MROI – A marketing manager’s bane!

Talk about MROI (Marketing Return on Investment) greatly distresses/annoys a marketing manager. That is because in most cases, in marketing, it is so difficult to measure one.

Basically, a return on investment is calculated by comparing initial costs with expected benefits. In marketing, the costs are obvious, which is investment in marketing execution. However, the benefits can get hazy. When marketing via multiple channels, it can be hard to point out sometimes which channel led the consumer to make a purchase decision.

The ongoing analysis is done by the marketing research team. They analyse and crunch the numbers for every quarter and provide MROI numbers per channel.

Routinely, the returns are analysed by third party consultants from companies such as Mckinsey and Accenture. They not only analyse the marketing return on investment, but also provide suggestions on changing the marketing-mix going forward. Since they provide the outsider view, they also suggest industry benchmarks and trends.

Having done all this work, the single biggest mistake companies then make is considering this information as a one-way route. The numbers are analysed, marketing-mix changed and the process repeated with number analysis once again next period. What is lost here is the higher level strategy analysis and outlook.

Companies become too technical and lose the high level strategy. If a certain trend is showing a new direction, would simply changing the marketing-mix work? Would it rather be better to take a new communication angle as a company as a whole to better suit the changing landscape?

My thoughts are that it is the answers to these questions that ultimately determine the success of the company.

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