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Challenges and Opportunities for Marketing ROI

By Jim Lenskold

I have delivered 2-day Marketing ROI Techniques workshops to over 1,500 marketing professionals in 10 countries. The interactive sessions are designed to educate marketing professionals on how to bring marketing ROI principles into campaign strategies, planning and measures while also identifying the challenges and barriers that must be addressed to make improvements.

One might think that the greatest challenges would center on the accessibility of customer and financial information or measurability issues. There were cases where these barriers applied, however the most prevalent and significant barriers stemmed from the corporate culture, mindset and organizational structure. Consider just a few of these types of barriers:

  • Resistance to change from existing performance goals originally set based on what could be measured instead of measures that are in aligned with what needs to be accomplished.
  • Insufficient resources and budget for market testing, analytics, or research to bring the intelligence necessary to drive more profitable performance.
  • The lack of cooperation between marketing and sales to create a cohesive and measurable approach covering the entire sales cycle.
  • Intentionally restricting access to customer information to within business unit "silos" to maintain control and advantages over other business units.

At the same time the workshop participants were identifying challenges, they were also recognizing the significant financial benefits that could be achieved with a more disciplined approach and greater insight into marketing ROI. Companies benefit from the increased understanding of key profit drivers and the framework to guide investments into the right strategies and tactical executions. Those companies that are investing time, effort and budget into advancing their marketing profitability and focus on the most profitable customers are creating a competitive advantage in an area where precision has great payback. It's time for executives and marketers to remove the organizational barriers and take some bold moves toward achieve high performance marketing.