How to Boost Return on Marketing Investment

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Market Smarter from Concept to Performance in the Marketplace

In pursuit of increased return on investment (ROI), companies have been flogging away at everything from business processes and technology deployment to employee motivation. Until relatively recently, marketing and especially advertising were spared many of those rigors. Retail magnate John Wanamaker’s famous comment about his advertising budget has echoed down through the decades.

That was then. ROMI is now.

In recent years, gains in ROI in other areas of business operations have inevitably led to closer examination and rising expectations for the marketing function. Today, companies include Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) in their metrics of success. Better understanding of marketing dynamics, cost/benefit relationships, and lifecycle marketing, combined with better tools for measuring and predicting market performance have given today’s marketers a grasp on ROMI that would have made John Wanamaker smile.

Marketers know they must put their emphasis and resources where they can generate maximum ROMI. But where is that?

Take a Strategic View – Drivers for Better Returns on Marketing Investments

To help clients identify areas for improved marketing performance, FutureSight Consulting works with them to influence three critical strategic drivers of marketing returns for their business:

  • Innovation
  • Focus
  • Leverage

The figure on the left shows where these drivers kick in to boost returns on marketing investments and activities. We see marketing as providing “lifecycle” services, from offering concept and market validation, to focusing on the right market segments with a compelling and differentiated value proposition, to leveraging the right resources at the right cost points to accelerate go-to-market execution. We address each one of these drivers and its components in other sections of this web site. For now, let’s look at the capabilities that make it possible to do smarter marketing and improve ROMI.

Leverage the SmartSourcing Trend, the Right Tactics and Power Tools

SmartSourcing:

The potential is there to have faster, more specialized and relatively cheaper resources attacking marketing initiatives on an outsourced basis, conducting research, modeling, planning, and implementation of B2B marketing programs with great success. Some companies are already taking this approach in balancing generalist resources with “smartsourced” specialist resources on an as-needed basis. This is part of the overall trend in companies towards shifting the desired mix of personnel and capabilities from generalist to specialist resources.resources “on tap” to provide the right guidance and capability at the right time. Outsourced resources, such as FutureSight’s outsourced marketing services, often augment and fill gaps in a company’s immediate capabilities and staffing.

Tactics:

Marketing tactics and measurements have been improving, even as some associated costs have been falling. Of course, technology has made a major impact by enabling improved and more fine-grained research, online marketing with complex customer and order profiling, and the use of remote resources to deliver expertise on demand without major staffing commitments. You can see some examples of these trends in micro-market segmentation that allows companies to identify and sell more profitably even to small numbers of customers.

Power Tools:

Management’s heightened expectations for improved marketing performance has give rise to the development of better tools for gathering, measuring and analyzing marketing performance information, with data gained from a host of different systems, including ERP, MRM, SFA and CRM systems. These tools are enabling more granular measurement of campaign effectivess, helping campaigns become more focused and the associated ROI more measurable. Companies can now apply the data and insights that comes from these tools to achieve higher performance and reduced risk – that is, to boost real Return on Marketing Investment.

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