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New ROI Study Shows Firms With Ops Teams, Metrics Outgrowing Competitors

Companies outgrowing their competitors are much more likely to have a staff dedicated to marketing operations, use marketing ROI and profitability metrics, and have campaign management automation, according to the Lenskold Group / MarketSphere 2009 Marketing ROI & Measurements Study released this week.

Those firms that considered their marketing highly effective and efficient (9% of the total) showed significant advantages in having data, facts, and insight to better guide marketing spending decisions (75% vs. 33% of all other firms), using good measurements (69% vs. 30%), using customer analytics (65% vs. 31%), and having marketing operations processes to improve the business of marketing (64% vs. 29%).

The report found that having staff dedicated to marketing operations makes companies more likely to report highly effective and efficient marketing (11% vs. 5%) and more likely to report outgrowing their competitors with 52% outgrowing competitors compared to 46% of those without marketing operations. Firms with marketing operations also tend to have greater adoption of marketing ROI measurements and strengths in “using customer analytics to improve marketing effectiveness,” “having data, facts, and insight to better guide marketing spending decisions,” and “understanding profit drivers to prioritize current budget”.

“We consistently see that the high performing marketing organizations tend to have advantages in marketing operations, strengths in generating insights, and ROI discipline,” says report author Jim Lenskold, president of Manasquan, NJ-based consultancy the Lenskold Group. “The economic pressures are increasing the demand for measurements and ROI, and should motivate marketers to improve their capabilities. It is a critical time to understand and manage marketing effectiveness. And as marketers experience the opportunity to improve marketing effectiveness with better insight, we would expect those practices to hold steady and continue on beyond the economic recovery.”

The proportion of companies indicating they calculate marketing profitability, ROI, or similar financial measures to assess marketing effectiveness has remained steady at roughly one in four (24%). The adoption rates are much more significant for firms reporting highly effective and efficient marketing (54% vs. 23% of all other firms). Over half (51%) of the marketers surveyed report that they estimate ROI of marketing initiatives as part of their planning process, a critical practice in managing and improving marketing profitability.

Considering the economic environment, the survey found CEOs and CFOs are increasing their demands for marketers to show a potential return on investment (ROI) as part of securing budget, according to 65% of the 601 marketers surveyed.

The current economic conditions are putting pressures on marketers to better understand their marketing effectiveness as nearly 8 in 10 marketers (79%) report that the need to measure, analyze, and report marketing effectiveness is greater in 2009. However, budget pressures are evident with 6 out of 10 (59%) indicating that this higher demand for measuring marketing effectiveness is not budgeted for the necessary measurement efforts.

This 5th annual research report on marketing ROI and measurements examines the influence of the economy, marketing operations, marketing practices, and strengths in generating insights on marketing performance and growth.

The full 35-page report with detailed findings and Lenskold Group recommendations is available at