Marketing Effectiveness: Beyond the Short Term

Gordon Wyner

As I discussed in my previous POV, Marketing Effectiveness: It's More Than Just ROI, there is more to marketing effectiveness than what can be readily expressed in terms of return on investment. There is also more to marketing effectiveness than what can be observed and measured in the short term. But while marketers recognize the value that can be realized over the long term, they are often uncertain as to how to achieve it. Compared to short-term outcomes, long-term effects are harder to plan for, in part because they are harder to define and measure precisely.

The need to demonstrate marketing effectiveness in the short term is a given. While this need is felt most acutely by marketers at publicly owned companies that must report quarterly earnings, marketers at privately held companies are also subject to pressure for proof of return on investment. And it is not surprising that businesspeople look for a quick payback. Investments are made on a continuing basis, and in deciding how much to invest for the next period, it's helpful to know how recent activities have performed. For example, did a recent campaign lift sales sufficiently to generate incremental profit over and beyond the cost of the campaign?