A recent Advertising Age article apparently raised a ruckus because it had the audacity to state that a vast majority of marketers set their budgets based on historical spending and gut instinct and not ROI. Is this really shocking? Not to me. While there is more pressure on Marketing to show accountability, it can still skate all too often.
Arguments abound about what ROI measure to use. The primary focus is currently on “brand value.” Problem is there are at least four different measures of brand valuation, and they disagree with each other significantly. This is a bogus focus anyway. Unless and until it is an accepted metric. What ROI measure should you use? Simple, what business outcome(s) is/are your company trying to produce? How can you support those outcomes by investing in Marketing in such a way as to produce a positive return? If brand value increase is a business outcome for your company, then agree on how to measure it.
The truth as to why Marketing is avoiding an ROI focus (aside from talk) is probably most simply summed up by the quote attributed to many Marketers involved in the study, who said, “If my boss is happy, that works for me.”
In too many companies all that matters is that your boss is happy.