I used to find that if you sling a group of advertising and PR people together along with a sprinkling of accountants and the odd research wallah, you would be in for an almighty argument about whether marketing could be measured.
But, if you look at all the great marketers in the world, people who have guided the biggest brands to great heights of success as well as those people who lecture, write books and train marketers - all of them without exception, will insist that everything in marketing can be measured.
Problem is, very few of them explain exactly how.
And that's where my friend Francesco Mariola comes in. He's Group CEO of Media & Business Tracking Solutions SA (Pty) Ltd., otherwise known just as MBTS and I enjoy sitting down to a cup of coffee with him because what he says is music to my ears.
For nigh on 40 years I have been in one argument after another about measurement but now I don't argue anymore - I just send people to sit down with Francesco. While like me, he believes that everything can be measured, he has gone a step further and over the past five years has pretty well proved it. Because that's his business.
Among other things, MBTS has developed a web-based software application that scientifically determines the efficacy of all communication.
It comes up with solutions that demonstrates an advertisers return on investment.
It's also an early warning system that can qualify and quantify the significance of a problem; it measures the impact of competitors activity and generally improves decision-making and forecasting.
Check it all out for yourself at www.mbts1.com