Marketing Performance Matters - Searching For Marketing ROI
In today's uncertain economic climate, management is increasingly under pressure and scrutiny to perform. Almost every function of business has been studied, analyzed, poked, prodded and fine-tuned. Within Manufacturing, Finance, IT, Accounting and even HR, cadres of academics and qualified practitioners are working to improve the breed. Noble efforts with one major gap - seems somebody forgot about Marketing. Why? Because Marketing defies clear description with its unique blend of hard and soft sciences. Marketing also suffers from a frivolous image and misperceptions brought about through poor and often shady practices - who has seen Tin Men or Boiler Room?
Improving marketing performance sounds simple yet is difficult to achieve. Why? Because many managers don't think of marketing from an overall business perspective. While most organizations are concerned with financial measures such as ROI and improving overall Corporate Performance Management (CPM), these business principals are seldom transferred to the marketing arena. In many cases, marketing is not viewed as an investment and is therefore assessed strictly from a cost perspective-if at all. As a result, many ineffective programs survive and erode the bottom line-or in other cases many valid strategies are cut due to lack of reliable insight into their impact or weaknesses.
At The | Marketing | Works, we are focused on changing this perspective. Reflecting our mission to improve marketing performance. We hope we will provide insight and commentary on marketing effectiveness and performance practices every time you visit our site! Commentary, feedback and contributions are welcome!
Marketing Web Sites To Check Out!
Web site from the American Marketing Association the premiere source of marketing knowledge for North American practitioners. Much useful information including reference materials.
The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR
By Ries and Ries, Harper Business, New York, 2002
In the past, we have strongly supported the works of Al Reis—particularly his early work with Jack Trout on positioning. Recently, with The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR. he seems to be struggling for deeper insights.
This book expands on the premise that advertising is no longer at the core of effective marketing and brand development and that PR has become the tool of choice. Evidence is based on the dissection of contemporary corporate hits—like Starbucks, Botox, eBay, and even Harry Potter. According to the Reis' these organizations have refrained from advertising, yet soared to the top through the savvy use of public relations.
While there are clearly challenges facing advertising, more than just one element of the promotional mix is needed to build sustainable brands. The authors continue their attack by asserting that advertising agencies are more interested in winning awards then increasing client business. Even if that was true of all agencies (and it isn't) that doesn't mean that advertising cannot effectively create and maintain brands—let alone create critical traffic / sales volume.
By the end of the book they attempt to balance the books with advertising by reflecting on hoe an excellent tool for reminding and reinforcing brand attributes that PR has already established. Ries asserts that advertising is very good at broadening the appeal they counter but not at building brands. They also take a few parting shots at PR professionals, saying that most PR people would rather counsel the CEO than get down in the trenches with the marketing staff. Building brands is the primary role of PR they argue.
Ries does make a persuasive (if somewhat repetitive) argument in favor of PR and to be fair PR is a powerful tool that should be considered as part of an integrated marketing strategy. But it is only one tool, not the only tool.
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