The op-eds continue to roll in this month. Now up to bat is Irving Fain, co-founder/CEO of customer relationship and loyalty platform, CrowdTwist. As the headline suggests, in his debut entry, Fain discusses the importance of marketers to start demanding, understanding and utilizing more valuable metrics. Prior to CrowdTwist, Fain headed digital marketing & social platforms for Clear Channel Radio Digital. Anyhow, take it away, sir.

The marketing world thrives on data and numbers, however, as access grows to more and more information, it is important to be wary of metrics that are alluring but lack true meaning. Whether they come in the form of Facebook likes, Twitter follows or—gasp—engagement, even marketing experts are too frequently caught referencing these enticing yet slightly evil numbers.

Many marketers are quick to complain about how useless, shallow and invaluable these oft-quoted metrics really are. Yet, we continue to hold them up as support for our efforts, campaigns and efficacy of the work we do everyday.

Why?

I blame the marketers; myself included, for those who criticize soft metrics should be initiating the shift to more meaningful methods of evaluation. As Milton Friedman outlined, free market economics tells us that markets are fundamentally efficient and that innovation and evolution will naturally focus on the areas where it’s most demanded. We as marketers aren’t demanding “better” loudly enough. The more adamantly we insist on deeper and more effective understanding of customers, the quicker companies will race to fill this need and the sooner we can stop relying on “fluffy” numbers to define our work. It is up to us to not only demand metrics that are more insightful and valuable but also to initiate the change.

This is my plea to marketers: We must lead the digital march forward to utilize more effective and trackable measurement for the work that we do each day.

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