Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
June 9, 201111:12 PM

The Age Of Accountability

How well is your Marketing performing?

It's amazing to think that in the mass media age, this was not an easy question to answer. Marketers would (for the most part) blow a budget on television, radio, print, out-of-home and promotion and wait for the quarterly sales reports to roll in... finger's crossed. We would hope that our creative struck a chord with an audience and converted people from bums on the couch to foot traffic at the retail level. If we did everything right, we still wouldn't be sure how well the Marketing engine was rolling along.

Welcome to the age of accountability.

Banner advertising (now known as display advertising) ruined everything. Yes, that's a dramatic statement, but it's true. When banner advertising first came out, it was attached with a very unique promise: now, all advertising could be placed in an environment that was relevant (contextual), the messages could be targeted (and clicked on) and every action taken surrounding the banner ad could be measured (from views to clicks to conversion). The dream was real... but the dream died. There are countless reasons for this (from technical and creative to the more philosophical debate about whether or not banner advertising was ever the right solution for the Internet as a media channel). Banner advertising also ruined traditional mass advertising. Those metrics now placed an incredible burden on marketers and media professionals. We could tell (down to the last pixel) what was working and what was not working... in near-real-time.

Marketing should always be about accountability.

Fast forward to our present day and it's amazing to see the analytics and information marketers are given about what's happening online. From website analytics to click paths to email marketing analytics to the types of insights that companies like Google and Facebook give their advertisers. There really isn't any excuse for Marketers to not be held accountable for every media spend and every creative execution.

Sounds scary? 

As my sixteen year-old niece would say, "whatever." Get over it. It's done. The toothpaste is out of the proverbial tube. The data and the analytics are here... and they're right at your fingertips. If you're not working in a constant state of testing and learning (optimizing every campaign for maximum impact), the only one to blame for the success (or failure) of your campaigns is you... and you alone. Yes, the right budget has to be in play for this type of execution. Yes, you have to have faith that running multiple variances on a campaign will bring you to a better spot. And, yes, you have to be able to speak and respond to your consumers in a real human voice.

Marketers, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to be accountable to the brand.

Imagine a day when you could have all of the data and analytics you have ever wanted. Imagine being able to track and analyze the journey of your consumers. Imagine being able to be a fly on the wall for all of their conversations with family and friends about what they love and hate about your brand, the competitors and the other brands that impact their lives. Imagine being able to speak directly to them and get their feedback. Imagine being able to test your creative in a live environment and see which of your messages actually resonates with an audience. Imagine being able to create as many layers of engagement with those consumers that you have ever wanted to.

It's here. No need to imagine. You can do it all right now. What are you waiting for?

By Mitch Joel