What’s worse than not measuring?

I’m passionate about the need to measure marketing. Most of our clients will probably have heard me go on and on about how important it is. It comes from a fundamental belief that if marketing is a) discretionary (you don’t have to do it) and b) an investment and c) a long-term game (usually), then business owners need to measure to be sure they are doing the right things that will deliver the right results.
There are many in the marketing industry who try to convince their customers that some (or all) marketing can’t be measured, or is so hard to measure it’s not worth the effort or money involved. When I hear that it makes me nervous for my clients.
Undoubtedly, if you wanted a 100% robust, scientific measurement of every possible marketing activity then it is going to get difficult and expensive. But if you just start with a few simple questions and build the measurement in to the activity planning it’s surprising what can be learned.
So if measuring is so important, surely any measurement is a good thing? Not necessarily.
Some measures are indicators or approximations to give us a guide and provided we know how accurate they are, that’s fine. Some measures look convincing, but have varying levels of accuracy and if we use them to make decisions, we can get into trouble. Consider a speedometer that unknown to you varies in accuracy – you drive past the speed camera at “30 mph”, but maybe you were doing 35, maybe 25.
So, whilst I remain a firm advocate of measurement, it also is a good idea to keep an eye on whether you are measuring the right things and how reliable the data is.
Best wishes,