So many media, so many metrics. The job of a marketer has become fragmented indeed. No sooner has one new metric been cooked up, it seems another sprouts up, making measurement like whack-a-mole for many executives.

Should the industry embrace the chaos, or shoot for a single, all-encompassing success metric?

“We’ve been in the midst of a process for three-plus years now to try to at least create some sort of equivalent measure across platforms, across screens,” says New York Times ad products R&D SVP Michael Zimbalist. “We continue to make slow, plodding progress against it.

“In all these cross-currents of what’s happening now, in this moment, it’s important to come back to this principle which guided this first attempt to createthis equivalences… 3MS, now called 4MS… (to) come back to a single metric. I still believe that’s a valuable undertaking. There’s got to be some unifying, foundational threads I hope we keep plodding toward, even as things get fragmented.”

But would it be easier just to accept that things will remain fragmented?

Viacom chief research officer Colleen Fahey Rush says “some strides have been made” toward unifying everything, but the reality is “increasingly an ecosystem of metrics”.

More to the point, new ads look a lot like content, bringing her company new opportunities. “Engagement and participation and being a fan … that’s what we would love to be evaluated on as opposed to some sort of same-day number that comes out,” Rush says.

They were questioned by true[X] COO David Levy

This video is from Media Future Conversations 2015: Unblocked – Valuing Human Attention In A Content-Driven World, an event presented by true[X] in association with Beet.TV Please find more event videos here.