Rediscovering the Master, John D. C. Little: A global approach to marketing ROI analytics

Lisa Wellington
The Coca-Cola Company

Research Topic: Global Research – Challenges, Solutions and Insights

As global business issues are becoming more important, we want to hear about the work you are doing. We invite you to share research on the following global issues:

  • Measurement and data collection of global advertising, media and consumer behavior
  • Global insights within multi-national companies
  • Facilitating the knowledge transfer and the application of global learning to US centric research
  • Best practices for global/multicultural research
  • Insights from international research projects


Three pillars of my marketing ROI analytics philosophy are: the analyses must combine science and art, they must be linked to financials, and the analyses are a means to an end of better business decision making. John Little in 1972 advocated a modular approach to marketing mix modeling, each module covering a limited set of drivers, all the modules strung together into one comprehensive view of the marketplace. In the past 40 years, marketing activation levers, data sources, statistical techniques, and computing resources have evolved considerably. Still, conceptually, Dr. Little's approach is the ideal one for working with today's messy and voluminous data. At my company we use variety of scientific models, each quantifying the volume lift of one or a set of marketing drivers and external forces. How those models are stitched together into a comprehensive view of the market place is my art.