Measurement is like crack for marketers

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 12 May 2017
Sam Hegg, Paul Bradbury, Jenny Willams, Jo Kelly, Brent Smart

Marketers have an addiction to instant gratification and it’s holding back the long-term creativity of brands, was the bold point of view shared by a panel of marketers this morning at the AdNews Media + Marketing Summit in Sydney.

“Measurement metrics are like crack,” IAG CMO Brent Smart said.

“Marketers have become obsessed with the instant measurement and instant feedback but some of the biggest ideas, you don’t get a reaction like that straight away.”

Smart was speaking on panel alongside TBWA CEO Paul Bradbury, former HCF CMO Jenny Williams and UBank CMO Jo Kelly on the power of big creative idea and the metamorphosis of marketing.

Smart called for marketing departments to get smarter on how they analyse the results of campaigns.

“With big creative ideas you might get earned media and speak really interesting conversations, but it might take a while for that idea to create scale," he said.

“Marketing doesn’t work for every product instantly. It can have a longer effect that you have to work out how to measure, how to prove and how to show… You have to have a long-term view rather than a short-term focus.”

The shift away from long-term marketing and creative work is a common bugbear in the industry, with many believing the plague of short-term marketing could destroy brand marketing.

If brands commit to long-term strategies, Smart is confident that advertising can continue to infiltrate culture.

“Most of what we do in marketing is reflective of culture. When you’re P&G you aren’t competing with Unilever anymore, you are competing with Netflix and its culture. People have no time and there is so much content, so you have to stand out,” Smart says.

“People really don’t care about insurance so you have to really find a way to be interesting and get out of your category and marketing to get a share of culture. That’s what the great brands do and that’s what the great content does.”

Kelly agreed that ROI is something that can build over time.

"You are not going to see the immediate ROI on everything,” she said, referencing UBank’s recent marketing activities.

For Kelly, the big idea still remains vital for UBank, which was evident with the work the bank produced last year, which caused a stir for its use of terminally ill patients.

Commenting on the recent success of Clemenger Melbourne’s Graham campaign for TAC, Bradbury said: “That’s the type of provocative work that drives results and culture.

“There isn’t a formula for creativity. It doesn’t take bravery – it’s a necessity. Brands are built by talking to mass audiences and they have to have that conversation in order to develop a shared understanding of what the brand stands for," Bradbury said.

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