Marketers Need More Focus On Results

Why is marketing not held in higher regard and represented more widely on boards across the country?

The reason for this apparent lack of credibility stems from a widespread failure to deliver concrete evidence of return on investment (ROI) on marketing spend. When the budgets get slashed in these belt-tightening times, marketing is bound to suffer as a consequence.  It's a fair conclusion to reach when still vast amounts of marketing spend is unmeasured in terms of effectiveness and ROI in companies that really should know better. The financial services industry, so keen to tie customers to specifics when granting business loans, may do well to examine its own business case before splashing out on lavish TV campaigns.  Certainly personal experience with a bank would suggest that the millions ploughed into broadcast media would have been better deployed in boosting the call centre and improving customer service. 

One suspects a dollop of self-interest prevails in senior marketing circles. It all serves to make a marketing director feel important and create valuable self-publicity. How much thought from the ad agencies is invested in calculating the likely return on the huge investment they ask of their clients?  The harder times we're witnessing now are giving rise to a greater proportion of marketing budgets being spent on trackable activities. Certainly the rise of email marketing would lend credence to this argument. 

The attractions of email are obvious, especially to the direct marketer - it's quick and inexpensive to create and send and within 48 hours you get 80% of your response. For a marketeer who needs to be responsive to sensitive market changes it's a gift. You also know who clicked on which links, building up intensely personal profiles.  There's much talk of overuse of email and of consumers turning off and simply deleting items without even reading them, but this is no different to the direct mail issue of 98% ending up in the bin. The solution is the same - it all comes down to the basics of targeting the right offer to the right people at the right time. 

Why don't travel companies use the information they gather more intelligently? I have visited Expedia and or Lastminute several times checking out flights and weekend breaks to France and Italy yet they have never asked me if I'm interested in receiving last minute offers for these destinations - yet surely it's fairly simple to do?   As a consumer I am constantly frustrated by the lack of cohesion in multi-channel offerings: as a marketer I am appalled by how few companies do this well. I still don't understand why many marketing departments still don't include digital as part of the mix and relegate it to an IT role.  Why do they do this? Because, I suspect, many senior marketers are still far more comfortable with the old media they know and love. Despite the hype of media neutrality in the agency world I have encountered very few who can really deliver a communications mix that incorporates all channels. 

So come on you fellow marketing professionals who care about delivering real value. Let's make this a year of measurable results.

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