One of the top ten articles on the NYT today is called Put Ad on Web. Count Clicks. Revise. It's not just about creativity anymore, it's also about measurably.
I have mixed feelings about this. I mean, part of the joy and potential payback of creativity is taking risks. (Okay, so in this case creativity is a web ad.) Sometimes it takes time for a risk to pay off. But if you have to immediately get the numbers in, then there isn't enough time to see if something can catch on.
BTW, this is the same problem with the stock market. Shareholders expect high earnings each quarter, the company goes after those kinds of returns, the long-view is lost, and we end up with retirement portfolios that look like they've been on liquid diets.
The other side though, is that numbers can be measured. If you want to know if something is working, it sure is nice to be able to test it and see. (Thanks, science!) Just putting it out there and interpreting the silence or even the buying behavior is way more flawed then counting clicks on a banner ad.
It's just sometimes I wish everything wasn't about money.