It seems that the biggest argument for decreasing marketing budgets is that the results are seemingly "impossible to measure." Without hardcore proof of ROI or ROO, how do you justify spending the time, effort and money on a marketing campaign?
Perhaps it is not the lack of statistics that is the problem. Measurable results are possible to achieve if the components are right. If the components are vague, or lackadaisically put together, then even the best laid marketing plan cannot yield measurable numbers.
The moral here is that, to achieve statistically relevant results, first there must be a cohesive plan that consists of:
1) a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-driven) goal.
2) a defined target market.
3) a message that speaks to that target market
4) a call-to-action
5) a way to measure the follow-through of the target market on the call-to-action.
The right connectivity of all the above components is crucial to any marketing campaign; but so is the business atmosphere in general. Let's face it, how many marketing campaigns launched on 9/10/01 showed great promise? And how many of them still showed that same promise only 24 hours later because of the horrific events 9/11/01?
For some, the problem in creating a metric system to determine results is in not knowing what or how to measure. It can be as simple as tally marks when people call, using analytical tools to determine hits to a landing page, counting the number of responses you receive back in the mail, or how many people come by your trade show booth to carry out your pre-show marketing request. The ways to measurement techniques are many can even be multi-pronged so you get measurements in the different stages of a process.
Remember also that a marketing campaign where the results are less than expected may mean that it wasn’t the right campaign or the right target market; not that the marketing itself was a failure. After all, sometimes our messaging is not where it needs to be or the product being offered doesn’t meet the demands of the marketplace. Can you say “New Coke”? Do you even remember "New Coke"?