Meeting the Measurement Imperative

Felix Thomson

Content Executive

The Financial Services Forum

Andrew Yates of Aprimo analyses the results of a recent survey which explores the issues and challenges marketers face in trying to provide detailed performance management information to the board.
As with all enterprise departments, marketing is under increasing pressure to demonstrate the value it is delivering to the board. And with many marketers facing a fast expanding portfolio of product and service offerings, a broadening list of marketing channels, and pressure to turn campaigns around faster, collating and making sense of performance data becomes an even greater challenge.
This may provide some explanation for why research by Aprimo reveals that more than half of marketers who regularly report to their board of directors on marketing performance spend an entire working week on average, gathering and preparing the data for board meetings. The research consisted of a survey of over 200 visitors to Aprimo’s stand at the Technology for Marketing show in February 2006 and some 30 senior delegates at industry analyst Gartner’s CRM Summit in March 2006. The results paint a picture of over-worked marketers rushing around in a mild panic desperately trying to piece together data from a wide variety of sources in order to put a report together for the looming board meeting.
Dissecting the MarComms impact
Due to the very nature of marketing, it can be difficult to accurately disentangle and measure the contribution of different elements of the increasingly complex marketing mix. Is a decline in sales leads conversion rates due to the fact that the advertising is generating poor quality leads, or because the sales force is not performing to par? Was it the direct mail programme or the advertising campaign that led to a shift in customer perceptions?
The research indicates that in many cases the greatest barrier to accurate reporting at board level stems from the problem of gathering all the necessary data. Two in five marketers said they failed to report in detail to the board on marketing performance and one fifth find assimilating marketing performance management data so difficult, they don’t bother measuring performance at all.

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