The recent Mplanet conference featured insights from senior marketing executives and marketing thought leaders, along with stellar opening remarks from Dennis Dunlap, president of the AMA (read recaps of his opening at and MarketingProfs DailyFix).

I had the privilege of leading a panel of senior marketing executives, featuring Eric Kintz of Hewlett-Packard, Jim Pedrick from ING, and Chip Reeves of Dow Corning, to discuss their views on "Driving B2B Success with Marketing ROI." The conference and the perspectives of my panel participants helped shape my views on what to expect for marketing ROI progress in 2007.

The most important insight on marketing ROI did not come from a single individual; rather, accountability and financial measurements were prevalent throughout the conference. And it was not a casual reference or long-term expectation but an expectation that it is a core responsibility and a key to improving the respect and credibility of marketing.

Based on the key takeaways from my panel discussion and the message embedded in the AMA's vision for marketing, below are what I believe will be the trends for 2007 in the marketing ROI space as well as priorities you should keep in mind.

As you will see, progress in 2007 will not come from new technologies or techniques but from increased adoption as we get smarter about addressing measurement challenges and recognize the opportunity to align marketing strategies and tactics with business objectives.

Increased Acceptance

Marketing ROI is being talked about in a much different way today than it has been over the past five years. There are clear signs of mainstream acceptance as marketing executives throughout the conference, covering a broad range of topics, consistently spoke of aligning their objectives with bottom-line impact and putting quality measurements in place.

Marketing ROI success stories from Dow Corning, ING and HP on my B2B panel, as well as marketing metrics success stories from Yahoo and Kraft on a separate, B2C panel, are helping the marketing community recognize that better measurements and analyses can start at relatively simple levels and become more sophisticated over time.

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image of Jim Lenskold
Jim Lenskold is founder and president of Lenskold Group (, a consultancy that delivers a comprehensive approach to marketing ROI measurement and management. He can be reached at