I attended a webinar presented by Professor Paul Farris of The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. He was promoting his updated version of his book on Marketing Metrics which was recently released.
He had done a survey of the folks that were registered for the webinar and the results were interesting.
First, half of the attendees were business to business (B2B) marketers. Second, the revenue numbers among the survey participants were pretty awful. A significant percentage had seen revenue declines of more than 25% in the past year! The remarkable thing, in this context, was that marketing budgets had not been cut as much as one would expect. In many cases, they had stayed the same or even increased. Marketers must lead a charmed life!
However, what I found really interesting was a survey he had conducted among almost 200 senior level marketers as part of his research for the book. One question was what metrics were most valued among these senior marketing execs. The answer was astounding! Of the ten most important metrics for these marketers, only two customer type metrics made it to the top ten. They were customer satisfaction (#4) and Loyalty (#9). The others were all financial and sales metrics. No traditional marketing metrics such as awareness, brand equity or customer value made the list. This result gave me pause, but on reflection, I realized that this was a very good sign. Marketers were not just worrying about their own little metrics any more. While they may measure these metrics, as well as even more tactical things such as response rates, they fully realize that the measures that matter to top management are the ones that drive shareholder value.
Does that mean marketing measurement and metrics do not matter? Most definitely not. These are means to the end. Revenues will not increase, neither will margins expand, unless marketing is doing its job and has the measures to show that it is.