"Get your house in order first"

I was asked to moderate the panel on standardizing email marketing metrics - the apples to orange debate, and I have to tell you, a strange thing happened while I was getting ready for the panel. To start off with, I could not have asked for a better panel. I had Sean Meehan from eWay Deirdre Baird from Pivotal, Dave Lewis from StrongMail and Tim Dolan from American Express. This crew is makes a fantastic panel because not only are they experts in email, but they are some of the most vocal and entertaining people in the space. Initially I thought the panel was going to be a no brainer, of course we need measurement standards for metrics in our industry, I mean, how can we keep going without them. Even my own company, the Email Experience Council has had a roundtable focused on this very topic. And then I started thinking (I know... BAD idea). What if, marketers really don't care about solo email metrics like opens and clicks? What if they really only care about the end result, the sale, the purchase, the registration? Do defined methods of measuring opens really matter in this case? Does Fidelity really care what their competitors benchmarked results are? So I actually started to go down that path of exploration during the panel - and after hearing crickets chirp in the audience when I asked the question, Tim Dolan breaks in with the best statement of the panel and said "Get your house in order first." His advice was extremely well received. His point was the first step in moving the industry forward to a collective and standardized place is for companies to look inside and standardize what they do within thier own organization for measurement. It turns out that marketers really do care about these measures as a way to get them to thier end goal.... Phew....
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