Measuring Marketing: Six Ways To Do It Better

Andrew Likierman
London Business School

Pressed for measures, it is sales and cost trends, numbers of qualified staff and so on that are usually the first to be wheeled in by the marketing function. But as marketing professionals know to their cost, such numbers used in support of performance can be easily knocked down. Are those glossy sales the effect of all boats being lifted by a rising tide of sales or prices? Is spending more money a good idea or a bad one? So what if staff are qualified – what do they achieve?

The next stage may be to try something more convincing, starting with figures showing how low is the proportion of marketing spend to sales compared to the industry average. Then there might be a chart showing trends of discounts squeezed out of targeted media. Alas, these too are vulnerable in the budget bear-pit. So what if we spend less than others if they do better? And can the figures be compared anyway – they're much bigger/smaller than us? Can we really show that we got better discounts than the others?