Are you measuring what you can … or what you should?

As marketers continue to be pushed for accountability, many continue to measure something … anything … to try to prove value. You might think that measuring something is better than measuring nothing. Not true. If you take action from the feedback on your measurements, and they do not tell you what you wish they told you, you can make bad decisions. Which is then probably worse than going with your gut.

As the “experts” reviewed the Super Bowl ad results, I was sorry to see that the same tired, and mostly useless, metrics were still being reported by A.C. Nielsen. They reported on likeability and recall. Recall measures whether the viewer can remember whose brand was featured in the ad. Likeability reports on viewers who liked the ad “a lot.”

As you might expect the VW ad “The Force” won likeability. And with more than 33MM downloads from YouTube that is not a shocker. However, it was not among the top in recall, meaning people could not necessarily remember it was a VW ad. Worse, from my perspective, is even if you could, what was the message?

The top recalled ads included all the Doritos spots. No surprise there, all were consistently stupid (at least from my perspective). But again, what was the message?

Measuring likeability and recall is easy. But so what?

Measure what you should even if you are less able to measure it precisely.


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