Eight out of 10 marketers indicate that the need to measure, analyze, and report marketing effectiveness is greater this year than it in previous years, according to the just-released 2009 Lenskold Group/MarketSphere Marketing ROI and Measurement Study.
But six out of 10 marketers don't have the budget necessary to meet this increased need for measurement. In addition, 65% of marketers surveyed report that their CEOs and CFOs are making greater demands than last year to show a potential return on investment (ROI) as part of securing that budget.
Given the prevailing economic conditions, in which marketing budgets are smaller and most companies are expecting a sales decline, that is not entirely a surprise. Executives have higher expectations for accountability and want the limited budget and staff resources invested where they can get the best returns. They question the payback on marketing investments in general and want assurance that they will first be able to meet the company's current financial goals while also managing its long-term financial health.
With marketing teams being challenged to deliver results despite tighter budgets and smaller staffs, how is it possible to improve measurements and ROI analysis now when they did not get addressed in prior years, when more resources were available? We'll draw insights from the 2009 research study mentioned earlier and present opportunities for addressing current pressures for measurements, ROI, and performance improvements.
As our research has found, companies that are already disciplined in marketing measurement and have marketing-operations functions in place are clearly at an advantage in terms of higher marketing effectiveness and efficiency, and greater growth, than their competitors. We can learn some lessons from these top-tier companies and develop a practical action plan.
Opportunities for Measurements and ROI Analysis
Companies in the study that described their marketing as "highly effective and efficient" possess several strengths that give them a competitive advantage in the current economy.
Compared with all other firms, including those with marketing described as "somewhat effective and efficient," these high-performance firms are more than twice as likely to report strengths in the following areas: having insights, using good measurements, and employing marketing automation tools, as shown in the following figure: