The b2b roi dance of deception

ROI is not a chicken dance!

The speaker at the recent BMA Chicago luncheon was talking about using data to make better marketing decisions and thus, get a better return on investment.

We all know ROI is a huge, hot topic for CMOs these days. It’s just that so few companies are doing everything they can in terms of gathering the data to help prove marketing ROI to the CFO and other C-Suite-types. And if they are, it is more confined to media-type metrics.

Media metrics are important, but . . .

I don’t mean to minimize media metrics in b2b communications.  They are important analysis tools to help us see what is and isn’t working in order to refine the program to increase positive results.  But media metrics, in and of themselves, are not ROI.

I really think we’d all be better off if we just stopped dancing around this issue and trying to foist media metrics off as ROI measures.

We need to collectively stop kidding ourselves that clicks, likes, awareness spikes, followers and average response rates are ROI. We need to stop doing the chicken dance around this subject, and all start linking marketing ROI to money, to revenue, to marketing’s contribution to the company bottom line.

But the dance of deception is real

If you don’t think this dance of deception is an industry problem, check out what b2b marketers in North America told us in a Mobium survey about their ROI activities aimed at seeking increases for their budgets:

  • No one (0%) said they measure all their communications activities.
  • A meager 28% said they measure most of their communications.
  • Only 51% are able to link even a single tactic to specific dollar results.
  • Only half are measuring simple media metrics like clicks or response cards or response rates.
  • A mere 39% measure even the basic brand network stuff like awareness, familiarity and preference.
  • Only 35% bother to measure what people associate with their brands.
  • And a measly 37% have ever linked communications-influenced behavior to a financial transaction.
  • And this is not a good place to be.  It’s like playing with fire.  And you’re gonna eventually get burned if  you haven’t already. Ouch!

     

    Photo credits:

    Chicken Dancer: flickr.com/photos/mikebabcock

    Fire Dancer: flickr.com/photos/72213316

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