Thursday, July 27, 2006

:: adgruntie :: Why don't you measure this?

+ In this day and age everyone is screaming metrics! But there are a few things that really could use better technology, methodology and even planning and execution. Here are a couple examples:

Many who froth at the mouth at the idea of measurement tend to think Alexa is king. The problem is, it is only measuring people who use the Alexa toolbar. And only people using PCs with Microsoft Windows can do that. Alexa claims 10 million users, but no where can one find out really who is using it. If you've got people surfing using a Mac, they don't count. If you've got visitors who don't have the toolbar installed, they don't count. Alrighty.

Then there's Nielsen ratings. They only measure 5,000 households. Out of how many in the US? Currently about 109 million and almost 115 million by 2010. You do the math. Yes, I know Nielsen claims that their measurement is representative of the entire population but I'm not sure how .004587% if the population is representative. If you were doing a scientific experient, you'd be laughed at if that was your sample. So why is it OK for measuring ratings?

These are only two examples but they are huge for the ad world. Especially now with Neilsen wanting to get into online measurements, we have to question the accuracy and realiability of these numbers that we are fed.

Someone has to stand up and ask the questions. Of course, I'm doing it on a blog read by a handful of people but maybe it will get you thinking.

Before we rush ahead to patch the problem, we need to take a look at viable solutions for solving issues that already exist. Putting a bandaid on a leaky pipe doesn't solve the problem. It just delays it for a while, while other problems come into play.

I find it bizarre that so few people are questioning the path the adveritsing world is on right now...screaming for metrics when we have broken methods and models for such things. Let's improve the methods and then scream for measurement. Only then will you have accuracy and a true idea of what the hell is going on, rather than just claiming you know.

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