One of the more astute advertising industry beat reporters, Brian Steinberg of the Wall Street Journal, today reports on plans by the perenially beleagured ad holding company Interpublic Group to consolidate the function that measures the effectiveness of the company’s varied lines-of-business. Other than the fact that it’s refreshing to see some media coverage of IPG that doesn’t include a restatement or postponement of the company’s earnings, I wonder how practical it will be to assess advertising, direct-marketing and public relations using comparable analytics.
Truth is: these are disparate marketing approaches, which behave differently and thus require different means of measurement. PR simply has too many dimensions. How can one reasonably compare an effective crisis communications campaign with a 30-second TV spot? Still, those in the PR measurement game continue to strive to bundle it with other marketing disciplines…probably because that’s how many CMOs want it.