How much time and effort are being diverted trying to prove ROI ?

Does it ever stop ?  The never ending chase of marketers to prove ROI for everything they do is draining the life out of marketing and wasting time and money.  If marketers spent 50% of the their time on understanding what makes a consumer a customer rather than trying to prove ROI they would be a hell of lot more successful.  It seems, however, that management wants to understand why marketers are spending so much money and that every dollar they spend is driving ROI.  A lot of executives know the cost of everything but the value of nothing.

I understand that budgets are tight and company executives are under a lot of pressure to show results.  One of the easiest ways to show results is through the cutting of budgets and when that happens marketing is always a huge target because executives feel that marketers waste way too much money.  This has led to marketers spending a hell of a lot of time trying to connect everything they do to ROI but like a finely tuned engine a great integrated marketing program works together to provide ROI you can’t simply measure the ROI of every tactic.

75% of CEOs think Marketers misunderstand (and misuse) the “real business” definition of the words “Results”, “ROI” and “Performance” and therefore do not adequately speak the language of their top management: these CEOs fail to understand why Marketers cannot zoom in on a few critical key business performance indicators to precisely measure, quantify and report on the level of customer demand they are asked to deliver, instead of drowning everybody with data and analyses that are too remote from the P&L.

CEOs believe they trust CFOs and CIOs because they are 100% ROI-focused – where every dollar spent must have a measurable, quantifiable and positive impact on the company’s P&L and operations. To earn the CEOs’ trust and prove that they can be solid business generators, 74% of CEOs want Marketers to become 100% ROI-focused: they call them “ROI Marketers”.

I would argue, however, that a lot of CEO’s don’t understand marketing and branding.  To them everything is black and white, but today a lot of marketing is not black and white because we are dealing with a process that often defies logic: buying and selling.

While I have been vocal about not writing big checks to Facebook unless you know that it’s directly leading to conversion surely having a Facebook page can be part of an integrated strategy for SOME brands.   Consumers expect brands to be on social media and they want is there when THEY need you not when you want to push sales messages.

Over the last few months I worked with clients who have spent a lot of hours over and Power Points trying to justify everything from TV ads to social media marketing.  Perhaps they need to also do a better job selling up before launching anything but I will state again that the most important thing that any marketer should know is “what makes a consumer become a customer?”  That moment of truth is not that hard to find and that’s where efforts should be allocated.