The Elusive Definition of Marketing ROI

July 20th, 2004

Interesting, although rather predictable, were the results of an exclusive survey on the marketing accountability and ROI released by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Forrester Research yesterday.
Jim Nail, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, discussed the results at ANA's Marketing Accountability Forum, which took place at The Grand Hyatt in New York. Adrants sums up:

The survey of 54 ANA members revealed a lack of consensus among marketers on how to measure/define their return on investment (ROI) in marketing. Some 78% cited measuring the sales impact of marketing as somewhat/very difficult. In addition 70% said gaining agreement on the definition of ROI as somewhat/very difficult.

When asked for the definition of "marketing ROI," answers where all over the place:
Incremental sales revenue generated by marketing activities – 66%
Changes in brand awareness – 57%
Total sales revenue generated by marketing activities – 55%
Changes in purchase intention – 55%
Changes in attitudes toward the brand – 51%
Changes in market share – 49%
Number of leads generated – 40%
Ratio of advertising costs to sales revenue – 34%
Cost per lead generated – 34%
Reach/frequency achieved – 30%
Gross rating points delivered – 25%
Cost per sale generated – 23%
Post buy analysis comparing media plan to actual media delivery – 21%
Changes in the financial value of brand equity – 19%
Increase in customer lifetime value – 17%
Other – 4%
None of the above – 2%
Why does that not surprise me…?

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