Checks and Balances

In most walks of business life there’s a well-developed process of improvement and continual development, yet somehow this seems to be avoided by most of the marketing industry……

Medicine and medical best practice could not function without their in-built permanency of testing.  Likewise military activity revolves around weapons that are in continuous stages of development.  And mechanical engineering; power generation and the construction industry embrace measurement and performance.

Yet for all these standard procedures and processes from elsewhere, the marketing business still seems to find it difficult to operate this way.

The word that best describes the operation of the marketing business is perhaps scepticism, with phrases to avoid accountability such as:

“Marketing is just too complicated to measure” or “So much is outside our control”. Surely the only time these statements are true is if you have no desire to measure your marketing and for whatever reason want to avoid attributing results to your inputs.

Fifty years ago David Ogilvy, that great advertising man often called the father of advertising, talked about the necessity for advertising to embrace testing and development.  He would be appalled that after so many years those ethics still remain unknown to so many practitioners.

Marketing must embrace the continual improvement agenda.  Campaigns and plans must measure variations in input and not just a single fixed activity programme.  With fixed input you can’t develop let alone measure and attribute input to output.  Check out how much variation your agency built in to the latest plan.  If the answer is “Not much, if any” perhaps now is the time to review your processes and update them with checks and balances to ensure that your campaigns are more effective and can be developed for the future.

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