Measuring kills the creativity it aims to repeat

Alan Mitchell’s article “The immeasurable damage of our measuring systems” (MW March 3) is one of the best articles I’ve read in Marketing Week. As a fully fledged, qualified and experienced marketing manager with a proven track record in delivering growth and strategic insight, I am now considering a career change because, quite frankly, I’m p****d off by the measurement Sword of Damocles that hangs constantly over my head.

I am even pressured to concoct retrospective measurement criteria and tools months after something has happened! All in the name of explaining why something was either great or not so great (the answer to the latter is: “It was marketing’s fault”).

Obsession with measurement is the trait of a dictator, perpetuating a culture of blame and stifling creative thinking. It’s lamentable, but I find myself offering up fewer ideas and campaigns in my present company because I know I’ll have to spend the next 25 years sorting out a mechanism to bloody well measure them.

I agree that measurement is important, but it’s not the Nirvana believed by some. I’m all for understanding what’s worked well and repeating that success while avoiding flops, but I also know that “life is what happens while you’re planning it” (It said so on a fridge magnet).

If our goal becomes measurement for measurement’s sake, then we may as well pack it in and become undertakers. At least they know what they’re measuring and why.

Carmen Kelsall



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