If My Marketing ROI Is Going Up, Why Are Sales Going Down?

That is the basic title of an article in Advertising Age yesterday. The title, of course, got my attention. I was pretty sure I knew the answer, but decided to see what the author had to say. Sure enough, while she was more elegant, the bottom line is simple:

  1. Marketers are measuring the wrong things.
  2. Marketers are misleading themselves and their management to believe ROI is improving.

The only way ROI can actually go up if sales (the metric that matters) go down is if Marketing was spending a lot less to get good results. If that were actually true (which it isn’t), then it would be sensible to invest even more in Marketing (assuming there were more good things to do, or one could do more of the things that were working), so that sales would go up instead of down.

The article suggests it’s a paradox. It isn’t. It’s bad math or bad measurement … or both. We have several articles on our website about the ability for mid-market companies to use much more sophisticated data and measurements today so that you are not mislead, or made to look foolish.



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