Marketing teams might invest a lot of time devising new metrics ("participation", anyone?).  

Yet a survey of almost 200 senior executives tells a different story about how such measures are perceived in boardrooms.

The results, shown below, are fascinating - albeit slightly despair-inducing for advocates of trendier, new brand measures. 

Rank Metric % Sample Saying
Very Useful
1 Net Profit 91%
3 Return on Investment 77%
4 Customer Satisfaction 71%
5 Target Revenues 71%
6 Sales Total 70%
7 Target Volumes 70%
8 Return on Sales 69%
9 Loyalty 69%
10 Annual Growth % 69%

As Geoffrey Precourt, Warc's US editor, has reported, the most respected metrics continue to be those which cover financial activities, rather than softer measures of brand awareness or affiliation.

The authors of the study, which will form the basis of a new book, Marketing Metrics, argue that advocates of measures such as customer lifetime value and return on marketing budgets still need to persuade senior colleagues about why these terms are useful.

In addition, the authors believe that marketing terms are often less clearly defined that financial vocabulary, and that in some cases, a dasboard of measures - rather than a single catch-call metric will be most appropriate.

If you're a Warc subscriber, you can read Geoffrey's full report - from an AMA/Marketing NPV seminar - here.