Friday, July 27, 2007

Tale of 2 Books - Marketing Metrics

I read two books this month, both focused on metric marketing issues. The first was "Return on Marketing Investment" by Guy Powell. The second book was "Measure What Matters" by Laura Patterson of Vision Edge Marketing. While both authors share a common goal of guiding CEOs and CMOs to measure marketing more effectively to achieve desired outcomes, the two authors approach the topic in decidedly different manners. Powell argues that marketing investment should be evaluated like any other business investment - calculate the expected return on various marketing investments and compare the returns against defined hurdle rates. Apply high hurdle rates for more risky investments such as advertising versus more known marketing tactics such as direct marketing. While Powell's approach is logical and the quantitative model mathematically correct, he fails to fully address an effective way to set hurdle rates or how to effectivey define expected returns on new marketing efforts, other than to say that the hurdle should be higher for higher risk or less known programs.

In comparison, Patterson breaks the role of marketing into three core performance areas that link to business objectives: acquisition, retention, and monetization. She then proceeds to offer specific marketing metrics for each area that can be measured to determine how marketing programs contribute to these fundamental objectives. I particularly like her reference to those metrics that measure business output versus those that measure marketing activity. See my earlier comments about process v. results marketing metrics.

Both share the goal of linking marketing to business results. Patterson's book is an easier read and will be more palatable to most marketers. Powell's book is more academic and by it's very nature feels more like your Finance 101 text, yet offers relevant thinking. Read both and see what you think. Both believe in my favorite line, "Facts Find Funding"(sm).

Thursday, July 05, 2007

iPhone Marketing

It will be interesting to follow the marketing of the iPhone and competitive products over the coming months. I took at look at the iPhone more than once this past week, including the first evening that it went on sale. Lots of great features, although my wife calls it just another gadget. It's pricey, but it should be as a first entrant. Is is really a first entrant? I think so. The combination of multiple functions with the level of integration and the new functional features is enough to consider it new. Pricing should be at a premium to capture the demand. Scale is essential, but there has been enough (too much!) pre-launch hype to generate significant early adopter demand. Over time, will Apple bring price down to compete with other new entries? Perhaps, but I wouldn't expect that any time soon. The partnerships created between wireless providers and software developers to create competitors will also be an interesting strategic marketing scenario to watch as it unfolds.