The Moment of Truth Is Upon Us

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“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them”

— Galileo Galilei

Galileo’s quote is timeless. In life and in business, the journey—the process of discovery—is the hard part. In life, it is also frequently the beautiful part. In business, getting to that crystal clear, diamond sharp piece of insight that just simply dazzles is the hard part. Making money using it is usually quite simple.

In today’s busy world, where businesses seek short cuts and lowest possible costs and where vested interests often overshadow the best interests of all concerned, discovering truths seems like an overly lofty aspiration. Why expend financial, intellectual and time resources when the status quo, as imperfect as it is, is tolerable?

In digital measurement, why upset the chaos that sometimes cloaks itself as innovation? Why seek truths when various conflicting facsimiles of truths that cost money and render the supply chain inefficient are already part of how we do business?

Ultimately, we pay a high price for not investing in the discovery of truths about measurement. Total media spend could increase by a net 2% or $8 billion (on a 2010 base) in cross platform spend. Interactive advertising spend could increase by as much as 10% if we uncover the fundamental truths of measurement.

In the coming weeks, IAB general members will be called upon to support the cross ecosystem measurement initiative we have been previewing for some time. The opportunity for a coalition of marketers, agencies and media sellers to define the metrics and systems needed to do business efficiently is upon us. The ANA, the 4A’s and the IAB are partnering to develop the next generation of measurement and have selected an independent third party to facilitate the discovery of measurement truths.

This is the moment to embrace Galileo’s thinking. This is the moment to finally discover simple measurement truths that will allow for the right media allocations to flow through a simplified supply chain. This is the moment to invest in the best interests of the entire ecosystem.

We urge you to generously support the effort to discover the simple truths of measurement.

Sherrill Mane is Senior Vice President for Industry Services at the IAB.

Source for estimates: various studies and forecasts developed by Ernst and Young, 2010.