Friday, May 13, 2011

Mathematics & Creative

With our hyper-focus on efficiency, mastery of the mechanics, tuning of the tools set -- what can we really expect to do long-term for the brand? Even though they all have certain performance goals and sales targets, was the brand marketer's ultimate goal always such large-scale ROI? What about competitive marketshare; brand visibility; consumer advocacy; and so on? The way we operate now suggests that mass efficiency and uber ROI are the only imperatives. This cannot be an authentic long-standing objective that clients really have in their heart of hearts. We absolutely bred that beast with our math and our fancy tools.

Now, so much more goes on at the dashboard, on the trading desk, and in the backroom that is solely about the math. (...) Is really good math now good enough to count as strategy? This "Math State" is dangerous. This commoditized state makes our agencies and our teams more disposable than ever before. And when all is said and done -- probably dumber.

Ad Age published an excellent article that debates how much of a role mathematics should play in online advertising. It's easy for people to see this as an attack on metrics, but I believe one of the commenters said it best, "here's to the Distinctive Ideas - Smartly measured." You can read the full article here.

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