On the danger of proxy measures unrelated to the end goal (‘number of views’, ‘likes’, ‘shares’, ‘engagement’)

💎 On the danger of proxy measures unrelated to the end goal (‘number of views’, ‘likes’, ‘shares’, ‘engagement’)

Advertising agencies and marketing departments alike need to break their bad habit of placing too much emphasis on proxy measurements. Just because it’s possible to measure something, it doesn’t mean that something has value and is worth measuring.

Today there’s far too much emphasis on soft measures such as ‘number of views’, ‘likes’, ‘shares’, ‘engagement’ or even (dare we say it) creative awards. One problem is that development of advertising is often skewed towards improving these short-term measures in order to show some measurable progress. However, this is often at odds with what is best for the business long-term.

Another problem is that placing emphasis on these kinds of measures breeds distrust from other parts of the client business towards marketing and advertising, because they don’t represent real proof of any commercial progress. They are false proxies that really only serve to massage the egos of those involved, not actual measurements of success or growth that the rest of the business can identify with or actually use.

Excerpt from: How To Make Better Advertising And Advertising Better by Vic Polinghorne and Andy Palmer

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