Monday, September 20, 2010

Dear Marketing Accountability Standards Board. Where’s The Creative Measurement?

There is something out there called the Marketing Accountability Standards Board. It even has an acronym. MASB. The goal of MASB is to create a set of metrics for the online marketplace that is both meaningful and predictive.

Good luck.

The problem, as I see it, is that MASB has the word “accountability” in their name, and yet they’re still trying to figure out “predictive” measures.

The beauty of the digital platform is that it is highly accountable. So much so that the predictive aspect becomes less important.

The fact is that we no longer need to predict whether people are going to spend time with a commercial because we can actually measure how much time they spend with it. If an advertiser wants accountability, the amount of time a consumer spends with their commercial is certainly the type of metric that lets them hold their agency completely accountable.

It works like this. No time spent on the commercial, no money spent on the agency.

As we have said in the past, time spent is the currency of creative. Creative agencies need to create time spent with a commercial if they hope to communicate any sort of persuasive message.

If viewers don't consume the commercial, how can they consume the message in the commercial?

In other words, time spent by the viewer is a precursor to money spent by the viewer.

Can we predict time spent? No.

Can we measure it? Yes.

So where is the time spent measurement in MASB’s list of metrics? I looked. I couldn’t find it.

The spokesman for MASB, the president of the nonprofit group behind MASB, acknowledged that it could be a couple more decades before marketing metrics get to the level of validation they’re looking for.

A couple more decades?

C’mon, time spent is being measured today. What’s this decades thing?

The only reason to read the article on MASB is because Erwin Ephron is quoted. I personally believe that Erwin is one of the smartest voices in this measurement debate. As Erwin says, “We need to get back to a simple set of measurements that in fact identify response.”

He’s right.

Anyone for time spent?

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