Relieved, he hurries to the local and asks, “How do I get to Augusta?” The farmer, after sizing the man up, responds laconically, “Well, I wouldn’t start from here.”

It is imperative for success in digital advertising to start off from the right place — with a clear focus on the metrics that matter.

Yes, technology incited an explosion of content, devices, formats and opportunities to reach people, together with a cavernous quantity of data and a mind-boggling suite of metrics.

Marketers can easily feel lost in unfamiliar territory like our Google Maps-less city slicker, struggling to adapt to a constantly changing environment and forced to choose — often inopportunely — from a plethora of potential navigation strategies.

Youngme Moon, in her book, “Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd,” postulates that “the minute we choose to measure something, we are essentially choosing to aspire to it.

Choosing the wrong metrics can lead to the opposite of the intended outcome — a phenomenon known as “perverse incentives.”

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