No sooner had the Marketing Consigliere posted yesterday’s blog entitled “CXOs – Get Marketing On Track!” did another occurence involving online metrics and web analytics come to his attention.
Reporting on the Interactive Advertising Bureau‘s Ecosystem 2.0 Annual Conference, ClickZ writer Zachary Rodgers wrote in “Millard Issues Plea for More Art, Less Science in Online Ads” that Wenda Harris Millard, co-CEO at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, said during her speech about online advertising that “While for years the business seemed to err on the side of art, now I think it errs on the side of science and math.”
Out of disbelief that someone who led at DoubleClick and Yahoo! actually said that, the The Marketing Consigliere immediately posted a passionate, yet imperfect response on that article. He also posted a comment on Tom Cuthbert‘s blogpost on the same speech.
The Marketing Consigliere may have jumped in too soon. From what is known about her on the Internet, some of her words may have been taken out of context. He honestly wishes he could get a transcript of the speech. But while her perspective as an accomplished marketing and sales professional is certainly respectable, some of her arguments regarding the “art” of marketing being strangled by the “science” of marketing should indeed fall on deaf ears.
In the current economy, businesses are being less tolerant of waste. The creative process can be very wasteful and time consuming, and there is a growing arsenal of analytics tools for marketers to use to help them make decisions on which creative will work best in a particular situation. The answer is more metrics and analytic tools, not less.
Marketing is not the “art of persuasion.” Marketing is “finding a need and filling it.” And analytic tools are becoming more indispensible in helping Marketers fulfill needs. So based on comments, tweets, etc. that have popped up regarding the speech, do we have a case of “wisdom of the crowds” vs. “closeted old media person over 50?” (and that is meant rhetorically, not as an ad hominem attack against Ms. Millard) or is Ms. Millard generously sharing something that the rest of the technology enthusiastic marketing world is blind to?
The Marketing Consigliere would be happy to discuss this with Ms. Millard over an authentic Italian meal someday and listen to some of her probably great ideas without the distortion of the press. Ultimately, however, Net-Centric Marketing and all its bells and whistles are here to stay. It’s how we use those tools that can determine success or failure.