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Good sense and experience in media publishing still count for something right?

August 23, 2010

Working in digital media (which you probably do too if you’re reading this) I know that one of the things both media side and client side love about it is accountability. But being someone that has learnt to do business based on common sense and a healthy dose of gut instinct, I have to ask the question: how much accountability is too much?

I was reading just recently about – the url abbreviator that with a simple copy & paste job as well as a + sign on the end of the URL gives you immediate stats to see how many times your abbreviated URL (posted on Twitter or similar) has been re-tweeted, shared on Facebook and so on.

The geek in me loves this and thinks it’s fantastic that we can track every little piece of data and measure our audience and advertiser return on investment like never before. Like any first-time blogger I even have different types of tracking on this blog to see who’s reading and what is (isn’t?) interesting. The more practical person in me however starts to think: are we overanalysing everything?

Let’s put this into perspective. I work for one of Australia’s largest digital media publishers, and the owners of the business are unquestionably one of the biggest media players in the world. The people working within the business are highly technical, sophisticated, and far more ahead of the game than I am when it comes to measuring online audience, advertiser return on investments, and creating unique and wonderful digital user experiences. Want to know what the theme of our Christmas party was last year? Mad Men. That’s right – the idealistic, instinctive world of a 1960s advertising agency carried a certain aura to it that appealed to all and sundry within a digital media behemoth. A world where smoking was sexy, a great idea was better than a solid fact, and experience counted for everything.

There’s something to be said about those swashbuckling times when the art of creating and managing a brand was even more important than the science. The romantic notion of such an advertising universe still carries great appeal – because among us still, there are those individuals who know that all the stats and tracking in the world mean nothing when you have a good idea or just something good to say and aren’t ashamed of putting it out there as best as your gut feel can tell you.

Just remember the business decision making prowess of Sir Richard Branson the next time you have a good idea but are getting a bit put off by what the stats tell you: “Screw it, let’s do it!”

Deliriant Isti Romani – These Romans, they are mad!


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