If You Can’t Count it, Does it Exist?

If you can't count it, does it exist?

Not every company is structured to measure the results of their marketing efforts by gender, which makes determining the success of marketing to women strategies difficult-if not impossible. If you can’t measure something, is it worth doing at all?

I’d like to remind you of the McNamara Fallacy, former U.S. secretary of defense Robert McNamara’s answer as to what led the U.S. to defeat during the Vietnam War. Charles Handy outlined the fallacy in The Age of Paradox:

The McNamara Fallacy

Step One: Measure whatever can be easily measured. This is OK as far as it goes.

Step Two: Disregard that which can’t be easily measured, or give it an arbitrary quantitative value. This is artificial and misleading.

Step Three: Presume that what can’t be measured easily really isn’t important. This is blindness.

Step Four: Say that what can’t be easily measured doesn’t really exist. This is suicide.

Ideally, your company will start to collect gender-specific data to effectively measure response to marketing to women (and men!) efforts. In the meantime, though, avoid falling into the trap of assuming that what can’t be easily measured isn’t important or doesn’t exist. You don’t want to be either blind or suicidal, now do you?

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