ROMI: Putting the Marketing 'M' into ROI

Peter Rosenwald
Consult Partners

Isn't it marvellous how for so many years marketing managed to stay clear of the bean counters and their seemingly insatiable desire to measure the return on every penny of investment spend? Marketing, we all argued, is special and not subject to the same metrics as other investments. Even if there was no measurable result for the marketing investment, it could be defended as enhancing brand value and thus added to the balance sheet to provide buoyancy for the share price even when profits and free cash flow were weak.

Those days are rapidly coming to an end. Managements, steeped in B-school training and post-internet bubble austerity, have their spreadsheets at the ready and are demanding numerical answers to the question: 'How much ROI are we going to achieve for our marketing investment?' And not only that: they increasingly want to see more than just a dazzling creative presentation. However beautiful the ads and compelling the commercials, they are demanding an economic justification that the bottom line will be enriched as a direct result of the marketing investment. They want to see a ROMI.