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The cobra effect is poisoning digital marketing

The key point about the cobra effect is that when you set a naïve target, it encourages behaviour that superficially meets that target, rather than the underlying goal.

The targets set on most digital activity measure short-term effects: immediate sales, visits, views. These short-term approaches are popular as they’re easy to measure. However, ease and appropriateness are different things. After all, we know that the majority of advertising’s effect is long-term.

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