Measurement Maketh Marketing?
A number of recent conversations with advertising people have featured their defending of campaigns designed to "raise awareness" of a product/service. Of course, with the exception of the impulse purchase, it is probably important that a potential customer has some awareness of your offering, but I've always been concerned that awareness carries no inherent implication of action.
If your marketing solely raises awareness of your existence, it's more than likely raising an equal awareness of your category and will result in a general sales spike for you and your competitors. Unless your marketing prompts awareness coupled with genuine interest and, I would argue, a degree of real desire to purchase, then there is no guarantee that your sales spike will be better than your competitors.
In an age of metrics, building awareness has the advantage of being a goal that is reasonably convincingly measurable in terms of unprompted customer recall (though prompted recall still seems totally disingenuous to me). But to do so is to elevate measurement above effectiveness as your marketing goal. It's the difference between being Miss/Mr Congeniality and the one that everyone wants to date.