,” she said.

Since the “utopian position” is unachievable, Waldon advised “making the best of we’ve got and being open in our view of shortcomings and opportunities and then moving ahead as it’s not going to get any easier”.

Sourced from Mumbrella; additional content by WARC staff