Marketing ROI: Beanz Meanz Marketing?

June 15, 2007

This morning, while working on a Best Practice research I am doing for a major ICT company, I interviewed a Country Marketing Manager who told me the EMEA organization were ROI control freaks.

They approve and hand out marketing budgets at the beginning of the year and then throughout the year, they demand that the local managers complete ultra detailed plans and questionnaire in order to approve every action they are trying to implement with their partners.

Well guess what: when we speak top the channel partners of that Vendor, they tell us they can’t understand why the competition’s channel managers seem to have the authority to discuss, design and authorize a joint marketing activity while this Vendor’s people sometimes take months to get the approval.

In the late 19th century, John Wanamaker, the successful Philadelphia retail entrepreneur famously said “I know that half of my advertising is wasted. I just don’t know which half“. What he meant was that you have to live with that lack of real control. I you try and get scientific…guess what…you’ll kill the half that was actually working.

Marketing is about being bold and confident and somewhat analytic. Finance have to trust our ability to design programs, tools and messages that are going to grow market share, mind share and awareness. ROI is making a lot of money for the companies that say they can help calculate and control it…just google “Marketing ROI” and see for yourself.