News & Views
Jon Steel on the 'soft' measures of success

One of the most respected planners in the world Jon Steel has urged agencies to “hit the reset button” and start investing in real world face-to-face research, or risk further losing relevance to their clients’ business objectives.


Steel, the group planning director for the world’s biggest advertising holding group WPP, said of the current tendency to rely on social media and new technologies and “soft” measures of success such as likes and followers to show results “someone’s got to say it – the emperor is not wearing any clothes”.

Acknowledging to the audience at Mumbrella Perth he probably sounded “old fashioned, irrelevant, a 20th Century ad guy from the era of television and long lunches talking about the way things used to be”, he added: “I don’t think it’s either old fashioned or irrelevant to expect effects like increases in usage frequency, sales volume, share, margin, profit.

“If somebody believes that excited bloggers represents return on investment then I think the apocalypse is well and truly upon us, and if the answer’s always Twitter it must have been a really stupid question.”

He added: “I’m not saying just go back to the old ways and don’t embrace the new, I’m saying embrace the new, but do so while remembering some of these fundamentals.”

First Appeared on Mumbrella. Follow the story here.


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